Chronic oxygen deficiency is defined as a prolonged lack of oxygen to the body as that occurs in living in high altitudes or by having severe chronic lung disease.
Chronic oxygen deficiency have the following effects :
- There is decreased mental efficiency due the prolonged deficiency of oxygen
- Sleepiness, headache, lassitude and fatigubility are also common
- Euphoria is also sometimes seen.
- Increased ventilation or hyperventilation is occurs as a compensatory mechanism in Chronic oxygen deficiency to maintain the oxygen saturation and normal bodily functions.
- Persistent increased ventilation results in reduction in the alveolar ventilation and carbon dioxide tension.
- Respiratory alkalosis, is the end result of prolonged hyperventilation as that occurs in Chronic oxygen deficiency.
- Metabolic acidosis, is a compensatory phenomenon to maintain the acid base balance.
- Interference with oxygen transport mechanism also occurs in the long run, as a final attempt to proper oxygenation inspite of the apparent lack of it due to various reasons.
Some important causes of Chronic oxygen deficiency are the following:
- Living at high altitutes. The oxygen content of the air deacreases as we accend up in hilly areas. For those living on mountainous regions for long periods develop Chronic oxygen deficiency.
- Lung Pathology. Diseases like bronchiectasis or Emphysema are characterized by Chronic oxygen deficiency.