Quick Look at Oxygen Saturation

Posted by Jessica Hegg on

trees_title Oxygen Saturation

We all want peace of mind when it comes to monitoring our health.

The first step...

KNOW YOUR STUFF!

Low oxygen saturation can be an extremely dangerous situation and when your blood isn't carrying sufficient oxygen; your brain, liver, and other vital organs are at risk to being damaged.

Normal oxygen saturation ranges between 95%-100%
Readings of 92% or less are considered low oxygen levels and suggest hypoxemia 

Hypoxemia (medical jargon for "low oxygen levels")

Hypoxemia, or hypoxia, is the condition in which there are inadequate levels of oxygen within your blood and means that there is a problem related to your circulation or breathing

Acute Hypoxemia:

This means it occurs suddenly due to an emergency, or other existing chronic health condition

Chronic Hypoxemia:

A chronic case of hypoxemia occurs when low oxygen saturation lasts for a significant period of time, and the signs and symptoms often vary in severity and duration.

Signs You May Have Low Oxygen Saturation:

  • Dizziness or fainting

  • Confusion

  • Increased heart rate 

  • Shortness of breath

  • Blurred/Impaired vision

  • Cough/Wheezing

  • Changes in skin color

When to Seek Emergency Care:

Some hypoxemia symptoms can be very dangerous and even life threatening.  If you experience severe shortness of breath brought on suddenly along with the inability to function, or shortness of breath accompanied by coughing, rapid heartbeat, and fluid retention, and especially at high elevations, you could be experiencing signs of a pulmonary edema. Medical attention is needed immediately. This occurs when fluid leaks from the blood vessels in your lungs and could be fatal.

Health Factors Contributing to Low Oxygen:

Arrhythmias > irregular heart rate
Polycythemia > increased number of red blood cells and occurs slower over a period of time
Pulmonary Hypertension > High blood pressure specifically within the lungs.
COPD > Lung diseases that inhibit airflow and make it difficult to breathe
Asthma > Blocked airway caused by inflammation

After diagnosis:

If you are diagnosed with chronic shortness of breath, there are steps that need to be implemented to control it or keep it at bay:

  • Routine exercise

This may seem a little contradictory, but it's important in increasing your health. Building up your endurance through exercise can improve your overall strength and condition of your lungs.

  • At Home Monitoring

This is the best way to keep track of your health.  With charting and tracking your readings, you can easily identify any abnormal findings.  

Utilizing a pulse oximeter at home is easy.  Fingertip oximeters are small and extremely convenient to use.  

Easy to store and easy to travel. The best pulse oximeter will come equipped with all the necessary features to make sure you're getting accurate results. Since health conditions vary, look for one with customizable settings to alert you of abnormal readings.

    low oxygen level infograph

     

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    • Nice piece of info, thank you for bringing this knowledge to the world!

      Alex on

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