What Is Oxygen Saturation?

When people discuss oxygen saturation levels, they are referring to the extent of haemoglobin that is saturated with oxygen. Oxygen saturation levels can be determined by medical professionals via a pulse oximetry, a non-invasive technique. The patient will have a disposable sensor placed on their forehead, earlobe, fingertip or bridge of the nose. A normal oxygen saturation level is between 95% to 100%.

Low Oxygen Saturation Levels

Oxygen levels falling below 90% are typically seen as abnormal, thereby indicating cause for concern. A drop in oxygen saturation levels is known as desaturation and there are many possible causes. When your blood oxygen levels fall very low, you have hypoxemia. Hypoxemia is characterized by a palpable shortness of breath.

Symptoms of Low Oxygen Saturation Levels

There are a few symptoms that will accompany low saturation levels, they are as follows:

Causes of Low Oxygen Saturation Levels

Low oxygen saturation levels can be due to a number of different medical conditions. Below we have listed a few.

1. Thin Air

2. Blood Oxygen Transportation Dysfunction

3. Air Way Obstruction

4. Alveoli Destruction

Furthermore, specific medications can cause a low oxygen saturation level. These include narcotics and anesthetics.

High Oxygen Saturation levels

Blood oxygen saturation levels cannot exceed 100% and no one can obtain this high level of oxygen just breathing natural air. The only way for this to occur is to breathe from medical oxygen supplements. However, inhaling high oxygen flow for an extended period may have adverse effects. Eyesight damage due to retinopathy is one such concern, which can lead to blindness.

What can you do then?

If you are experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms, be sure to contact a health professional to test your blood saturation level and determine the cause.

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