Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can be very non-specific, often resulting in them being mistaken for flu or even food poisoning. The symptoms of CO poisoning can vary from person to person and can also depend upon the levels of exposure and how much carbon monoxide is breathed in. There are some common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, some of which are listed below:
- Red colouration of skin due to lack of oxygen
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle fatigue and general fatigue
- Chest pain
- Loss of consciousness
It is easy to see how these symptoms can be confused with more common ailments such as flu or food poisoning, as they are very general symptoms. And because of the non-specific nature of these symptoms, many people each year continue to breathe in carbon monoxide obliviously, which can eventually lead to far more serious, long-term symptoms and damage, or even death.
There are some differences between the symptoms of carbon monoxide and the symptoms of flu, and you should make sure that you are aware of these differences as they may help to save your life. Unlike flu, carbon monoxide poisoning does not produce feverish symptoms or glandular swelling. Although you may suffer symptoms of general fatigue you should not experience the same aching sensation with carbon monoxide as you often would with flu. The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning may also come and go, or seem more severe on some occasions than on other. Flu, on the other hand, is usually continual until it has passed. With carbon monoxide poisoning you may find that your symptoms worsen at particular times of the day or in particular places.
Carbon monoxide poisoning usually peaks in winter time, when people burn various types of fuel in order to keep warm. The causes of carbon monoxide poisoning include the incomplete burning of carbon-based fuel and materials as well as faulty equipment and poor ventilation. This makes the colder season a far greater risk period than other times of the year, as it is during the cold season when most people in crease their use of fuel burning equipment.
It is important to always stay vigilant for any signs of carbon monoxide poisoning, particularly if you use carbon-based fuel or equipment that could post a CO risk. If several members of the family begin to display similar symptoms, it is vital that you seek assistance immediately. The same applies if you notice that pets are starting to show signs of illness as well.
You should also ensure that you minimise on the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning by taking precautionary steps, as these could save you from serious risk of death or permanent damage.
However, even if you have taken precautions such as CO detectors and regular equipment checks, this will not make you immune to CO poisoning, and it is still vital that you remain aware of the symptoms and seek assistance should you have any doubts or worries.