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Clouding of consciousness - Definition


Clouding of consciousness is a disorder of the consciousness during which the affected individual's alertness is reduced. The person is lethargic, has no reaction to external stimuli (sounds, abrupt change in lighting), and either does not respond to questions, or responds with difficulty. The level of consciousness is typically assessed by the Glasgow coma scale set to 15, which studies eye opening, speech, and movement. Clouding of consciousness can be a precomatose state and develop into a coma. It is generally due to damage to the brain or spinal cord, such as with intoxication, tumor, stroke, and so on. For diabetics, clouding of consciousness can also be caused by hypoglycemia. Treatment methods depend on the underlying cause.