Hypoxia vs. Hypoxemia both are medical conditions related to the insufficient amount of oxygen within the body. The main difference between hypoxia and hypoxemia is that hypoxia is a condition in which there is an insufficient amount of oxygen within the tissues of the body while in hypoxemia there is a low oxygen content within the blood of arteries.
Let’s take a closer look at Hypoxemia vs. Hypoxia
|Both terms refer to an insufficient amount of oxygen in the body
|Both conditions can result in fatal damages
|Both can be diagnosed by measuring blood oxygen saturation
|Both are related to each other as hypoxemia can cause hypoxia
Table of Contents
What Is Hypoxia?
If we look at hypoxia meaning: it is a medical condition in which there is not enough oxygen available for the tissues of the body. This condition can occur around the body due to various reasons and can range from mild to life-threatening forms. There are also different types of hypoxia depending on the specific tissues of the body and its effect. For example, Hypoxic hypoxia is a type of hypoxia in which there is not enough oxygen at the lung level. There can be various causes of hypoxia, one of the main causes is hypoventilation, when a low amount of air is entering within the lungs, this can also be due to breathing difficulties. Moreover, it can also be due to the low oxygen content within the air. Some common symptoms of hypoxia are coughing, difficulty breathing, increased heart rate and bluish color of lips and skin.
What Is Hypoxemia?
If we look at the hypoxemia meaning, in which the level of oxygen is not sufficient within the blood of the arteries. Low oxygen levels in the blood can result in the ability of the body to function properly. Like hypoxia, hypoxemia can also range from mild to life-threatening form. Symptoms and signs of hypoxemia depend upon its causes, some of the common symptoms are headache, confusion, rapid heart rate, unconsciousness, and cyanosis. Some severe cases can also lead to respiratory failure. It can also cause some additional risks because it can not be easily observed. Doctors have concluded that some patients with COVID-19 have a lower level of blood oxygen but they feel and act fine. Hypoxemia can be measured by testing the paO2 and the oxygen saturation within the arteries, which carry the oxygenated blood to the whole body.
5 Key Differences Between Hypoxia and Hypoxemia
|Hypoxia refers to the medical condition in which there is not enough oxygen available for the tissues of the body. This condition can occur due to various causes and ranges from mild to chronic form.
|Hypoxemia is defined as a medical condition in which there is not enough oxygen within the blood of the arteries. A low level of oxygen in the blood means there is not enough oxygen provided to the body to work properly.
|The symptoms of hypoxia depend upon the cause and severity of this condition, some of the common symptoms are, increased heart rate, headache, wheezing, and bluish color of skin and lips, and some severe cases can also cause fainting.
|Since hypoxemia is also a condition related to lack of oxygen it has similar symptoms to hypoxia. People with hypoxemia may suffer from headaches, coughing, confusion and cyanosis. Some severe cases can even lead to respiratory failure.
|Asthma and other lung diseases can cause hypoxia as these medical conditions can restrict the supply of oxygen. Heart diseases can also be a cause because these affect the cardiac output and reduce the amount of oxygen delivered to the body and tissues. Another cause can be a low oxygen concentration in the air.
|Some common causes of hypoxemia are asthma attacks, Anemia, Lung Trauma, High Altitude, and Heart diseases. Some cases of COVID-19 have also shown a low level of oxygen in the blood which is called, “silent hypoxemia”, because in this the patient acts and feels fine, as there are no symptoms shown or observed.
|If the patient is not in distress, a doctor can start the physical exam by evaluating the heart and lungs. if they found out the symptoms of hypoxia they may move towards further testing. Pulse oximetry is a non-invasive test in which fingertip sensors are used to measure blood oxygen levels. And if the doctor detects cerebral hypoxia, they might go for a CT scan or EEG..
|Tests for hypoxemia are almost the same as for hypoxia. It usually involves a physical exam, which is followed by an arterial blood gas test. A lung function test has also concluded which measures the amount of air inhaled or exhaled. Moreover, the efficiency of delivering the oxygen can also help confirm the diagnosis
|Hypoxia can range from mild to life-threatening form depending upon the causes and severity. If it is not treated it can cause coma and even brain death.
|If hypoxemia is not treated, it can paralyze the brain and heart. It can also result in congestive heart failure and central nervous system breakdown.
Hypoxia vs. Hypoxemia Similarities
- Whether it is hypoxia or hypoxemia, both are medical conditions related to oxygen deficiency.
- Both can cause severe damage to the organs and can even cause a threat to life.
Hypoxia vs. Hypoxemia Examples
- Hypoxic Hypoxia: Occurs at lung levels
- Hypemic Hypoxia: Occur when blood doesn’t carry enough oxygen
- Stagnant Hypoxia: Occurs when blood flow to the tissue is insufficient
- Perfusion Mismatch:
- Shunt: Deoxygenated blood travels to the whole body
- Diffusion Impairment: Oxygen diffuses from the alveoli into the blood
Hypoxia vs. Hypoxemia Pros and Cons
Hypoxia Pros and Cons
Pros of Hypoxia
- Hypoxia can be easily controlled by keeping your asthma controlled every day and sticking to the asthma treatment.
- Hypoxia can also be treated with help of some foods rich in iron and nitrates, for example, garlic, pomegranate, beetroot and leafy vegetables.
Cons of Hypoxia
- Hypoxia can cause damage to the body tissues and result in headaches, confusion, anxiety and restlessness.
- If hypoxia is not treated, it can even lead to the come or permanent brain damage.
Hypoxemia Pros and Cons
Pros of Hypoxemia
- The risk of hypoxemia can be reduced by managing the underlying condition which can lower the blood oxygen levels.
- Hypoxemia can be treated by utilizing oxygen therapy. This involves using an oxygen mask to receive supplemental oxygen.
Cons of Hypoxemia
- Hypoxemia is a medical condition which has a lot of negative symptoms like headache, increased heart rate, and shortness of breath.
- If hypoxemia is not treated at the right time it can result in heart attack and nervous breakdown.
Hypoxia and hypoxemia are medical conditions in which the body suffers from oxygen insufficiently. But if we talk about hypoxia vs. hypoxemia differences, both affect the body differently. In hypoxia, there is not enough oxygen in the tissues of the body while in hypoxemia there is not enough oxygen within the blood present in arteries. But if we look at hypoxia versus hypoxemia symptoms and causes. Both have almost similar symptoms because in both cases the patient is inhaling an insufficient amount of oxygen.