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A 56-year-old male asked:

What are the treatment options fo stage 3 copd?my oxygen saturation levels are between 92 & 98, what causes my shortenss of breath even though i have "normal" oxygen levels?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ivelisse Rivera-Godreau
Family Medicine 25 years experience
COPD: COPD is a pulmonary condition where there is obstruction of the passage of air through the airways as a result of damage to the lung tissue. Most commonly caused by tobacco smoking. Other reasons also included. What really determines the function of your lungs is a pulmonary function test and not necessarily oxygen saturation. Tx options: albuterol, ipatropium, tiotropium, combo of inhaled meds.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Sue Ferranti
Internal Medicine 30 years experience
Shortness of breath.: Your shortness of breath could be caused by an increase work of breathing. Because of the COPD, you may be working harder in order to achieve a normal oxygen level. You sense this increased work of breathing as shortness of breath. Also, if your oxygen level decreases with activity, this may lead to shortness of breath and requires oxygen therapy. A 6 minute walk test may help in diagnosis.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Saptarshi Bandyopadhyay
Hospital-based practice 22 years experience
Shortness of breath is felt more from an increase in CO2 (Air trapping by a diseased lung) than from low oxygen. Thus you can be short of breath even with a normal oxygen level. PFTs (pulm function test) w/ or w/o an ABG (arterial blood gas) can also help with diagnosis & prognosis.
Jun 11, 2015
Last updated Jan 25, 2021

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