Respiratory acidosis is a condition that occurs when the lungs cannot remove all of the carbon dioxide the body produces. This causes body fluids, especially the blood, to become too acidic.
Ventilatory failure; Respiratory failure; Acidosis - respiratory
Causes of respiratory acidosis include:
Chronic respiratory acidosis occurs over a long 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 condition in which carbon dioxide builds up very quickly, before the kidneys can return the body to a state of balance.
Some people with chronic respiratory acidosis get acute respiratory acidosis because an acute illness makes their condition worse and disrupts their body's acid-base balance.
Symptoms may include:
Treatment is aimed at the underlying disease, and may include:
Ravindranath Tiruvoipati is in Melbourne, Australia. Tiruvoipati is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Respiratory Acidosis. They are also highly rated in 2 other conditions, according to our data. Their top areas of expertise are Respiratory Acidosis, Metabolic Acidosis, Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, and Sepsis.
Jeffrey Golden is a Pulmonary Medicine doctor in San Francisco, California. Dr. Golden has been practicing medicine for over 50 years and is rated as a Distinguished doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Respiratory Acidosis. He is also highly rated in 9 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Respiratory Acidosis, Metabolic Acidosis, CMV Retinitis, and Cytomegalic Inclusion Disease. He is board certified in Pulmonary Disease and Internal Medicine and licensed to treat patients in California. Dr. Golden is currently accepting new patients.
Claude Racinet is in Grenoble, France. Racinet is rated as a Distinguished expert by MediFind in the treatment of Respiratory Acidosis. He is also highly rated in 3 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Respiratory Acidosis, Metabolic Acidosis, Cerebral Palsy, and Spastic Diplegia Infantile Type.
How well you do depends on the disease causing the respiratory acidosis.
Complications that may result include:
Severe respiratory acidosis is a medical emergency. Seek medical help right away if you have symptoms of this condition.
Call your provider if you have symptoms of lung disease that suddenly get worse.
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.
Use your CPAP device regularly if it has been prescribed for you.
Effros RM, Swenson ER. Acid-base balance. In: Broaddus VC, Mason RJ, Ernst JD, et al, eds. Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 7.
Seifter JL. Acid-base disorders. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 110.
Strayer RJ. Acid-base disorders. In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, Gausche-Hill M, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 116.