Can long-term exposure to carbon monoxide cause bodily harm? This is considered as the common question by many individuals. In most circumstances, individuals are concerned with appliances that might leak carbon monoxide into the house over a long period of time. Many are concerned regarding the kind of damage that can occur and if there are any long-term effects.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is considered as the common type of poisoning globally. Take note that carbon monoxide is a gas that cannot be seen, smell or tasted. The gas comes from partially burned gas, propane, wood or a number of fuels. The gas is present in smoke, smog and even motor exhaust.
Carbon monoxide blocks oxygen from reaching to places where it is needed in the bloodstream. The red blood cells that usually transport oxygen are more attracted to the carbon monoxide. Individuals who are affected with carbon monoxide poisoning can die from not getting enough oxygen to the brain and heart.
Am I sick?
Carbon monoxide poisoning can be difficult to diagnose. The indications of carbon monoxide poisoning appear similar to the flu such as body aches, headache, nausea and fatigue, but without fever. The gas affects every individual in a different manner, thus unless healthcare providers suspect poisoning, they are likely to overlook it. The level of carbon monoxide in the blood is easy to determine but can rapidly drop.
In just a few hours after starting to breathe fresh air, the blood level of carbon monoxide can drop. The ideal way to diagnose poisoning is to ask the individual. In addition, it is easier to recognize poisoning when more than one individual experiences symptoms.
Determining if an individual is sick
When it comes to cases in which the initial sign of trouble is determining the presence of carbon monoxide before any of the symptoms manifest, it is natural for many to wonder if there was any damage done.
It is sad to note there is no exact answer. On the other hand, it is known that carbon monoxide can affect the heart and muscle function in high and low concentrations, but there are still no findings if there is any long-term damage from exposure to low levels.
Remember that carbon monoxide exposure that is too low to cause any symptoms might damage the body. The only issue is that we do not how much or in what way. Today, there is growing evidence that carbon monoxide poisoning severe enough to send the individual to the hospital can cause problems up to a year later.
Currently, there are no specific treatment options for the after effects of carbon monoxide poisoning. The doctors simply attempt to manage the symptoms one by one until further research is done. Until then, the best defense is to pay close attention to the body and mind. In addition, it is recommended to install a carbon monoxide detector for your house.