What Are Some Symptoms of an Oxygen Overdose?


Quick Answer

Symptoms of oxygen overdose include tingling, constricted vision, nausea, vomiting, vertigo and focal seizures. In severe cases, oxygen overdose causes fainting or seizures that may prove fatal in the case of divers, states Merck Manual.

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Full Answer

Oxygen overdose leads to toxicity, stripping down electron molecules to create free radicals. These react with and destroy critical molecules such as proteins and DNA, leading to cell damage or destruction. Coordination problems and brain damage may arise from oxygen overdose suggests research conducted by the University of Texas South Western Medical Center at Dallas, quotes the Scientific American. Additionally, re-exposing oxygen deprived cells may make them more likely to die than when they were actually deprived.

Convulsions and loss of consciousness result when oxygen toxicity causes damage to the central nervous system, causing brain damage or cell death, explains About.com. This may be accompanied by ringing ears, twitching of facial muscles, mood changes or tunnel vision. Breathing elevated oxygen levels for a long time results in pulmonary oxygen toxicity, damaging or killing cells in the lungs. A burning sensation in the trachea progresses into shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest and a constant cough. The lungs eventually fail if adequate medical attention is lacking, leading to death.

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