Top 5 Agent Orange Symptoms Explained in Layman Terms

What Is Agent Orange

If you have heard of the Vietnam War before, then you must have also heard of Agent Orange symptoms. Although the name may sound enticing to you, Agent Orange is actually a noxious substance. It was formed from the combination of the names given for herbicides and defoliants (Herbicide Orange, HO and Agent LNX) by the American military.

Manufactured by the United States Department of Defense, it was used extensively during Operation Ranch hand in the Vietnam War. It effects were devastating. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed and maimed while hectares upon hectares of farmlands were destroyed.

How Can One Get Exposed To Agent Orange

Agent-Orange-SymptomsThere are various ways by which one can be exposed to these substances. One that has been mentioned above is during war situations where it is used by the warring factions.

However, it is also possible for one to be exposed to Agent Orange during peacetimes. This can happen during accidental leakages, explosions or during mishandling. Military personnel or those who work in chemical industries stand a greater risk of exposure.

Agent Orange Symptoms Exposed

How do you know when you have been exposed to these chemicals? How will you know or recognize the Agent Orange symptoms? These symptoms are diverse and they affect the various body systems. These are some of the most common:

  • Gastrointestinal Symptoms

The patient experiences the following: Anorexia (loss of appetite), vomiting (emesis), constipation, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea and jaundice (yellowing of the eyes, urine and skin).

  • Neurological Symptoms

These include tingling or loss of sensation in the extremities, dizziness, headaches, twitching, lack of coordination of body muscles, drowsiness or clumsiness while walking and numbness.

  • Psychiatric Symptoms

These are violent outbursts, frenzied moods, memory loss, lack of concentration, personality changes, anger, suicidal thoughts and irritability.

  • Endocrine Symptoms

There can be enlargement of the mammary glands or the breasts (this is called gynecomastia) or even excessive flow of milk from the nipples (called galactorrhea). There can also be varying degrees of sexual dysfunction.

  • Genitourinary Symptoms

These include kidney stones, burning sensation when urinating, blood appearing in the urine (hematuria), difficulty while urinating, discolored urine, bladder discomfort or even pain in the regions of the kidneys.

What Can You Do When You Have Agent Orange Symptoms

Now that you know the five most common classes of symptoms, how do you react or what do you do when you manifest one or more of these symptoms?

Well, the first thing you need to know is that you should not assume you know exactly what is wrong with you and embark on self-medication. Go to the nearest health center and seek help.

The standard mode of treatment is the management of the various symptoms as they appear.

Because of the fact that these chemicals can have lingering effects, it is very important that the affected victims pay regular visits to the health center. Pregnant women and immunocompromised people stand greater risk after exposure to the chemicals. However, having a good knowledge of these Agent Orange symptoms can help whenever the need arises.

Reference links

What are the symptoms of Agent Orange? Jackson & MacNichol