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Home Monitoring Your Blood Oxygen Levels

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.


5 Responses to “Home Monitoring Your Blood Oxygen Levels”

  1. This story had some good thoughts, but I’m going to send it to my co-worker and see what they think. Cool tho!

  2. Bruce Walz says:


    I’m trying to find where I can purchase some type of 02/heartbeat monitor that I can have an actual hard copy of in my home computer, and then give it to my doctor. Cost and affordability is quite import and to me along with, being sure that I’m on this beautiful earth for many years to come so I’m not quite sure how I’m going to afford this and I’m open to any and all ideas you may have. It seems that whatever I eat or even if I don’t eat just prior to bedtime, something with my intake of food has me sleeping with my eyes open, a low respiration and possibly a very slow heart rate seems to be what’s going on and I don’t like it! I have way too many things to accomplish, finish and people to help before my time to leave is up and I want to do whatever I can to “postpone my death” for the longest time possible!

    Thank you for your time and if you can get back with me at your earliest convenience, I would appreciate it greatly.

    Best regards,

    Bruce Walz

  3. peterpulse says:

    Nice concise article, very helpful and informative. For Bruce I wish you well and hope you get to do all those things you would like. I think your doctor could best advise you although there are a few models of pulse oximeter now available which will do what you want. You want the type that straps to your wrist.The data can be recorded. These units usually come with a software package for PC so you can look at the data and view graphs etc.

  4. Fretman says:

    COPD. is this not Cronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

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