Hypercapnia – Mild vs. Severe Symptoms

Sometimes symptoms of hypercapnia is mild, meaning the body can quickly correct these symptoms to breathe better and balance your CO2 levels. Some other symptoms could be severe and people have to pay attention.

Mild symptoms of hypercapnia include:

  • flushed skin
  • drowsiness or inability to focus
  • mild headaches
  • feeling disoriented or dizzy
  • feeling short of breath
  • being abnormally tired or exhausted

If these symptoms persist beyond a few days, see your doctor. They can determine whether you’re experiencing hypercapnia or another underlying condition.

Severe symptoms can pose more of a threat. It can prevent you from breathing properly. Unlike with mild hypercapnia, your body can’t correct severe symptoms quickly. It can be extremely harmful or fatal if your respiratory system shuts down.

See your doctor right away if you have one or more of the following symptoms, especially if you’ve been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD):

  • unexplained feelings of confusion
  • abnormal feelings of paranoia or depression
  • abnormal muscle twitching
  • irregular heartbeat
  • hyperventilation
  • seizures
  • panic attack
  • passing out

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