Difference Between Hypoxia and Anoxia

Anoxia, as well as hypoxia, are indeed grave, life-threatening disorders caused by a lack of oxygen in the body. The phrases anoxia versus hypoxia are sometimes used indiscriminately, yet there are distinctions between both of them and hence using them interchangeably is not right.

Even if they both describe circumstances in which systems and tissues, such as the brain, get little oxygen, understanding the distinction between both the terminology is critical. So, this article is here to help you understand the differences between both terms.

Hypoxia vs Anoxia

The main difference between hypoxia and anoxia is that hypoxia is a clinical word that refers to a partial loss of oxygen in the body cells, whereas anoxia refers to full oxygen deprivation in the tissues and organs. There are four forms of hypoxia: hypoxic hypoxia, hematological hypoxia, cardiovascular hypoxia, and mixed hypoxia. Anoxia may be classified into four types: anoxic anoxia, anemic anoxia, poisonous anoxia, and stationary or stagnant anoxia.

Hypoxia vs

Hypoxia is a situation in which the entire or a part of the body lacks enough oxygen delivery at the tissue level. Hypoxia can be widespread, covering the overall body, or localized, affecting a specific part of the body. Whilst hypoxia is frequently a harmful state, fluctuations in arterial oxygen levels can be a natural element of metabolism.

Anoxia happens when a central nervous system, body, or brain does not receive sufficient oxygen. A lack of oxygen in the bloodstream or brain may be exceedingly detrimental, even fatal.

Organs require oxygen to function. Without a requisite oxygen supply, brain death happens after around 4 minutes. As a result, chronic anoxia is extremely harmful, and sometimes even short-term anoxia can have negative health consequences. Grooves and cardiac arrest constitute two likely reasons for short-term anoxia.

Comparison Table Between Hypoxia and Anoxia

Parameters of ComparisonHypoxiaAnoxia
BriefHypoxia is a situation in which the entire or a part of the body lacks enough oxygen delivery at the tissue level.Anoxia happens when a central nervous system, body or brain does not receive sufficient oxygen.
TypesThe types of hypoxia are; hypoxic hypoxia, haematological hypoxia, cardiovascular hypoxia, and mixed hypoxia.Anoxia may be classified into four types: anoxic anoxia, anaemic anoxia, poisonous anoxia, and stationary or stagnant anoxia.
CausesCarbon di/mono oxide inhalation in significant quantities, asthma, strangulation, choking, cardiac arrest, etc.Drowning, choking, poisoning, suffocation for a long time, stroke, smoke inhalation, etc.
RiskIncreased oxygen deprivation raises the potential risk, causing hypoxia to transform into anoxia and resulting in the patient’s death.Anoxia is more hazardous and lethal than hypoxia since the loss of oxygen is complete.
TreatmentHypoventilation, diffusion, adding molecular oxygen in blood supply, direct mask and nebulizer inhalation.Physical and speech therapies, ventilation (long or short term depending upon oxygen requirements), medical routine.

What is Hypoxia?

Hypoxia is a clinical word that denotes the failure to manage normal living activities due to a lack of adequate oxygen. The severity of hypoxia might vary, and that can be acute or chronic. Certain tissues can withstand hypoxia for a short length of time, whereas others are seriously harmed by a lack of oxygen.

Hypoxia is often used interchangeably with hypoxemia. Hypoxemia is a medical word that refers to reduced oxygen saturation in the bloodstream. Hypoxia can occur in a variety of tissues and organs as a result of hypoxia.

Clinical manifestations include:

  1. changes in skin color (contusions);
  2. breathlessness, fast breathing;
  3. cough, whistling;
  4. palpitations; and
  5. vertigo and perspiration.

Trekking or high heights can make you experience generalized hypoxia, which produces altitude sickness and nausea and possibly deadly consequences such as high elevation pulmonary edema (HAPE) and high altitude fluid overload.

Hypoxia can also develop in healthy people when they inhale mixes of gases with low oxygen content, such as diving undersea, particularly when utilizing closed-circuit; prior research has indicated systems that regulate the quantity of oxygen in the air supplied. Mild, non-harmful intermittent hypoxic tendencies are deliberately employed during altitude training to establish an aerobic endurance adaptation at both the circulatory and cellular levels.

What is Anoxia?

Anoxia is a medicinal word that describes the state in which the organism or sections of it lose all oxygen levels. Anoxia is typically caused by hypoxia. Anoxia impairs the performance of organs that require oxygen to operate, such as the heart, liver, brain, and many physiological tissues. Chronic oxygen deficiency is exceedingly dangerous and can be fatal.

Anoxia is particularly damaging to the brain. It can be irreversibly damaged by a few minutes of anoxia. A full absence of oxygen damages brain cells and interferes with brain processes. Longer periods of anoxia are more likely to result in long-term problems and mortality.

A range of tests may be performed by your doctor to find whether any signs you are experiencing are connected to hypoxia or anoxia. Blood testing, imaging studies, and central nervous tests can all offer information on the source and outcome of hypoxia and anoxia. Among the useful tests are:

  1. A neuroimaging scan will provide you with very detailed pictures of your brain and nervous system.
  2. A functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scan will be performed to see how the mind reacts and performs throughout individual behaviors.
  3. A CT scan to obtain an outline of your brain electroencephalography (EEG), which is a test of electromagnetic brain activity.

Main Differences Between Hypoxia and Anoxia

  1. Hypoxia is a partial lack of oxygen in the body whereas anoxia is a complete loss of oxygen in the body.
  2. Hypoxia leads to anoxia if not fully treated but, anoxia can never lead to hypoxia.
  3. Hypoxia cannot be monitored in a CT scan whereas, in anoxia, a CT scan proves to be very useful.
  4. Several types of Hypoxia are; hypoxic hypoxia, hematological hypoxia, cardiovascular hypoxia, and mixed hypoxia whereas, types of anoxia are; anoxic anoxia, anemic anoxia, poisonous anoxia, and stationary or stagnant anoxia.
  5. Hypoxia has less risk and life-threatening than anoxia which can immediately cause the death of a person.


Hypoxic-anoxic head trauma can have long-term consequences. As earlier you detect the signs of hypoxia or anoxia as well as receive therapy, the more likely you are to recuperate from the harm or consequences of oxygen starvation.

In rare situations, your powers may never be entirely returned to their pre-accident levels. However, there are several choices for treatment and assistance while people try to handle everyday life following an anoxic accident. Consult your doctor about the various alternatives accessible to you.


  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/hypoxemia#types
  2. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320585
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