What To Do When Oxygen Level Is Low

What to do when the blood oxygen level is low?


You blood deprived of oxygen and have you ever thought why? The causes are given above just go through once.


To boost up your oxygen levels you need more and more oxygen saturation from the source of supplement oxygen.


Supplement of oxygen is many medications prescribed by the doctor. Treatment of hypoxemia is very common, the doctor prescribes an inhaler which gives the supplemental source of oxygen in your lungs. And in very critical cases doctor prescribes the oxygen therapy, where the patient gets the oxygen through a tube known as cannula tube which is attached in the nostrils, many times oxygen mask is given for stable breathing. Some people who might suffer from any type of cancer or have a serious low quantity of oxygen in their body they have to carry oxygen cylinders with them.


Do you know when oxygen level drops what the condition is called?


When oxygen level gets reduced in our blood that is known as hypoxemia. And when the oxygen level gets reduced in the tissue cells then the condition is known as hypoxia, which is pretty dangerous for our health.


Can you imagine your life without oxygen?


If your brain, lungs, liver, and other organs get deprived of oxygen then your organs will get damaged one by one and your body will start showing all the oxygen deprivation symptoms within minutes.


Do you know the methods of measuring blood oxygen levels?


There are two methods basically to measure oxygen levels in the bloodstream. And they are the followings:


First of all its a blood test. In order to get ABG to report the doctor will take the blood from one of our arteries (especially our wrist artery because it’s a most prominent one) as arteries carry the oxygenated blood whereas veins carry the deoxygenated blood. And since we are measuring the oxygen level so we will only take the oxygenated blood. The ABG test can espy your blood oxygen level, also the pH. ABG is very much error-free but its very risky as the wrist is a very sensitive area. The normal range of ABG is from 80-100 mm of Hg.



The pulse oximeter is one of the easiest methods of measuring blood oxygen levels. It is done by driving an infrared light to the capillaries of fingers/toes/earlobes. This light indicated the oxygen saturation level in the blood. But this test is not accurate as ABG, there is a ±2% error in the pulse ox test. You can by yourself perform the pulse ox test at home by buying the device from any drug store. But you have to keep in mind the temperature and any dark objects. As dark nail paint or cold temperatures might give a lower read of pulse ox than the normal. The normal range of pulse oximeter is from 95-100% typically.


If you have above or below these two method’s normal range then there will be symptoms occurring first and you must consult a doctor immediately.



Now you must be wondering what are symptoms of oxygen deprivation?


The symptoms of hypoxemia differ from person to person. Many people have different kinds of symptoms. The symptoms are the followings:

  • The skin color changes from blue to red(cherry).
  • The patient starts showing confused behavior.
  • The patient starts coughing.
  • The heart rate increases in order to pump more oxygen.
  • Due to which there will be rapid breathing and also gasping.
  • There will be dyspnea that is difficulty in breathing.
  • Due to shortness of breath, wheezing will occur
  • There will be sweating.

And if you notice or observe all these symptoms in someone then immediately call for an ambulance because the patient needs an immediate source of oxygen.


What causes these symptoms to show up?


There are plenty of reasons due to which oxygen deprivation symptoms occur. Some of the causes of Hypoxia are the followings:

  • Severe Anemia because in anemia there is low RBC count and RBC is responsible for oxygen-carrying into the tissues. So lack of RBC will cause a lack of oxygen.
  • Severe lung problems like COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), bronchial asthma or bronchitis, emphysematous disorder, pulmonary edema (lung filled with fluids).
  • Allergic or hypersensitive reactions due to any medications or drugs that lead to emphysema.
  • Coronary disorders.
  • Any industrial gas or any poisonous gas that is produced in many manufacturing industries due to which choking happens. Example – Cyanide contamination.



Now the question is how can you get supplemental oxygen or turn aside hypoxemia?


The followings are the preventive measures that will definitely increase your oxygen level in the bloodstream after your Oxygen Therapy or treatment:

  • First of all, if you are a chain smoker or smoker, quit smoking
  • Preach tranquility that is practice yoga, meditations, deep breaths.
  • Practice cardio exercises like mild jogging, stretching, brisk walks in the morning.
  • Maintain a healthy diet, with low carbs and high proteins, fats, minerals, and vitamins. Avoid junk foods as far as possible. Eat home-made foods that have a great source of iron.
  • Drink min 2L that is 8 glasses of water a day.
  • Get some fresh and natural air.

These all influence your oxygen level and enhance it in the bloodstream.


So this how you will know, treat if your oxygen levels are fluctuating or low.


Stay fit, stay happy.

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