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Doctor insights on: Is Is Bad To Breathe Pure Oxygen

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Why is it bad to breathe pure oxygen and is it true it strips down the molecules to a single electron or what?

Why is it bad to breathe pure oxygen and is it true it strips down the molecules to a single electron or what?

It can be bad: Air is approx 80 % nitrogen and 20% oxygen. When you breath 100% oxygen it creates free radicals that act like "pacman" and destroys lung tissue. This can occur with in 6-12hours of breathing the pure oxygen. ...Read more

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Dr. Scott Bolhack
3,074 doctors shared insights

Oxygen (Definition)

Oxygen is a gas that the cells in your body need to work properly. The air we breathe normally has 21% oxygen. A maximum of 100% oxygen can be given. Babies with heart or lung problems may need ...Read more


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Is it safe to breathe pure oxygen?

Is it safe to breathe pure oxygen?

Yes and No: Breathing 100% oxygen can be harmful over time. Symptoms may include disorientation, breathing problems, and vision changes. Prolonged high oxygen doses cause damage to cell membranes and can cause seizures. However, sometimes breathing pure oxygen is necessary for treatment of carbon monoxide poisoning or in adult respiratory distress syndrome (ards). ...Read more

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My husband's had a bad cold for 3 days & for 12 hours he's felt short of breath, like he can't get enough oxygen. No chest pain. Possible causes?

My husband's had a bad cold for 3 days & for 12 hours he's felt short of breath, like he can't get enough oxygen. No chest pain. Possible causes?

Seek care : Sounds like your husband doesn't just have a cold but may have lung involvement and needs a full exam including a chest X-ray. Suggest he seek care if he is so symptomatic. A ER visit is needed. ...Read more

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Its hard for me to breathe. I get really bad headaches. Like all the time. and its really hard for me to remember stuff.. possible low oxygen levels?

Possible yes: Your symptoms could be an indicator of lower oxygen levels, however, they are also non-specific. Other explanations are also possible. I recommend you see your doctor, get a physical exam, review inhaler use, and check oxygen levels all during one visit. ...Read more

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In early preg. Was throwing up extremely bad and couldn't breathe for a few min. Could that hurt the preg/baby, since there was no oxygen?

In early preg. Was throwing up extremely bad and couldn't breathe for a few min. Could that hurt the preg/baby, since there was no oxygen?

No.: Babies can tolerate lower oxygen saturations than adults; to hurt the baby, your oxygen would have to drop to a level that would put you in intensive care or worse - we are talking several minutes of not breathing, and passing out. On the other hand, dehydration isn't good for either of you, so i hope you were able to keep some fluids down. ...Read more

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In early preg. Was throwing up extremely bad and couldn't breathe for a couple of min. Could this hurt the preg/baby? Since there was no oxygen?

Very unlikely: If you didn't pass out, you still had oxygen, which means the baby still had oxygen. For the most part, the pregnant body is designed to protect baby first. ...Read more