Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

CO poisoning does have symptoms, but they mimic many common ailments and are easily be confused with flu or simple tiredness. The symptoms of CO poisoning include:

  • Headache;
  • Drowsiness/Tiredness;
  • Flu-like symptoms;
  • Myalgia (muscular aches);
  • Shortness of breath;
  • Difficulty breathing;
  • Vision changes;
  • Rapid pulse;
  • Dizziness;
  • Weakness;
  • Emotional changes;
  • Confusion;
  • Poor judgement;
  • Clumsiness;
  • Fainting;
  • Nausea and vomiting;
  • Diarrhoea;
  • Chest pain;
  • Bluish discoloration of the skin and nails;
  • Rarely, a cherry red appearance to skin and lips;
  • Coma, loss of consciousness.

There are visible signs that your appliance is not functioning correctly, and could be producing toxic levels of CO/TC. There is no substitute for regular servicing of your gas/oil/coal burning appliances, but you should be on the lookout for:

  • Yellow or brown staining around, or on appliances ;
  • Pilot lights that frequently blow out;
  • Increased condensation inside windows;
  • Gas appliances - yellow rather than blue flame (apart from flueless fires).

If you have not done so before, you may also wish to do a basic check for CO leakage in your home.