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Doctor insights on: What Does It Mean When Your Oxygen Level Is Low

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Please explain what it means if you have low oxygen levels?

Please explain what it means if you have low oxygen levels?

Oxygen: The normal o2 in the blood is calculated as that which should be calculated by knowing the lung, the age, water vapor pressure, etc. Very complicated. For our purposes, we set at that oxygen which will give us a saturation of hemoglobin at least 90% in the arteries. If it is lower than that it is low. ...Read more

Dr. Scott Bolhack
3,112 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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What does it mean if you have low oxygen levels in your blood tests?

What does it mean if you have low oxygen levels in your blood tests?

Lung disease: Is the commonest reason for a low level of oxygen in the blood. It can also happen in heart disease if the heart is failing and fluid builds up in otherwise-healthy lungs, or if there is a hole in the heart, causing blood to bypass the right heart circulation into the lungs and skip picking up oxygen there. These are examples of some common causes. Smoking, high altitude=examples of lung reasons. ...Read more

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Prior ENT exam saw no obstruction relating to sleep apnea. Today diagnosed with/apnea & low oxygen level. Does this mean I have central sleep apnea?

Prior ENT exam saw no obstruction relating to sleep apnea. Today diagnosed with/apnea & low oxygen level. Does this mean I have central sleep apnea?

Sleep Study: A sleep physician will order a sleep study that will clarify your condition. CPAP is the usual initial treatment, but your sleep physician will be the one to decide what course of treatment to follow. Low O2 is a serious condition which requires immediate treatment so don't delay. ...Read more

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What does it mean if oxygen saturation level is low in a lung cancer patient?

What does it mean if oxygen saturation level is low in a lung cancer patient?

Several: Pneumonia and shunting.
Fluid in chest.
Air leak and pneumo.
Diffuse metastasis.

Frequently also superimposed on emphysema from smoking. ...Read more

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What would happen if oxygen levels fell too low?

What would happen if oxygen levels fell too low?

Low oxygen: How low is too low? At 55% and low loss of consciousness and cardiopulmonary failure. ...Read more

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Oxygen levels in upper 80's while on oxygen what does mean?

Need more oxygen: Oxygen saturation should be higher you need higher flow and or other treatment to address low oxygen. Could be a lung/ heart problem or combination. Low oxygen is not good for the body most organs get affected and do not function properly. Talk to you doctor. ...Read more

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Are low blood oxygen levels normal?

High is good.: Well you would anticipate 95 to 100% oxygen saturation for a young healthy adult. The lower the oxygen saturation the more concern. ...Read more

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What's a low oxygen level in general?

What's a low oxygen level in general?

92 % plus....: In all patients, but certainly in post op patients, we'd like to see oxygen saturation of at least 92%. Supplemental oxygen may be necessary, at least for a short time. Good pulmonary toilet and breathing exercises are also employed. Good luck. ...Read more

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What exactly does it mean if you have high oxygen levels in your blood?

Ambient air is about: 21% o2, and healthy lungs produce a po2 of 80-100%. Babies in nicu's treated with 100% due to respiratory immaturity could get pulmonarty and retro lentar fibrosis. One does not do well with higher levels of o2. Like goldylocks, not too little, not too much: just right. ...Read more

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What causes low oxygen level in the blood?

What causes low oxygen level in the blood?

Many things...: Many things can cause a low oxygen level in the blood: so many, in fact, that I don't have enough room here to name them all.

Here are some common causes: pneumonia; heart failure; clots to the lungs; emphysema; asthma.

Hope this helps... ...Read more

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What causes low oxygen levels after surgery?

What causes low oxygen levels after surgery?

Atelectasis: Sometimes, there can be parts of the lung not fully inflated called atelectasis. This could cause low oxygen levels and can be reversed by taking deep breaths. This type of lung exercise can be done using something called an incentive spirometer, and walking around. Hope this helps! ...Read more

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What fixes low oxygen level at night?

What fixes low oxygen level at night?

Depends on cause...: Most often, this is related to obstructive sleep apnea. This is when your airway becomes "floppy" while sleeping. The airway closes and no air can pass into the lungs. Therefore, the oxygen level drops. Using oxygen at night won't fix the problem if this is related to sleep apnea. You will need a special machine that increases the pressure in your airway while sleeping. See a sleep doctor. ...Read more

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Can the body adapt to low oxygen levels?

Can the body adapt to low oxygen levels?

Yes: Think about americans who live in denver, sherpas that live in tibet, & the maya in south america. These are populations of people who have become accustomed in one way or another to a lower atmospheric oxygen level, and in the mayans a lower blood oxygen level. Another sea-level example would be a person with emphysema who may run a blood oxygen level of 88% and still be walking around home depot. ...Read more

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What does it mean if your oxygen in your blood is low?

What does it mean if your oxygen in your blood is low?

Low blood oxygen: The normal blood oxygen saturation level is 92% to 100%. Below 92% it is low saturation. The more it goes below 90% and 80% the problems with kidney, heart and brain start ending into cardiopulmonary failure. ...Read more

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What is considered too low for oxygen levels in the blood?

What is considered too low for oxygen levels in the blood?

Hypoxemia: Oxygen level in the blood should be >90 mmhg, it gets slightly lower with advancing age, any level lower than expected should be investigated. ...Read more

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How low does yur oxygen level have to be to have a headache?

See below: Low oxygen does not usually cause headaches. On the flip side, oxygen supplementation often relieves headaches because increasing oxygen causes the blood vessels in the brain to constrict, often improving symptoms. Low oxygen mainly causes shortness of breath and dizziness. ...Read more

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What is the definition or description of: very low oxygen level?

Depends: This really depends on the patient. For normal patient who does not smoke very low oxygen level could be defined as an oxygen saturation less than 88% or a partial pressure of oxygen measured in blood gas less than 60 mmhg. For an active smoker these numbers may be different. For someone with underlying lung disease again these numbers may be lower. ...Read more

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What does it mean if your blood oxygen level suddenly drops to 60%?

Means Hypoxemia: It means there is low oxygen level in your arterial blood and you need to follow up with your doctor or pulmonologist to find the cause and get it corrected. It is an emergency situation and if you can not get the doctors go to er asap. ...Read more

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My blood oxygen level is too low. What could happen if it got lower?

My blood oxygen level is too low. What could happen if it got lower?

Low oxygen: Our body tissues needs constant supply of oxygen to perform optimally. If it gets too low then the tissues especially kidney, heart and brain would have ischemia and lot of problems. See pulmonary specialist. ...Read more

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What is normal levels of oxygen in the blood? What is considered low and what is considered dangerous? Is levels in the 80s ok?

What is normal levels of oxygen in the blood? What is considered low and what is considered dangerous? Is levels in the 80s ok?

It is low: If you are asking about oxygen saturation the level should be above 90%. Normally it it is 97 - 99%. If the levels are in the low 80s - the person should be on oxygen. The oxygen saturation is obtained via external device placed on the finger or earlobe. If you obtain arterial blood and measure oxygen level - po2 the level in 80 is ok. ...Read more

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How dangerous is it for someone who just had surgery within the last 24 hours to have their oxygen level staying down in the 70's and low 80's?

Go to ER: It is NOT normal for anybody regardless of having surgery or not to have oxygen saturation in their blood that low. You need to go to the ER right away for proper evaluation and treatment. It could be dangerous life threatening condition so do not ignore it and GO ...Read more

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What causes low oxygen levels in the elderly?

Other diseases: If you ask me what causes low o2 in a perfectly normal and healthy elderly it makes a difference. There is an alveolar to arterial ratio that changes with age, and o2 is lower in elderly by this notion alone but no to point of hypoxia. There is such thing as senile emphysema by age alone, with the changes like that of the skin. See the compressibility of finger as the machine could restrict pulse. ...Read more