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Doctor insights on: The Normal Oximeter Levels While Exercising

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Is it normal for my oxygen levels to fall From 99 to 91 when walking/ exercising with pulse oximeter?

Is it normal for my oxygen levels to fall From 99 to 91 when walking/ exercising with pulse oximeter?

Not Normal: Usually a persons O2 sat should increase or stay same w mild-mod exercise. Do U have HX of smoking or asthma? Even so, UR fall in O2 sat is rather signif. Maybe sat meter not work prop when walking. Way to test: check UR pulse manually w wrist & watch w UR meter. If unsure a Cardiologist/Pulmon can place U on Treadmill & obtain O2 sat. UR finding suggest lung prob. I know not any other HX. See MD. ...Read more

Oximeter (Definition)

It is a device that measures the amount of oxygen in the blood stream. A sensor is placed over a finger and measurements are taken and recorded by the device. It does not ...Read more


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Why would my oxygen levels fall from 99 to 87 when exercising. I'm using a pulse oximeter.?

Why would my oxygen levels fall from 99 to 87 when exercising. I'm using a pulse oximeter.?

Lung condition: The lowered reading can be an error, depending on the quality of your pulse oximter. If the reading is valid then it may reflect a problem with your lungs or circulation - conditions such as asthma, COPD, pneumonia, and heart failure are common causes, but there are many others. ...Read more

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Normal oxygen saturation level on pulse oximeter?

Normal oxygen saturation level on pulse oximeter?

Normal for what?: At sea level at rest in a healthy person, between 95-99%, depending on the instrument. ...Read more

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Will panic normally cause sudden drop in oxygen saturation levels? With sudden pulse of 144, oximeter went from 95% to 83%. Is that a normal reaction?

Will panic normally cause sudden drop in oxygen saturation levels? With sudden pulse of 144, oximeter went from 95% to 83%. Is that a normal reaction?

Not normal!: I don't know of "normal" reactions to panic. But something was not right to have those vital sign extremes. See a doctor to for an exam and report those stats. A feeling of panic can be a symptom itself, especially if there was no environmental or pre-cursor emotional horror to cause it. If your cardio system is ok, get a referral to a psychotherapist w/ excellent anxiety-panic tx skills. Best wis. ...Read more

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If someone is having a heart attack. Would the pulse oximeter show an oxygen sat level below normal range?

If someone is having a heart attack. Would the pulse oximeter show an oxygen sat level below normal range?

Not necessarily: If the heart attack is huge, the heart will not pump effectively and blood will not circulate normally, causing a low oxygen saturation. More commonly, the heart attack will be smaller and the heart will continue to pump effectively enough to get blood to the lungs and then to the body, keeping the oxygen saturation normal. ...Read more

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How do pulse oximeters work to measure spo2 levels?

How do pulse oximeters work to measure spo2 levels?

Measure light: When hemoglobin in blood carries oxygen it is a slightly different shape than when not carrying oxygen. Different shape causes different absorption of light at very specific wavelengths. Two wavelengths of light (visible red 660 nm and infrared 905 nm) are shone through your skin and absorbance is measured. Ratio between oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin is calculated. Displayed as a %. ...Read more

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During exercise, what's the normal oximeter readings?

During exercise, what's the normal oximeter readings?

Normal: Normally, there should be no change in pulse oximetry with exercise. If your pulse oximetry reading is in the high 90s or 100% at rest it should stay at that level.
Dropping pulse oximetry with exercise occurs with some lung diseases and some cardiac conditions. ...Read more

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I feel breathless even when my oxygen level are at 98 or 97 on the oximeter, what may be the causes?

Many possibilities: %oxygen saturation doesn't correlate well to a person's degree of breathlessness or its causes. Shortness of breath or "dyspnea" can be due to lung, heart, kidney, or blood cell problems. It is commonly caused as well by lack of stamina and conditioning such as in patients who live very sedentary lifestyles. Of course, smoking is a huge risk factor. You need good physical examination. ...Read more

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What does it mean when oximeter reads normal despite long-term dyspnea? Which diseases/processes does it rule out?

What does it mean when oximeter reads normal despite long-term dyspnea? Which diseases/processes does it rule out?

Severe ones: Rarely does one have low oximeter reading in asthma- even in severe attacks. Certainly the oximetry reading may even go up with hyperventilation which gives you a sense of dyspnea In severe lung tissue disease (emphysema, interstitial lung disease, and COPD) as well as cardiac failure or shunting, the oximetry can get quite low. Oximetry is better used as an assessment than a diagnostic tool ...Read more

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Feeling tired and sob ddimer and heart workup normal. Happened to check ox with oximeter and it was 75, then 94, but came up to 98. Oximeter wrong?

Feeling tired and sob ddimer and heart workup normal. Happened to check ox with oximeter and it was 75, then 94, but came up to 98. Oximeter wrong?

It's unclear, but...: Another cause of fatigue and SOB can be anemia, so a blood test for that would also be recommended. Regarding the pulse ox, if you got subsequent readings immediately after in the 90's, the 75 was likely an outlier and not correct. When checking pulse ox, make sure fingers are warm, placement is correct, and no nail polish is present, as all these things can cause an incorrect reading. ...Read more

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I have asthma and a pulse oximeter. I use it to check when I get an asthma attack. What Spo2 is normal? So I know when to go to the ER. I am 25.

I have asthma and a pulse oximeter. I use it to check when I get an asthma attack. What Spo2 is normal? So I know when to go to the ER. I am 25.

When it gets worse: I agree with Dr Grieve that pulse oximetry is useless in monitoring asthma. The rule of thumb is symptoms. If you are waking up at night from asthma more than 2x/wk, using your rescue inhaler nearly daily, or the breathing is getting progressive worse, you need to see your doctor. Lung function monitoring helps but the readings do not always correlate with severity of your asthma. ...Read more

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Oximeter is giving a reading of 92 with a pulse of 103 for a 3 year old that has asthma while asleep after xopenex (levalbuterol). Is this normal? Is oxygen too low?

Oximeter is giving a reading of 92 with a pulse of 103 for a 3 year old that has asthma while asleep after xopenex (levalbuterol). Is this normal? Is oxygen too low?

See below: A pulse ox of 92% indicates a moderate asthma attack. Pulse is normal. More importantly is wether or not your child is responding to treatment. Proper treatment can prevent the attack from becoming severe with a pulse ox <90%. You want to prevent that. CALL YOUR PEDIATRICIAN FOR ADVICE. If unable to reach he/she have your child evaluated in ER/EC ...Read more

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In ER w/ numb cheek+ arm, pallor. CBC + EKG normal. Oximeter showed 99% sat. BUT venous gas blood O2 saturation LOW at 0.34 (ref. Range 0.5-0.8). WHY?

In ER w/ numb cheek+ arm, pallor. CBC + EKG normal. Oximeter showed 99% sat. BUT venous gas blood O2 saturation LOW at 0.34 (ref. Range 0.5-0.8). WHY?

Extraction or anemia: The oximeter only shows the amt of oxygen binding of the existing hemoglobin in the ARTERIES. JUST BECAUSE UR SATS R FINE DOESN'T MEAN EVERYTHING IS FINE. This is a common mistake even docs make. In ur case, the VENOUS blood has lower O2 content. It cd mean the body is using up more O2 (more extraction) d/t infx, vascular probs, smoking, etc. Or u cd be anemic. Less Hgb = lower O2 content. TTYD! ...Read more

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What is the definition or description of: oximeter?

What is the definition or description of: oximeter?

Device: It is a device that measures the amount of oxygen in the blood stream. A sensor is placed over a finger and measurements are taken and recorded by the device. It does not involve drawing any blood. ...Read more

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If yo have copd, is an oximeter a good thing to have?

If yo have copd, is an oximeter a good thing to have?

Oxygen need: If you have shortness of breath frequently and your pulmonary function tests reveal a fev1/fvc ratio as significantly low, then you should talk to your doctor about doing a home pulse oximetry test. As a screening your doctor may want to do a 6 minute walk test in the office. Doing your own oximetry is generally discouraged. ...Read more

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I have 2 pulse oximeters. How do I know which is correct if they both give different readings? (e.g. 96% on one, 89% on the other!)

I have 2 pulse oximeters. How do I know which is correct if they both give different readings? (e.g. 96% on one, 89% on the other!)

One might be wrong: Two pulsoximeters - one reading 96% and one reading 89%, indicating one probably wrong. Not sure what your home pulsoximeter is for, but if you are having symptoms of shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, please see your physician right away. 96% is pretty normal, 89% is not. ...Read more

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I am in need of a pulse oximeter. Where I can get one donated as I can not afford one?

I am in need of a pulse oximeter. Where I can get one donated as I can not afford one?

Pulse oximeter: Try freecycle in your area.
Advertise in paper
Ask Dr office to tell you if someone using one dies can you get dibs. Doctor humor here! But try it.
Thrift shop
American Lung Society.
Ask your kids/grandkids/friends to give you one for your birthday so you will be here for your next one. ...Read more

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If pulse oximeter is giving reading of 93% and goes back up to 97-99% quickly should I be alarmed? Or is it possible that the reading is false.

If pulse oximeter is giving reading of 93% and goes back up to 97-99% quickly should I be alarmed? Or is it possible that the reading is false.

Need more informatio: As to why you are checking pulse oximetry regularly. A low pulsox of 93-94% may mean brief episodes of apnea, but until those become apparent and hypoxic (O2 sat ...Read more

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If pulse oximeter is ok why would ER do abg?

If pulse oximeter is ok why would ER do abg?

Acidosis/alkalosis: Abg provides important additional information about carbon dioxide levels and acid base disorders. Crucial information in successfully managing critically ill patients. Pulse ox only gives info on oxygenation, and even this is better assessed with abg. ...Read more

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Pulse was 87 on finger pulse oximeter. Sneezed and it jumped to 131 for over a minute. What causes this? Freaking out!!!!!

Pulse was 87 on finger pulse oximeter. Sneezed and it jumped to 131 for over a minute. What causes this? Freaking out!!!!!

Why are u checking?: Why are you checking a pulse ox? I see that your past history is anxiety depression related with other medications. Assuming you've had a good physical by a doc with normal heart exam, there is no reason to be checking yourself at home. What are you most worried about? Treatment should exclude perseverating on obscure home collected data as this, and include frequent counseling 4 coping skills ...Read more

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I've had copd for years. Last week at my drs my finger oximeter reading was 84. The nurse kept changing fingers. Why? And is this a low reading?

I've had copd for years. Last week at my drs my finger oximeter reading was 84. The nurse kept changing fingers. Why? And is this a low reading?

Hypoxia: This is a quite low reading, especailly assuming you are not high in the mountains somewhere. The nurse tried different fingers to make sure it wasn't due to a localized blood circulation problem. Presumably you're in the hosptial, right? Your doctor (s) will be able to give you all the information you need. Good luck! ...Read more

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How low can my 6yo's heartrate go & he still be ok? His hr was over 100 asleep avg a month ago. Recent 80/90s with dips pretty low. Oximeter read.

How low can my 6yo's heartrate go & he still be ok? His hr was over 100 asleep avg a month ago. Recent 80/90s with dips pretty low. Oximeter read.

60's common: A sleeping rate of 60-90 is standard for the age group & drops to 50-90 around 10. Oxymetry that remains over 92% would be normal for most kids with normal lungs. Your pcp should give you guidelines if you situation calls for different expectations. ...Read more

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Have acute bronchiectasis. On spiriva for 2 weeks w/ no improvemnt. No sputum produced. 95 oximeter drops to 90 when I'm active. Will I ever improve?

Have acute bronchiectasis. On spiriva for 2 weeks w/ no improvemnt. No sputum produced. 95 oximeter drops to 90 when I'm active. Will I ever improve?

No such thing: Acute exacerbation of bronchiectasis usually means bringing up purulent (green, brown) phlegm and occasionally fever. What you describe may have other causes. The fact that your oxygen falls to such levels is dangerous, see a pulmonologist asap. ...Read more

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I have severe hormonal probs. Have been waking every 2 hours at night for 9-10 months. Recently used an oximeter and found my O2 was 64 early am. Cardio workup was perf. BP has been alt very high (Jan-Apr) and now very low, esp. Diastolic 60-. Help?

Hard question: You have clearly already seen some docs and it is hard to second guess. Poor sleep and low O2 sat suggests obstructive sleep apnea. It is unclear what you mean by "hormonal problems". The alternating high and low BP could be related to adrenal hypersecretion of adrenaline (pheochromocytoma), although this is rare. A low BP could be the opposite: adrenal failure (Addison's). ...Read more

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Can blood pressure affect pulse oximeter readings?

Can blood pressure affect pulse oximeter readings?

Not usually..: The only effect would be if the blood pressure is extremely low causing poor peripheral blood flow. In this instance, the pulse ox may be inaccurate. This could occur in shock situations. As long as the blood flow remains normal, the blood pressure will not affect pulse ox. ...Read more