After you breathe in oxygen, it goes through your lungs and bloodstream. The amount of oxygen in your blood is your blood oxygen level. Your body needs oxygen to function correctly, and low blood oxygen levels can lead to severe complications. Is My Blood Oxygen Level Normal?
Oxygen saturation refers to the percentage of oxygen cylinder price in a person’s blood. Medical professionals often use a device called a pulse oximeter for either a quick test or continuous monitoring. The device can attach to the person’s fingertip.
A healthy oxygen saturation level ranges between 95% and 100%Trusted Source. If a person’s levels drop below this range, they may experience symptoms associated with a lack of oxygen, such as trouble breathing and confusion.
So what is the average oxygen level? People who are breathing every day, with relatively healthy lungs (or asthma that is under control), will have a blood oxygen level of 95% to 100%. Anything between 92% and 88% is still considered safe and average for someone with moderate to severe COPD. Below 88% becomes dangerous, and when it dips to 84% or below, it’s time to go to the hospital. Is My Blood Oxygen Level Normal? Around 80% and lower is dangerous for your vital organs, so you should be treated immediately.
Measuring Your Oxygen Level
Today’s medical experts have access to various SpO2 monitoring tools, including finger pulse oximeters. These compact, noninvasive devices attach painlessly to the fingertip and send wavelengths of light through the finger to assess SpO2 and pulse rate. Under the guidance of their physicians, people with heart and breathing problems can use personal finger pulse oximeters to manage their conditions and assess the efficacy of treatment methods. Pulse oximetry can be a helpful aid in decision-making but is not a substitute for a clinical assessment nor sufficient for diagnosis by itself. Arterial blood gas measurements obtained by arterial puncture remain the gold standard for oxygen saturation measurement.
Is My Blood Oxygen Level Normal?
Recommendations for Health Care Providers
- Be aware that multiple factors can affect the accuracy of a pulse oximeter reading, such as poor circulation, skin pigmentation, skin thickness, skin temperature, current tobacco use, and fingernail polish. Review the information below to understand better how accuracy is calculated and interpreted.
- Refer to the device labeling or the manufacturer’s website to understand the accuracy of a particular pulse oximeter and sensor brand. Different brands of pulse oximeters and even different sensors (finger clip versus adhesive) may have different accuracy levels. Pulse oximeters are the least accurate when oxygen saturations are less than 80%.
What If My Blood Oxygen Level Is Too Low?
If your blood oxygen level reads low, your doctor may put you on supplemental oxygen. This therapy provides you with higher amounts of oxygen than in regular room air and can help raise your blood oxygen level. Is My Blood Oxygen Level Normal? It’s usually delivered through a nasal cannula (a small plastic hose with prongs that go into your nostrils) or a face mask.
Interpretation and Limitations of Pulse Oximetry
Pulse oximeters have limitations and risks of inaccuracy under certain circumstances. In many cases, the level of inaccuracy may be trimmed and not clinically meaningful; however, there is a risk that an inaccurate measurement may result in unrecognized low oxygen saturation levels. Therefore, it is essential to understand the limitations of pulse oximetry and how accuracy is calculated and interpreted.