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:
- Flu-like symptoms;
- Myalgia (muscular aches);
- Shortness of breath;
- Difficulty breathing;
- Vision changes;
- Rapid pulse;
- Emotional changes;
- Poor judgement;
- Nausea and vomiting;
- 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.