One of the main questions you should ask is Can inhaling helium cause long term damage? Some people think of helium balloon as just hilarious, but they don’t know that it is a health threat. Inhaling helium (a colorless, odorless gas) will give you a high-pitched voice similar to chipmunk for a short period of time. While inhaling helium can be a crowd-pleasing party trick, it isn’t always all fun and games. Simply put, inhaling helium reduces the supply of oxygen in the body and effectively displaces it. This indicates that the body is only receiving helium rather than the oxygen required for energy production. While a single helium inhalation may cause mild dizziness, there are other hazards or side effects associated with helium inhalation.
Can inhaling helium cause long term damage?
Milder side effects include headaches and nausea, in addition to dizziness. Syncope (loss of consciousness, often known as fainting), seizures, and even comatose are more serious adverse effects. Another danger of inhaling helium is that it can seep from the lungs and become caught in the blood vessels, forming a bubble that can cause an embolism, or artery occlusion. Embolisms raise the risk of stroke and heart attack because they prevent blood from circulating through the body. Although it is still uncommon, there have been reported deaths as a result of excessive or protracted helium use, either by accident or by suicide. Anoxia, which occurs when both the brain and body are entirely deprived of oxygen and shut down as a result, was the cause of these deaths.
Aside from the obvious physical dangers of inhaling helium, it can also be addictive. While many people, as previously said, just inhale helium from a balloon to change the sound of their voices, many others do it to get high. Helium is an inhalant or volatile gas that forms a vapor that, if inhaled, can cause a high. The effects of an inhalant can be noticed within seconds after being inhaled and absorbed by the lungs, making the user feel energetic or euphoric, comparable to being intoxicated. However, because the high only lasts a few minutes, many users end up breathing helium for hours in order to maintain it, putting themselves at a far higher risk of injury or even death in the process. Helium, like many other inhalants such as nitrous oxide (commonly known as laughing gas), computer cleaner, and nitrites, is popular among youths and is often referred to as whippets, air blast, snappers, or hippy crack.
Another potential issue to consider is how helium is consumed. Because a helium tank is larger than a balloon, inhaling directly from the tank may cause more helium to fill the lungs at once, causing more oxygen to exit the body. As a result, the beginning of negative effects may be quicker, putting your son and his companion at higher risk than inhaling through a balloon, popularly known as “ballooning.” However, “ballooning” poses the same hazards as any other inhalation approach. If you’re concerned about your son’s helium use, consider putting the canister somewhere out of reach so that he and his pals don’t have such easy access to helium, regardless of their intentions.
If you want to know more, you should read How long does it take for helium to leave your body?