Respiratory acidosis occurs when improper lung function causes carbon dioxide to build up in the body. Anything that impairs lung function can cause this secondary condition, and these issues range in severity. In many cases, the body can compensate for respiratory acidosis for a period, which can delay recognition and diagnosis. Eventually, the system will be overwhelmed, and the condition can lead to serious complications.


1. What Is Respiratory Acidosis?

Acidosis develops when too much carbon dioxide collects in the blood. Various issues can cause this, but if improper working of the lungs is to blame, doctors will diagnose it as respiratory acidosis. The lungs have two main jobs: diffuse oxygen into the blood and expel carbon dioxide. When they cannot accomplish the latter, CO2 accumulates in the body, notably in the blood. Carbon dioxide is acidic; too much of it raises the blood's pH, which can have many negative effects.

Oxygen Respiratory Acidosis STEEX / Getty Images

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