Symptoms of hypoxia or low oxygen in the tissues, which results from hypoxemia or low oxygen in the blood, include fast breathing, rapid heart rate, coughing, confusion and skin discoloration, notes WebMD. Some people also experience wheezing, sweating and panting. Hypoxemia leads to hypoxia when the blood delivers insufficient oxygen to the tissues, causing damage to the body's organs such as the brain and liver within minutes after symptoms manifest.
Hypoxia may occur due to an intense asthma attack, which makes it difficult for the lungs to obtain air due to narrowing airways, explains WebMD. Other possible causes of hypoxia include cyanide poisoning, anemia, heart conditions, certain pain medications and drugs that affect breathing, and lung diseases.
Prompt medical treatment in a hospital is essential when experiencing the symptoms of hypoxia, notes WebMD. Doctors send more oxygen to the body by using a mask covering the patient's nose and mouth or inserting a small plug into the patient's nose. They also administer an oral asthma medicine or use an inhaler to ease the patient's breathing. If oral medication intake doesn't help, doctors sometimes administer the medicine intravenously.
To prevent hypoxia, doctors recommend strictly following an asthma treatment plan to keep the respiratory condition under control, according to WebMD. People with asthma should also know their asthma triggers, stay physically active, eat balanced meals, and take their medications properly.