What Is Cyanosis?
Cyanosis is the bluish discoloration of mucous membranes and the skin. It happens due to deoxygenation of blood.
There are two common types of Cyanosis:
- Peripheral Cyanosis: When bluish cast happens to your hands and feet, it is called peripheral Cyanosis.
- Central Cyanosis: It is the type of cyanosis in which bluish discoloration happens around lips and tongue.
It happens when the oxygen level decreases in the blood due to one reason or another. Cyanosis can prove fatal; hence, one should reach out to a doctor as soon as any sign of Cyanosis is suspected.
Blue skin, lips, or tongues are the main Cyanosis symptoms. If blue skin is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, you should call to emergency number:
- Breath gasping
- Difficulty in breathing or breath shortness
- Pain in chest
- Heavy sweating
- Pain or numbness in limbs and extremities
- Blanching of limbs and extremities
Who Is At Risk?
There are a few factors that can increase the risk of a person developing Cyanosis. Some of the Cyanosis risk factors are written as follows:
- History of any congenital heart disease
- People who go to high-altitudes for the first time
- Exposure to Carbon Monoxide
- Any kind of seizure
- History of lungs or alveoli diseases like Asthma, Chronic bronchitis, or Bronchiectasis
- Living in very cold conditions
Though there are a number of Cyanosis causes, the root cause of the condition is decreased level of oxygen in your blood and tissues. The reason for this deoxygenation can vary. If enough oxygen doesn’t reach to your tissues through blood, their color gets changed to blue.
Let us have look at the causes for each different type of Cyanosis:
Central Cyanosis Causes:
- Central nervous system (CNS) related conditions like an overdose of drugs
- Respiratory system-related conditions like Pneumonia, Bronchiolitis, or Asthma
- Congenital heart disease like the failure of the heart
- Trekking to high altitudes
Peripheral Cyanosis Causes:
All the causes that lead to central cyanosis, can also be the underlying cause of the Peripheral Cyanosis. Apart from that, a few other causes are as follows:
- Exposure to cold
- Arterial obstruction conditions like Peripheral vascular disease
- Venous obstruction conditions like vein thrombosis
How Is Cyanosis Diagnosed?
Blue colored skin is a red flag for doctors. If your skin color doesn’t get back to normal even after your skin is warmed, you should immediately get help.
Primary Cyanosis diagnosis is done by performing a physical examination like listening with a stethoscope to your heart and lungs.
To further ensure the presence of Cyanosis, your doctor might take an arterial blood gas test. It measures acidity and the levels of CO2 and O2 in your blood. Your doctor might use a noninvasive pulse oximeter to check the level of blood oxygenation. Chest X-ray and CT scan are also done in some cases to evaluate these organs.
How Is Cyanosis Treated?
The main Cyanosis cure available as of now is only medicines. While there is no exclusive Cyanosis medicine, doctors give medicines that ensure that regular blood flows in your arteries and veins and your tissues get enough amount of required oxygen. The medicines given by the doctor depends on the underlying cause of your condition.
However, a few common medicines which are prescribed by doctors in heart conditions like heart failure is also given in Cyanosis.
It is necessary to seek immediate medical guidance for Cyanosis. We, at Care.Fit, have a team of experienced doctors who can guide you through this fatal condition to safety. Go to Care.Fit’s website or app to know more about the medical guidance we can provide.
How Can Cyanosis be Prevented?
Cyanosis can prove fatal if not treated on time. Hence, it is better to have Cyanosis prevention rather than taking any risk. A few preventive methods for this condition are as follows:
- Try to avoid edible or smoking products that contain caffeine and nicotine. These substances constrict your blood vessels and increase the chance of Cyanosis development.
- Don’t go to high altitudes if you have developed heart conditions.
- If you go to some cold area, make sure you have medical help in your reach.
- Take oxygen cylinders with you while going to high-altitude places like mountains.