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Doctor insights on: O2 Levels

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Dr. Scott Bolhack
3,115 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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I feel like my o2 level is low, what can I do?

Seek care: There are quick finger sensors in ers that can measure the o2 level right away. There are arterial blood tests that can give you a more accurate measurement. Clinically, the victim of hypoxia may feel confused, dizzy, anxious, have shortness of breath and at worst, begin to get blue in the area around the mouth (central cyanosis). ...Read more

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When active my o2 level will drop to 85. Do I have time to get oxygen?

When active my o2 level will drop to 85. Do I have time to get oxygen?

Maybe: Medicare will pay for oxygen when your saturation drops below 90% if you feel short of breath, have chest pain, dizziness, rapid pulse or any other symptoms you should be evaluated by a physician. ...Read more

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Why would my o2 levels drop from 98% to 83% when I'm resting?

Why would my o2 levels drop from 98% to 83% when I'm resting?

Medical Attention...: You really should seek medical attention. Assuming the device you are reading your saturations on is accurate this could be the sign of cardiac or pulmonary problems. Sometimes when oxygen levels fall at rest the device (pulse oximeter) that reads the saturations is erroneous (ie needing a new battery, calibration, etc). I would advise seeing your health care provider. ...Read more

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Could you explain what is a normal o2 level for a 7 month old?

Expect > 94%: The expected value is above 94% but usually runs 98-100%. Continuous monitoring sensors can have a hard time picking up the level if the kid is moving a lot. ...Read more

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Do people with dyspnea have low o2 level?

Do people with dyspnea have low o2 level?

Not always: Dyspnea is just breathlessness and can be due to lung or cardiac problems, from deconditioning, obesity or even anxiety problems. ...Read more

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Treatment for atelectasis due to which o2 levels are low?

Treatment for atelectasis due to which o2 levels are low?

Need more expansion: Atalectasis happens when the lungs aren't expanding enough to allow the alveoli to open adequately. The proper function of alveoli is needed to take in enough and release enough carbon dioxide. This is common to see after a surgery, for example. Your doctor may recommend special breathing exercises - or ventilator adjustments - to help. LGromkoMD ...Read more

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I have O2 level of 95 at sea level. It is down to 88 or 90 at 7200 feet. Is this ok? Just on vacation 7200.

I have O2 level of 95 at sea level. It is down to 88 or 90 at 7200 feet. Is this ok? Just on vacation 7200.

Go slow: At your age you do not have much reserve to stay at low oxygen without risking adequate circulation (Oxygen) to your heart and brain.
You can get altitude sickness which causes headaches, nausea, vomiting and fatigue.
Do not exert yourself excessively. Return to lower altitudes as soon as possible. ...Read more

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I have O2 level of 95 at sea level. It is down to 88 or 90 at 7200 feet. Is this ok? Just on vacation 7200.

I have O2 level of 95 at sea level. It is down to 88 or 90 at 7200 feet. Is this ok? Just on vacation 7200.

Desaturation: A level of 88 to 90 is low and usually if a person would come in an urgent care or ER with saturation of 88 to 90 would place them on oxygen, check a CXR. Were you short of breath? You could also get pulmonary edema- fluid in your lung / altitude sickness. Diamox might help as well. I would discuss travel to 7200 feet with a pulmonologist before your next trip. ...Read more

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Would o2 levels be normal on a stress test if someone had copd?

Would o2 levels be normal on a stress test if someone had copd?

COPD and stress test: It depends on the "severity" of your copd. Some people are obstructed but have no problem with their oxygen level. You cannot rule out COPD or emphysema just based on a stress test. You can say that if you had copd, it is not that severe since your oxygen remained normal. To rule out copd, one has to undergo pft or pulmonary function tests which would let us know if your airways are obstructed. ...Read more

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I'm driving myself into anxiety attacks because of my O2 levels. While at my desk at work, it's 98 and at home, it varies from 91-95. I feel ok though?

I'm driving myself into anxiety attacks because of my O2 levels. While at my desk at work, it's 98 and at home, it varies from 91-95. I feel ok though?

Relax: It might be some allergic issues in your home that differ from the work place, but there is no reason to worry unless it is below 90% for long periods of time. If you smoke - quit. Overweight? lose some. Consider better dust removal and air filters at home. You're not too low - don't worry. ...Read more

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Hi, I have just recently found out that my 8 year old son has a low O2 level when at physical therapy. It dropped down between 75-80 during his 45 min?

Cardiac shunt: There are many causes for low O2. At his age a congenital cardiac shunt such as a septal defect is a possibility. I would recommend consultation at a major center. ...Read more

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I feel like I'm not getting enough air but my o2 level is 97 could it be because of 6 mm semisolid nodule in upper left lung?

Air??: If there was a blockage you wouldn't expect your ox level to be that high, I would definitely consult with you dr. What is that semisolid nodule? Are they wanting to remove it? ...Read more

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What are the best breathing exercises for chronic hyperventilation syndrome? I need to restore normal co2 and o2 levels in my lungs. It's very hard.

What are the best breathing exercises for chronic hyperventilation syndrome? I need to restore normal co2 and o2 levels in my lungs. It's very hard.

Earlier answer: Treat the anxiety problem to decrease hyperventilation and do frequent rebreathing in a paper bag like a lunch bag to increase co2. The only other way would be to increase the precursor of co2 which is bicarbonate (sodium bicarbonate) by taking calcium carbonate (tums) or acetate. ...Read more

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For a 6yo asthmatic/bpd with mild/mod cold symptoms, is it acceptable to drop o2 levels into 80s nightly? Usu resolveswith reposition but some awaken.

For a 6yo asthmatic/bpd with mild/mod cold symptoms, is it acceptable to drop o2 levels into 80s nightly? Usu resolveswith reposition but some awaken.

Asthma flare: No that is not acceptable. Repositioning and coughing is likely helping to clear some of the mucus, mucus plugs, or improve air/blood exchange due to mismatch. Does this correct to 94 percent or above or does it merely improve it to 90-93 percent? I recommend seeing your pediatrician or asthma specialist. ...Read more

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Put on 2 steroids and antibiotic for severe asthma/chronic sinusitis. O2 levels dropped 97 to 79 just walking. Can I drink coffee while on steroids?

Put on 2 steroids and antibiotic for severe asthma/chronic sinusitis. O2 levels dropped 97 to 79 just walking. Can I drink coffee while on steroids?

Uncontrolled severe: Persistent asthma, is what you described, you need more rigorous treatment and follow up, you might need more meds, need to limit your activity for now and avoid all known triggers, steroids can cause gastric inflammation/irritation, you may want to have some gut prophylaxis as well (ranitidine or pantoprazole), please see your doctor again asap and keep close follow up to avoid ER /hospitalization ...Read more

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Is it ok to stop using oxygen? I've been using supplemental oxygen since my lung surgery 4 months ago. My o2 levels are now in the upper 90's, heart

Is it ok to stop using oxygen? I've been using supplemental oxygen since my lung surgery 4 months ago. My o2 levels are now in the upper 90's, heart

Not until evaluated: By your doctor. You should be re-access under the supervision of you doctor to make sure than you don't desaturate and become hypoxic. ...Read more

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What is o2 saturation level?

Oxygen in the blood: Oxygen saturation is the percentage of the hemoglobin (the part of the red blood cell that carries oxygen through the blood)that is carrying oxygen. ...Read more

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Can one have an asthma attack with a normal peak flow reading equal to 90% or higher along with normal o2/PR level? This seems to be an ongoing issue.

Can one have an asthma attack with a normal peak flow reading equal to 90% or higher along with normal o2/PR level? This seems to be an ongoing issue.

Unlikely asthma: You may probably have VCD, Vocal Cord Dysfunction, a condition that mimics asthma, but peak flow readings would be normal, there are some other subtle clinical differences too. Spirometry with inspiratory curve would be diagnistic / upper airways endoscopy (visualization of the vocal cords), treatment is different, you may want to see your asthma specialist and ENT specialist, good luck ...Read more

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82 yr old o2 saturation level was more than 95% on ventilater but after removeing ventilater her o2 saturation drop up to 30% will she recover?

82 yr old o2 saturation level was more than 95% on ventilater but after removeing ventilater her o2 saturation drop up to 30% will she recover?

Depends: The cause of desaturation is the main way to tell the prognosis. She is on a ventilator so she is sick. But what is the cause? It also depends on the length of time she has been ill, the degree of settings of the ventilator. It is difficult to make a prediction without these informations. ...Read more

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Would low O2 saturation levels at night below 90 for 2 to 3 hours with Cpap result from breast cancer radiation? Normal lung function, chest X-ray

Would low O2 saturation levels at night below 90 for 2 to 3 hours with Cpap result from breast cancer radiation? Normal lung function, chest X-ray

Probably not: Radiation damage to the lung can be detected functionally on pulmonary function tests. If your pulmonary function tests are completely normal, it would be unlikely that radiation lung damage was the cause of the fall in 02 saturation. ...Read more

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At what level of o2 is it important for me to go to the hospital if I have copd?

At what level of o2 is it important for me to go to the hospital if I have copd?

clinical symptoms: Worsening signs and symptoms extremely short of breath, using accessory muscles of respiration, wheezing, smothering sensation in the chest, rapid respirations, or very shallow braething. These are more important than o2 saturation. Less than 88% is generally considered low in a COPD patient. ...Read more

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Son oxygen level drops when sleeps, why?

Son oxygen level drops when sleeps, why?

Monitor: There are many continuous so2 devices to monitor oxygen during the night. Even on the iphone. Check them out and discuss with your lung doc asap. ...Read more

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How long can you live with 80% oxygen levels?

Oxygne: Normal healthy oxygen levels are above 95%, but people with chronic lung disease can slowly drop their levels to 80% but fatigue and shortness of breath are likely and activity will be limited without supplemental oxygne. ...Read more

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Is thisnormal oxygen level 96 to 97 for my age?

Yes: A typical oxygen saturation level for most people your age would be 95% or higher; however, if you are having shortness of breath or any other concerning symptoms, you should see a physician, as this number doesn't tell us everything that is going on. ...Read more