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Doctor insights on: Why Is Pure Oxygen Bad

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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
3,072 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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Oxygen was 89 and under for 3 min total out of 7 hrs lowest being 83% highest 99% during home oxygen study is this bad? Want me on oxygen at night.

Oxygen was 89 and under for 3 min total out of 7 hrs lowest being 83% highest 99% during home oxygen study is this bad? Want me on oxygen at night.

More info: Was this a sleep study? The low oxygen levels are of some concern but relatively infrequent. If related to sleep apnea the treatment may help but may not involve supplemental oxygen. Need more info as to possible cause of low saturations at times ...Read more

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I'm 18 & my oxygen saturation is 95. Is this bad?

I'm 18 & my oxygen saturation is 95. Is this bad?

No: Any oxygen saturation above 90% is ok, but most healthy people have oxygen sats between 95-100%. But, even being 94% can be normal. Oxygen saturation varies minute to minute, so one simple measurement may not give the whole picture. Moreover, pulse oximetry can be notoriously inaccurate, so make sure the measurement is truly accurate. But, in general, 95% saturation is great. ...Read more

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I have had bad daily headakes for 2years, I have tried lots I meds that haven't helped. My friend said that oxygen can help! I that true?

I have had bad daily headakes for 2years, I have tried lots I meds that haven't helped. My friend said that oxygen can help! I that true?

Discuss...: Discuss your symptoms, evaluation needed and treatment plan with your physician. Oxygen therapy has shown to be effective for cluster headaches; however, your brief description doesn't sound like cluster headaches (although they do occur daily, they usually do not persist for two years without any intermittent pain free months) ...Read more

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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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2 year old had low oxygen level less than 90 for 8 hours. How bad is this for his health?

How much < 90: A former patient of mine ( now adult) had resting o2 levels of around 88-90 for most of her childhood due to her complex heart disease. The impact of transient low levels has a lot to do with how low & what additional metabolic levels occurred at the same time. Fetal oxygen levels seldom rise above 60 prior to birth but their metabolism can handle this. Don't assume brain injury is expected. ...Read more

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I'm wondering why are heavy smokers with damaged lungs put on pure oxygen to keep them alive?

Easier to breathe...: "room air" is approximately 21% oxygen. People need oxygen to make their vital organs (brain and others) function well. If a person's lungs are damaged, that person may not absorb oxygen well. By administering oxygen to the patient, the percentage of oxygen in the "air" is increased allowing for the person to oxygenate their blood more readily and thereby deliver oxygen to vital organs. ...Read more