Decoding Happy Hypoxia: How this Covid-19 new symptom in second wave is taking toll on youngsters
New Delhi, May 13: India has been reeling under a catastrophic second wave of coronavirus infection.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic holds many mysteries. The latest to join the long list of COVID-19 symptoms is 'happy hypoxia'. Happy hypoxia, also known as silent hypoxia, represents an early stage in COVID-19 infection.
What is happy hypoxia?
Happy hypoxia means very low levels of oxygen in the blood, leaving medical professionals across the world baffled.
According to doctors, youngsters, with better tolerance levels, may be more prone to this, adding that this often resulted in them seeking treatment late which on occasions proved fatal.
As blood oxygen levels begin to reduce, a person may experience shortness of breath, also called dyspnea. If blood oxygen levels continue to fall, the organs may shut down, and the issue becomes life threatening.
Why do oxygen levels decrease in Coronavirus-infected patients?
COVID-19 is primarily a respiratory illness, and a severe case can reduce the amount of oxygen that the lungs can absorb. Blood oxygen levels have been found to be very low in some COVID-19 patients.
An inflammatory reaction in the body, most likely triggered by SARS-CoV-2 infection and the subsequent onset of COVID-19. This, in turn, instigates cellular protein reactions that form blood clots and prevent cells and tissues in the lungs from receiving adequate oxygen supply.
How to identify Happy Hypoxia?
It is advised to continuously measure blood oxygen levels using a pulse oximeter.
Also, the colour of the lips changes from the natural shade to appear blue, while skin discolouration occurs from the original tone to a red/purple appearance.
Persistent sweating even when not performing arduous exercise routines or in a hot surrounding is yet another red signal for low blood oxygen levels.
Keeping an eye out for these warning signs of happy hypoxia ensures prompt treatment in a hospital setting, thereby restoring lung capacity and normal breathing in the affected individual and helping them recover from COVID-19.