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Definition of Hypoxia


Definition: Hypoxia is defined as having an inadequate oxygen supply to the cells and tissues of the body.

Causes of Hypoxia

Hypoxia can be caused by a number of factors such as:

Causes of Hypoxia in COPD

Because breathing problems associated with COPD reduce the amount of oxygen available in the blood (hypoxemia), less oxygen is available to the cells and tissues of the body, and hypoxia occurs.

Symptoms of Hypoxia

Symptoms of hypoxia include:

  • Headache
  • Shortness of breath (dyspnea)
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Rapid heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Lightheadedness
  • A bluish discoloration of the skin, lips and/or nail beds (cyanosis)


Pronunciation: hi-poks-e-a

Also Known As: decreased oxygen, low oxygen level

Common Misspellings: hipoxia, hypocsia

Examples: My husband became so short of breath the other day. He had hypoxia and, as a result, his lips turned blue.

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