Blood oxygen level is the amount of oxygen circulating through your body. The lungs draw in oxygen and then red blood cells carry that oxygen through the body. The goal is to keep blood oxygen levels within a certain range so there is enough oxygen for every cell in the body. Therefore, a person’s blood oxygen level tells how well the oxygen is being distributed throughout the body and is an important indicator of a person’s health. A healthy person’s saturation levels typically fall between 95% and 100%.
How Do You Measure Your Blood Oxygen Level?
There are multiple ways to measure blood oxygen levels. The most accurate method is through an arterial blood gas (ABG) test. This requires a clinician to draw blood from an artery, usually in the wrist. The blood is then analyzed for blood oxygen levels and other blood gases. These results are very precise and accurate. However, the process is minimally invasive and must be done in a clinical setting.
Alternatively, a pulse oximeter is a simple clip device that is placed over the fingertip. It uses an infrared light—or calculates light absorption through a person’s pulse—to determine blood oxygen levels.
There are some restrictions that one should remember before using the pulse oximeter:
- Nail Polish
- Dirty Fingers
- Dark Skin Tone
- Bright Light
- Poor Circulation of blood
Here are two recommended pulse oximeters that may be useful to you. You can also get a variety of other pulse oximeters in our online shop and can chat with our customer support to choose which oximeter is best for you.
Our Pulse Oximeter Recommendations:
This pulse oximeter is a deluxe, portable, non-invasive method to spot-check oxygen saturation and pulse rates for adults and pediatric patients. It is not meant for continuous use. It displays SpO2, pulse rate, and pulse bar.
Weighing only 1.7 ounces with batteries, this pulse oximeter is a compact, lightweight, and durable monitor. It accommodates all finger sizes from pediatrics to adults. The device measures both pulse rate and blood oxygen saturation.
What is the Average Blood Oxygen Level?
A person’s normal or average oxygen level in the blood is 95% or more. For some people who are suffering from chronic lung disease, cardiovascular disease, or sleep apnea, the average oxygen level in blood drops to around 90%. The pulse oximeter has a screen on which the SpO2 reading is visible. The SpO2 reading shows the percentage of blood oxygen level in a person’s body. If the SpO2 reading of the pulse oximeter is lower than 95% then you should consult with a doctor.
What is a Good Oxygen Rate by Age?
The normal oxygen rate should be between 95%-100% in both children and adults. The oxygen saturation level of older adults is slightly lower than that of young adults and children. People over 70 years of age have an oxygen saturation level of around 95% which is normal for that age group. And children and infants have an oxygen saturation level of around 97% or more than that. If a person has an oxygen level below 95% then it is abnormal and if the oxygen level gets below 80% or 85% then the brain may be adversely affected.
Due to abnormal blood circulation people can have low blood oxygen levels. There are some symptoms of low blood oxygen level:
Symptoms of Low Blood Oxygen Level
- Rapid heartbeat
- Shortness of Breath
- Chest Pain
- High Blood Pressure
- Visual Disorders
- Lack of Coordination
Cause of Low Blood Oxygen Level
The low blood oxygen level is medically known as hypoxemia. Hypoxemia occurs due to:
- low oxygen levels in the air
- Lungs are not able to inhale and send oxygen all over the body
- Blood is unable to circulate to the lungs, collect oxygen, and send it all over the body
Medical (and other) conditions that can lead to hypoxemia are:
- High Altitude
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Excess fluid in the lungs
- Sleep Apnea
- Interstitial Lung Disease
When should you monitor your blood oxygen level?
For the most part, blood oxygen levels do not have to be closely monitored. However, for patients with pulmonary disease, such as COPD or asthma, it may be recommended. Patients with anemia and some heart diseases are usually monitored as well.
Keep in mind that we have to consider that a “normal” blood oxygen level may differ for patients with certain conditions. For example, COPD patients can have a normal blood oxygen level that ranges from 88% to 92%, depending on the patient’s current stage. A patient with asthma’s normal blood oxygen level can be 95% to 100% when not suffering an asthma attack. Therefore, it is important that you discuss your normal blood oxygen level with your physician.
What happens when your blood oxygen level drops?
Typically, when blood oxygen levels fall, it is necessary to determine why the drop occurred and how to get the levels back to normal. When a patient is having an asthma attack, the lungs’ airways become swollen and constricted. Inhaled respiratory medication, such as albuterol, may be needed to reduce inflammation and opens up the airways. Many patients carry a “rescue inhaler,” which requires a level of coordination that may be difficult to focus on while you are going through a shortness of breath episode.
Nebulizer compressor machines can help provide a more definitive distribution of medicine and required less coordination. Recently, mesh nebulizers have become increasingly popular. They are compact, portable, easy to drop in your pocket or purse, and deliver quicker treatments than traditional nebulizers.
Our Nebulizer Recommendations:
Fast, effective, and easy-to-use, the Philips Respironics InnoSpire Go uses mesh technology to create an aerosol mist and deliver medication deep into the lungs. A treatment takes only 4 minutes. The rechargeable battery delivers up to 30 treatments when fully charged. It is designed for both adults and children and can be used with or without a LifeTouch mask.
Using whisper-quiet technology, the Flyp’s internal disks vibrate at ultrasonic speed to create a fine, aerosol mist. The device is smaller and lighter than a smartphone and delivers treatment in 7 minutes. The Flyp can be used for kids or adults and is FAA-approved for use in flight.
How Can Supplemental Oxygen Help?
A COPD patient may also suffer from episodes of shortness of breath. This can be alleviated with inhaled respiratory medication. Depending on the stage of the disease, a patient may also require the use of supplemental oxygen for part or all of the day. Oxygen concentrators filter oxygen from room air to provide extra oxygen to patients who need it. Home concentrators are intended for at-home use and require being power from a wall outlet.
Our Home Oxygen Concentrator Recommendations:
The new Inogen At Home is the lightest, quietest, and most energy-efficient 5 LPM continuous flow oxygen concentrators. At only 18 lbs, it is half the weight of other home concentrators and runs on very low power consumption levels.
With a sound level of 40 decibels, the ultra-quiet stationary oxygen concentrator reduces noise complaints. At 31 lbs, the EverFlo is small, lightweight, and affordable.
For those looking to use oxygen outside of their home, portable oxygen concentrators run on AC, DC, or battery power. Smaller than home concentrators, they are easy to take on the go and FAA-approved for use in flight. It is important to make sure the portable concentrator can accommodate your prescribed setting.
Our Portable Oxygen Concentrator Recommendations:
Weighing 20 lbs, this 3-liter concentrator offers both continuous flow and pulse dose settings. The machine offers integrated pulse dose oxygen conserving technology, offering a more efficient system with increased comfort. This device is FAA-approved.
This 2.8 lb compact device delivers 24/7 oxygen therapy in a pulse dose setting. The shared intelligence delivery technology detects your breath to deliver oxygen with accuracy. The machine is powered by AC or DC power or can be battery-operated. This device is FAA-approved.
Is Too Much Oxygen Bad?
Oxygen, like any medication, should only be used as prescribed. In some cases, particularly in patients with COPD, too much oxygen can be detrimental.
At The Oxygen Concentrator Supplies Shop, our knowledgeable team is here to help you stay active and enjoy your life. We have done the research and are here to help you find the products that best suit your needs. Give us a call at 888-941-1688.