Blood oxygen levels can tell you how well your body can absorb and use the oxygen you breathe in, which is transported to your red blood cells through your lungs. In order to be considered healthy, you need at least a 90% blood oxygen saturation level reading from a pulse oximeter, according to the Mayo Clinic.
All of the cells in the body need oxygen to function properly, so low blood oxygen levels can indicate or precede a health problem. Keep in mind that low oxygen levels don’t always indicate a medical condition, and they can be reversed with proper treatment. But, if oxygen levels remain low or continue to decline, it’s important to seek medical intervention. If you have hypoxemia, especially if your levels are very low, you can have serious health complications in your organs or other body tissues.
People have been purchasing more pulse oximeters in the wake of COVID-19 since doctors found that some COVID-19 patients were being admitted to hospitals with very low blood oxygen levels. That’s not surprising, as one of the common symptoms of COVID-19 is shortness of breath, which can affect your body’s ability to get and use enough oxygen.
Low blood oxygen levels can’t tell you if you have COVID-19, but if your blood oxygen levels begin to decline, you will want to seek medical attention or testing. If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, monitoring your blood oxygen levels is something that your health care provider may suggest you do at home so they can know if your condition is improving or getting worse.
Many health conditions (other than COVID-19) can cause low blood oxygen levels including:
- Heart disease
- Lung disease
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD
- Fluid in the lungs
- Sleep apnea
Monitoring your blood oxygen levels could help detect these medical problems, or help you manage them if you are diagnosed.
Ref: Mercey Livingston https://www.cnet.com/health/personal-care/what-are-blood-oxygen-levels-the-lesser-known-important-health-metric/