Respiratory acidosis is a condition that occurs when the lungs cannot remove all of the carbon dioxide the body produces. This disrupts the body's acid-base balance causing body fluids, especially the blood, to become too acidic.
Causes of respiratory acidosis include:
Chronic respiratory acidosis occurs over a long period of time. This leads to a stable situation, because the kidneys increase body chemicals, such as bicarbonate, that help restore the body's acid-base balance.
Acute respiratory acidosis is a severe condition in which carbon dioxide builds up very quickly and before the kidneys can return the body to a state of balance.
Symptoms may include:
Treatment is aimed at the underlying lung disease, and may include:
How well you do depends on the disease causing the respiratory acidosis.
Severe respiratory acidosis is a medical emergency. Seek immediate medical help if you have symptoms of this condition.
Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of lung disease.
Do not smoke. Smoking leads to the development of many severe lung diseases that can cause respiratory acidosis.
Losing weight may help prevent respiratory acidosis due to obesity (obesity-hypoventilation syndrome).
Be careful about taking sedating medicines, and never combine these medicines with alcohol.
Ventilatory failure; Respiratory failure; Acidosis - respiratory