Measure Your Oxygen Saturation
Oxygen saturation is the measurement of the amount of oxygen that is carried or dissolved in a given medium. As the heart contracts, the blood goes in the lungs where the oxygen molecules can bind to the red blood cells. Blood oxygen saturation or arterial oxygen saturation is the term used to refer the percentage of the red blood cell that is saturated by oxygen. Blood oxygen saturation is considered healthy if it ranges from 95 to 100 percent.
Oxygen saturation level may vary slightly depending on activity and age. The blood oxygen level that is less than 90 percent will be considered abnormal. All the body organs in the body need an adequate supply of oxygen to function effectively. If oxygen saturation is low, various health problems can occur
Hypoxemia is the term that is used to describe too low oxygen level. Symptoms may include fatigue, confusion, headache, and shortness of breathe. Because oxygen is needed in the brain and heart continuously, brain damage or even death can occur if blood oxygen level becomes too low.
Oxygen saturation can be measured to show signs of breathing problem or maybe a part of physical exam. There are 2 major ways to obtain oxygen saturation levels. One way is using pulse oximeter and the other way is using Arterial blood gas test.
Pulse oximeter is a device that is commonly utilized to determine the oxygen saturation. It is a small device that is usually clips in the patients ear lobe or finger tips and shines one red light and one infrared. These light beams will allow the pulse oximeter to read changes in the patients blood.
An arterial blood gas or ABG test may also be administered to provide more precise reading. This test involves blood extraction from the radial artery in the wrist. This test is known to be more painful than other kind of blood test in which blood extraction is usually done in the vein. Luckily, arterial blood gas is done quickly and can be well tolerated with small risk to the patients. The ABG results are available in a few minutes.
If you have too low oxygen saturation, treatment may be prescribed by your doctor. One of the treatments that are commonly used for low oxygen saturation is the oxygen therapy. Oxygen can be given in nasal or mask forms. The amount of oxygen that is usually given is based on the level of oxygen saturation is in the blood.