Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odourless, tasteless, and colourless gas that can affect the human body negatively. When this gas enters the body, it can lead to carbon poisoning.

In this post, you’ll learn more about carbon monoxide poisoning and the signs that you shouldn’t ignore.

signs of carbon monoxide poisoning

Early signs & symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning

The troublesome thing about carbon monoxide poisoning is that the signs and symptoms resemble those of common illnesses. As a result of this, people tend to ignore it and don’t think of seeing the doctor. Such negligence can be disastrous in the long run.

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Therefore, it is important that you know what the early signs of carbon monoxide poisoning are and get the right treatment on time. Let’s take a look at these early signs and symptoms.

Signs of carbon monoxide poisoning you shouldn’t ignore


When someone is poisoned with carbon monoxide, they might feel a dull and persistent headache. The headache is a result of carbon monoxide binding with the blood’s hemoglobin, leading to a lower oxygen supply to the brain. This condition is known as hypoxia (lack of oxygen) and is the cause of the headache.

Headache caused by carbon monoxide poisoning is different from tension headache or migraine in the sense that it lingers rather than coming and going. Furthermore, regular headache medications will not cure it. When you notice this, you need to see the doctor as soon as possible.


Exposure to carbon monoxide can cause someone to experience vertigo, or lightheadedness, where it seems like everything is unsteady or spinning. The lack of oxygen we spoke about can affect the vestibular system of the brain, which is responsible for balance control.

You can read this article to learn more about the vestibular system. If you suddenly feel dizzy and you notice that it happens to others around you, this might be a sign of carbon monoxide poisoning.

signs of carbon monoxide poisoning


When you can’t explain why you keep feeling physically weak or fatigued and you’re unable to carry out routine activities, it might be due to carbon monoxide poisoning. This happens when carbon monoxide prevents the blood from transporting oxygen to other parts of the body. Such oxygen deprivation can cause tissue and muscle hypoxia, which leads to the weakness you experience.

So, when you notice this unusual weakness without illness or exertion, you need to pay attention to this sign, especially if you have noticed other signs discussed in this article.


Feeling sick in the stomach without or with vomiting is another sign of carbon monoxide poisoning. This nauseous feeling happens because of your body’s reaction to the effects of carbon monoxide exposure and hypoxia. Once you are certain that it is not caused by the infection of a foodborne illness, then it might be caused by carbon monoxide exposure.

signs of carbon monoxide poisoning

Shortness of breath

When a person starts finding it difficult to breathe or can’t catch their breath without exerting themself, then it might be caused by carbon monoxide exposure. The reduction in oxygen supply to your tissues can lead to this respiratory problem as your body struggles to get oxygen. You can read this article to learn some things you can do when you’re short on breath.

When you notice shortness of breath and any other symptom discussed so far, then you need to consider carbon monoxide poisoning as the cause.


Difficulty concentrating, thinking clearly, or cognitive disorientation are among the common signs of carbon monoxide exposure. Once again, the lack of oxygen in the brain is the reason the individual’s cognitive function is impaired. If you are always feeling confused, can’t concentrate, or you’re experiencing mental fogginess, you need to check the area to confirm whether you’ve been exposed to carbon monoxide.

signs of carbon monoxide poisoning

This is a collaborative post.

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