What is blood oxygen saturation?
Blood oxygen saturation is a measure of the amount of oxygen that is dissolved or carried in the blood by red blood cells. Your red blood cells carry oxygen through your arteries to your body.
What is normal blood oxygen?
Normally, when red blood cells pass through the lungs, 95%-100% of them are “saturated,” with oxygen. However, if you have respiratory disease or other medical conditions, fewer red blood cells may be carrying oxygen. This may bring your oxygen saturation level below 95%. High altitudes may also bring blood oxygen to below 95%.
How do you measure blood oxygen?
Blood oxygen saturation levels can be measured with any pulse oximeter device. A pulse oximeter is a device, usually attached to the finger, that measures the oxygen saturation of arterial blood. An estimate of your oxygen saturation is made quickly and painlessly with a pulse oximeter clip that fits on to your finger. This clip shines a light through one side of your finger and measures the light that comes through the other side. The pulse oximeter measures the amount of oxygen in the blood based on the way red blood cells carrying oxygen absorb and reflect light. Blood cells are a bright red when they are saturated with oxygen, and a bluish color when they have low oxygen levels.
What is home pulse oximetry?
Pulse oximeters are available for home use as small, handheld portable battery operated devices, that can give a reading in seconds. They are available from drug stores, pharmacy’s and on line stores. They are relatively inexpensive and range in price from from $70. Amazon.com sell a wide range of different brands.
Do I need to measure my blood oxygen saturation level?
Your doctor can advise you whether you need to monitor your blood oxygen levels. There are many reasons why people may want to monitor their blood oxygen with a pulse oximeter. Oxygen deficiency is linked to illness, including respiratory disease, cancer, and heart disease. Severe oxygen deficiency is called hypoxia. Oxygen levels may be low during recovery of an operation or a period of ill health. When in hospital, patients will have their blood oxygen monitored. You may wish to continue pulse oximetry at home whilst recovering from surgery. Blood oxygen may also be monitored for those with bronchitis, a respiratory illness or lung disease. Blood oxygen levels may drop during exercise or for pilots in unpressurized aircraft. Oxygen levels can also be low in the elderly and in those with sleep apnea or sleep related breathing disorders or COPD. (Chronic Obstructive Coronary Disease)
What are symptoms of oxygen deficiency?
The initial symptoms of oxygen deficiency include: fatigue, dizziness, depression, irritability, circulation problems, memory loss, overall body weakness, acid stomach, muscle aches, poor digestion, increased infections, tumors, and lowered immunity to cold, flu, and infection.