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How to Detect Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Friday, July 27, 2018
Carbon monoxide poisoning is a dangerous gas that can prove lethal if too much is ingested. If you're got a CO leak, here's how to spot worrisome carbon monoxide poisoning effects.


Each year in America, 374 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning. It's the fourth most common cause of death in the United States.

Learning about the symptoms of CO poisoning is crucial. Gas leaks happen more than we assume, so it's important to be knowledgeable and prepared.

Once you know about the symptoms, they're easy to observe. Keep reading to find out the most common carbon dioxide poisoning effects.

1. Headaches

The first symptom you'll notice is a dull headache. It may feel like a tension headache, stretching across the front of the head.

When you leave the building containing the leak, the headache should dissipate. It's important to step outside for some fresh air and assess the pain. Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause location-related headaches.

2. Nausea and Vomiting

Another early effect of CO exposure is nausea. You may feel like you're in the beginning stages of the influenza virus.

But, CO poisoning doesn't cause a fever like the flu does.

Notice if other people in the building are also nauseous or vomiting. Groups of people don't usually get the flu all together at the same time. It could be a sign of a CO leak.

4. Chest Tightness

When carbon monoxide has invaded your bloodstream, it affects your heart and lungs. These effects feel like tightening of the chest and difficulty breathing.

You may notice your heartbeat speeding up without an increase in physical activity. Or, not being able to take full breaths.

These symptoms are serious, and you should see a doctor immediately. If you notice others in the house or building feeling similar, be sure to evacuate.

5. Drowsiness

On its own, drowsiness doesn't signify CO poisoning. But, combined with one or more of the other effects it could be an indicator.

Unfortunately, people who don't know the symptoms often go to sleep when the drowsiness sets in. They continue breathing in the carbon monoxide in their sleep. This can be lethal.

Pay attention to feelings of drowsiness accompanied with any of the other symptoms.

6. Confusion

The presence of carbon monoxide in the bloodstream affects the brain. Your thinking becomes impaired. Some people experience hallucinations.

It can be hard to assess the situation when you're confused. At the first signs of confusion, go outside. Breathe in fresh air and then reassess what's going on.

7. Blurred Vision

When blood flows to the eyes, it brings the carbon monoxide with it. Your eyes can become sore and tense. You may also experience blurry vision.

This is a serious symptom that needs medical help immediately.

Interested in Learning More About the Effects of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

Detecting the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning can save your life. Remember that even the smallest symptom is important.

If you live or work with other people, notice if they have symptoms. Many people in the same space experiencing similar effects is a sign of a carbon monoxide leak.

For more information on carbon monoxide poisoning and how to prevent a leak, learn more on our blog. You can also reach out to us if you're looking for gas detection tools.


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