How to Check Oxygen Level at Home: Important Facts

Pulse Oximeter Advice

How to Check Oxygen Level at Home Important Facts
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How to check oxygen level at home? Well, checking oxygen level means measuring the number of oxygen levels in our blood. It is important for your body to maintain the ideal level of blood oxygen level or your body may be prone to certain health issues.

Although it is not recommended by doctors for most adults or children to keep track of their oxygen levels, it is vital to monitor your oxygen level if your body is showing frequent signs of chest pain and shortness of breath.

It is usually people who suffer from chronic health conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma or heart disease, that have to constantly keep track of their oxygen level as this usually helps doctors and patients determine whether their treatments are working or if it needs further adjustments.

In most cases, people usually schedule a meeting with their family doctor to get an insight into their oxygen level situation. But in emergency situations, you don’t always have to rush to a doctor due to the fact that there are ways you can check your oxygen level at home also.

How to Check Oxygen Level at Home

Pulse Oximeter

Much like the handheld pulse oximeters used in medical facilities, a portable finger pulse oximeter also exists, and it can be used at home easily. The small clip-like device offers a noninvasive method for measuring and monitoring the amount of oxygen present in our blood. This is usually done by reflecting light from the device into capillaries of your finger. Then the amount of light that’s reflected back is measured using microprocessors in the device.

The device is surprisingly accurate for its size and accessibility. However, its readings are not absolute; there is a margin or error of 2 percent. This means the figure could be 2 percent higher or lower than your actual oxygen level present in your blood.

Although this test is slightly inaccurate, it is very easy for doctors to determine your oxygen level accurately. In fact, you can do it yourself—it’s that easy. Despite the margin of error, the device is considered extremely important emergency situations.

It is important to note that certain factors may also trigger the readings of the pulse oximeter, such as black nail polish or cold extremities. This can cause your oxygen readings to appear rather low.

The portable finger pulse oximeter can be easily found online, or any health marts near your place.

Where Your Oxygen Blood Level Should Fall

The measurement process of blood oxygen is known as pulse oximetry. In medical language, you may hear doctors call it PaO2 on a blood gas test, and an O2 sat when using a pulse oximeter at the hospital. If you’re worried about what your results mean, read on.

Oxygen level for healthy lungs varies between 80 and 100 millimeters of mercury (mmHg); however, this does not apply to people suffering from COPD or other lung or heart disease. Since normal oxygen levels vary for different diseases, it is important to consult your doctor in order to identify what is normal for a certain condition. For instance, according to doctors, it is not considered uncommon for people who suffer from chronic pulmonary diseases to maintain their oxygen concentration levels around 88 and 92 percent.

When oxygen levels fall below the normal level, you are at risk of a condition known as hypoxemia. Hypoxemia is usually the reason for lower oxygen level in most patients. If the hypoxemia condition is severe in patients, it can lead to complications in different organs in the body.

A PaO2 reading that is less than 80 mmHg or 95 percent oxygen concentration is usually considered low by most physicians. It is crucial for you to identify the correct oxygen level according to your condition so it can be dealt with accordingly.

Assess Signs and Symptoms

It is also important to learn how to assess signs and symptoms of low oxygen levels. For a person suffering from a chronic disease, it is vital for him to learn the sign and symptoms, along with the family members that live with him in case of an emergency situation. This is also why you should know how to check oxygen level at home.

Two main symptoms of low oxygen levels are rapid heart and breathing rates. Although a normal heart rate is said to be 60–100 beats per minute and a normal breathing rate are 12–20 breaths per minute, under certain conditions, it is normal for your pulse and respiratory rate to change. If the environment has low oxygen levels, your body may respond by increasing your heart rate and speeding up your breathing rate.

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