The oxygen you inhale passes through your lungs and into your bloodstream. The oxygen level in your blood is the amount of oxygen present in it. Low blood oxygen levels can cause major difficulties since your body requires a specific quantity of oxygen to function properly.
What Does Blood Oxygen Level Mean?
The amount of oxygen circulating in your blood (blood oxygen saturation) is your blood oxygen level. Our bodies require a specific amount of oxygen to function properly, and oxygen is fundamental to life.
When you breathe (inhale), oxygen enters your body through your nose or mouth and travels through your lungs to your bloodstream. Once in your bloodstream, oxygen travels to all of your body’s cells. All of your cells require oxygen to properly make energy, and your body requires energy to carry out all of its functions, including digestion and even thought.
When the cells in your blood consume oxygen, then carbon dioxide is produced. The carbon dioxide is subsequently carried back to your lungs by your bloodstream, where you breathe it out (exhale) through your mouth or nose.
Because low blood oxygen levels (hypoxia) can cause a variety of dangerous illnesses and damage to different organ systems, including your brain and heart, your body tightly regulates the amount of oxygen saturation in your blood. Low blood oxygen levels suggest that your lungs and/or circulatory system aren’t functioning properly.
How is Blood Oxygen Level Measured?
Blood oxygen levels can be measured or tested using a blood draw test and pulse oximetry (using an oximeter). An oximeter does not provide as much information about your oxygen levels as a blood draw test does.
– Using Blood Draw Test
Your blood oxygen level can be measured as part of a wider test called an arterial blood gas (ABG) test by healthcare practitioners. The level of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your blood is measured by an ABG test. The pH balance of acids and bases in your blood is also checked during the test. It can be hazardous to your health if you have too much or too little acid in your blood.
– Using a Pulse Oximetry
We can simply say that pulse oximetry is a noninvasive way a person can check his or her oxygen saturation. The more accurate reading of arterial oxygen saturation from arterial blood gas analysis is typically within 2% of peripheral oxygen saturation readings.
A little clip on your finger or toe can be used to measure blood oxygen saturation levels with a pulse oximeter. Only your heart rate and the percentage of your blood saturated with oxygen, known as the SpO2 level, are displayed on an oximeter readout. It’s a simple and painless approach to see if someone’s blood oxygen level is dangerously low.
The device is most of the time used by healthcare providers in hospitals. You can also use a pulse oximeter at home, which you can get from a pharmacy or specific retailers and websites.
Different Levels Of Blood Oxygen and Their Elucidations
Few people consider blood oxygen saturation or if they have a normal blood oxygen level, unlike blood pressure or blood sugar. Oxygen saturation, on the other hand, has a direct impact on your health and overall quality of life.
For healthy adults and children, the usual range is between 95 and 100 percent. Any percentage below 90 percent is considered low. Low blood oxygen levels can induce a variety of unpleasant or painful symptoms that, if left untreated, might result in cyanosis.
The chart below shows the various levels of blood oxygen, what they signify, and what form of intervention is required Oxygen Levels.
|Blood Oxygen Level||Elucidation||Condition||Treatment Needed|
|95% to 100%||Normal for healthy people||No condition||No treatment needed|
|80% to 85%||Brain gets affected||Hypoxia||Commence oxygen therapy and assess for underlying respiratory conditions as soon as possible|
|Below 67%||Severely hypoxia||Cyanosis||Start supplemental oxygen immediately|
What is Hypoxia?
Hypoxia is a lack of oxygen to the brain, It is one of the most deadly injuries. Even those who survive hypoxia may have long-term consequences.
How To Treat Hypoxia?
Hypoxia necessitates immediate medical attention. Do not attempt to treat it yourself or wait to see what occurs. Even suspected hypoxia necessitates a 911 call and a trip to the emergency department.
A procedure known as The Dobkin Technique can help you avoid brain injury while you wait for help. It has the potential to save a person’s life. Place ice cold water or a cold compress on the hypoxia victim’s face and eyes to employ Dobkin.
The compress must be below 58 degrees Fahrenheit and must be applied to the victim’s face until help arrives or unless a medical practitioner advises differently.
Medical practitioners focus on supplying oxygen and addressing the cause of hypoxia in the immediate aftermath of hypoxia. A stroke victim, for example, may require surgery or medicines to clear a blood vessel blockage.
What is Cyanosis?
Cyanosis is a condition in which your skin turns blue, gray, or purple due to a lack of oxygen in your blood. The color change may be more evident in the nail beds or lips in certain persons. The name “cyanosis is carved from the Greek word “kyanos,” which simply means “dark blue.”
It is a condition in which a human’s muscles, organs, and other tissues do not get enough oxygen to help them function properly. Cyanosis can be caused by several factors, including major medical issues.
How To Treat Cyanosis?
Treatment should be given as soon as possible to avoid any further consequences from low blood oxygen.If you have cyanosis, you’ll almost certainly be given oxygen therapy to assist swiftly raise your blood oxygen levels, but any additional treatment for cyanosis will be determined by the fundamental cause of your disease.
Inhaled corticosteroids and pulmonary rehabilitation, for example, may be used to treat COPD. Antibiotics or antivirals may be used to treat pneumonia, depending on the etiology. To treat pulmonary hypertension, diuretics and anticoagulants may be prescribed.
Symptoms of Low Oxygen Levels in The Human Blood
If you have a low blood oxygen level, you may notice a number of symptoms including:
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid breathing
- Rapid heartbeat
- Chest pain
- Visual disorders
- Lack of coordination
Low amounts of oxygen in your blood can be caused by a variety of factors, including changes in your surroundings, such as migrating to a higher altitude with a lower percentage of oxygen in the air.
What Factors are Lowering Your Blood Oxygen Level?
Conditions that can negatively affect your blood oxygen level, causing it to be low include:
- COPD, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema
- Acute respiratory distress syndrome
- Collapsed lung
- Congenital heart defects
- Heart disease
- Pulmonary embolism
These diseases may make it difficult for your lungs to properly inhale oxygen-rich air and exhale carbon dioxide. Blood illnesses and circulatory system difficulties, on the other hand, may hinder your blood from collecting up oxygen and transferring it throughout your body.
Any of these issues or conditions might cause a drop in oxygen saturation. As your oxygen levels drop, you may start to experience hypoxemia symptoms. Smokers may have an erroneously high pulse oximeter value.
Carbon monoxide builds up in your blood when you smoke. A pulse ox is unable to distinguish between this other gas and oxygen. An ABG may be the only way to get an accurate result if you smoke and need to know your blood oxygen level.
How To Avoid Low Blood Oxygen Level?
There are various things you may do to improve your condition if you take a test or observe these symptoms of a low blood oxygen level:
- Smoking should be avoided: This is the most critical thing to do if a doctor has told you that you have COPD or another lung condition.
- Avoid being in the presence of secondhand smoke: Going places where others smoke might cause more lung harm, so quitting smoking isn’t enough.
- Exercise on a regular basis: It may be difficult to exercise if you have problems breathing. It will, nonetheless, cause an increase to your strength and endurance.
- Meat, lentils, and green leafy vegetables are high in iron: These will cause a boost to your energy level.
- Breathing in fresh air: Opening your windows or going for a walk outside will boost the quantity of oxygen your body takes in, which raises your blood oxygen level overall.
- Practice simple breathing exercises: Practicing simple breathing exercises such as pursed-lip breathing and deep belly breathing, can help to open your airways and boost the amount of oxygen in your blood.
- Increase the amount of oxygen in your home by growing indoor plants.
You may check your blood oxygen level at home using a pulse oximeter to determine if these natural techniques to enhance your oxygen intake work for you. However, if you have an underlying ailment, particularly a serious illness like pneumonia or carbon monoxide poisoning, these natural therapies may not be enough to get your blood oxygen levels up to an appropriate level. Get to the nearest hospital as soon as possible if you see signs of hypoxemia.
What Happens if the Level of Oxygen in My Blood is Too Low?
You might have hypoxemia if your blood oxygen level is too low. Blood oxygen levels are abnormally low, which is referred to as hypoxemia. If your blood oxygen levels are too low, your body might not function properly.
Blood carries oxygen throughout your body to keep your cells healthy. Minor symptoms like headaches and shortness of breath are brought on by hypoxemia. In severe cases, it can harm the heart and the brain.
In addition, if your blood oxygen level is low, your doctor can advise taking extra oxygen. Your blood oxygen level can be raised thanks to this therapy, which provides you with more oxygen than you would from ordinary room air. It is frequently administered using a face mask or a nasal cannula, a little plastic tube with prongs that fit into your nostrils.
Supplemental oxygen can be given to a patient for a short period of time — such as in the aftermath of an accident or an acute sickness — or for a lengthy period of time for those with COPD, pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis, or sleep apnea. While managing these problems, supplemented oxygen can help you feel better, recover faster, and stay active.
How to Increase Blood Oxygen Level in Covid-19 Patients?
In the Covid-19 times, your oxygen levels are extremely important to your health. Regular checkups, a healthy diet, and good habits can all help. These few steps will help increase blood oxygen level for Covid patients.
Patients receiving home care are encouraged to lie on their stomachs. This will help you breathe more easily and enhance your oxygen saturation.
According to the Union Health Ministry’s Clinical Management Protocol for Covid-19 (in Adults), awake proning should be promoted in all patients who require supplemental oxygen therapy.
30–120 minutes in prone position, then 30–120 minutes in left lateral decubitus (laying on left side), right lateral decubitus (lying on right side), and upright sitting position are typical procedures.
– Using Oxygen Concentrators
According to experts, oxygen therapy should only be administered in the presence of a healthcare specialist. However, they can be used in an emergency, while seeking medical attention or waiting for an ambulance.
“One can only use oxygen concentrators in very mild Covid-19 cases, and that is when the said patient is feeling a reduction in their oxygen levels, or when their oxygen need is a maximum of five liters/minute,” a well-known medical expert advised.
He also mentioned that oxygen concentrators are beneficial for individuals who require oxygen therapy due to post-Covid problems. The goal of oxygen therapy in both of these circumstances is to obtain a saturation level of 94 percent.
The oxygen therapy may be stopped if the patient’s oxygen level is between 93 and 94 percent. Excess oxygen can lead to an increase in carbon dioxide levels, which might cause problems.
Best Exercises That Increase Your Blood Oxygen Levels
The 3 best breathing exercises to help increase your blood oxygen level are:
- With one hand on the tummy and the other on the chest, sit up straight.
- Slowly and thoroughly inhale through your nostrils, feeling your tummy expand with each full, diaphragmatic breath.
- Slowly exhale through your mouth.
- Repeat for up to 15 minutes, six or more times every minute.
- Exhale completely via your mouth, making a wind-like “whoosh” sound.
- Inhale through the nose and silently count to four while keeping your mouth closed.
- Count to seven while holding this breath.
- Exhale for eight counts via the mouth, repeating the “whoosh” sound.
- Steps two through four should be repeated five times.
Buteyko Nose Breathing
- Sit up straight in a quiet, comfortable spot and concentrate on your breathing.
- Inhale slowly via the nostrils while keeping the mouth closed to fill the lungs.
- Exhale slowly from the lungs through your nostrils until you feel driven to inhale.
- Steps two and three should be repeated five times.
Other Useful Exercises
- Muscle strengthening exercises like lifting weights, working with resistance bands, heavy gardening, such as digging and shoveling, climbing stairs, etc.
- Correct posture, for example, sitting upright, changing position, and walking as much as you can do.
- Walking during the recovery phase in a bid to improve overall conditioning
- Incentive spirometer exercise.
Is Food, Fruit & Vegetables Helps You To Increase Your Blood Oxygen Level?
It is critical to maintain normal oxygen saturation in the blood, which is 95 percent or higher. It guards against tissue damage as well as hypoxia, or a shortage of oxygen in the body. Maintaining adequate oxygen levels in the body can be aided by eating foods that are high in oxygen.
Foods high in vitamins A and B complex, minerals like iron and copper, and chemical nitric oxide should be consumed to boost oxygen levels in the body. Also, choose foods with an alkaline pH to reduce the chance of a stroke or hypertension, as well as to improve cardiac and brain function. Furthermore, diets high in antioxidants raise blood oxygen levels.
Best Foods For Your Blood Oxygen Level
Lemon is high in vitamin C, which helps to relieve coughs and colds. It is one of the most electrolyte-dense meals, and while it is acidic in nature, it becomes alkaline when digested. Lemon is high in vitamin C, which many experts advocate including in one’s daily diet throughout the Covid-19 era.
2. Consume More Antioxidant Rich Foods
Foods high in antioxidants, such as spinach, garlic, dates, carrots, berries, and lemon. Antioxidants lower the risk of a variety of diseases while also boosting immunity. As a result, eating antioxidant-rich foods helps the body maintain a healthy oxygen level.
Turmeric is antibacterial in nature. It contains the body’s nitric oxide levels. It aids in the widening of blood vessels and the increase of oxygen levels in the body.
Best Fruits That Increasing Your Blood Oxygen Level
Grapes are high in antioxidants, which help to improve blood circulation in our bodies. Blood may carry more oxygen to the tissues per unit of time when blood flow increases. Grapes also include a number of enzymes that aid in the regulation of hormonal balance. As a result, including black grapes in your diet can assist to improve circulation and oxygen levels in the body.
Avocados are high in vitamins A, B3, B6, B12, choline, and folate, all of which are beneficial to your health. They’re also high in dietary fiber and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs).
These nutrients improve oxygen absorption in the blood, which helps to increase oxygen levels. Avocados are also thought to lower cholesterol, boost heart health, and regulate blood sugar levels, according to research.
They also help with weight loss by improving lipid profiles, DNA protection, and weight management.
The kiwifruit is a sweet and sour tropical fruit that is high in dietary fiber, copper, and iron. Vitamins A, B3, B5, B6, C, choline, and many antioxidants are also abundant.
Furthermore, kiwifruit boosts the immune system and helps the elderly lessen the intensity and duration of upper respiratory infections. In addition, it reduces inflammation in the body. One large kiwi every day is sufficient.
It enhances vitamin and mineral consumption, which helps to raise blood oxygen saturation.
Vegetables For Your Healthy Blood Oxygen Level
Green leafy plants like spinach are rich in nitrate. Nitrates are then converted to nitric oxide in our bodies any time we take in leaves like this. As a result, eating green vegetables ensures that blood circulates freely throughout the body’s important organs. Spinach also helps to lower blood pressure and widen the arteries, resulting in an increase of oxygen in the blood.
Beetroots are a high-fiber vegetable. They also contain folate (vitamin B9), manganese (vitamin B9), potassium, iron, and vitamin C. Beetroots produce nitrates in the body due to their high iron and folate content. They increase blood oxygen uptake. As a result, they aid in the dilation of blood arteries, allowing more oxygenated blood to reach the tissues.
Beans are a type of legume that contains a lot of iron. Oxygen transport, DNA synthesis, and other metabolic processes all require iron. They’re also high in potassium, calcium, and dietary fiber. As a result of their high iron content, they aid in the rise of oxygen levels by increasing hemoglobin formation. Salads and curries can be made using blanched or boiling green, black, or dry beans.
Animal Derived Food For Your Blood Oxygen Levels
– Organ Meat
Organ meat, such as liver, heart, and brain, is extremely nutrient-dense. Vitamins B3, B6, B12, D, and proteins are all present. Copper, iron, and zinc are also abundant in organ meat. It also contains beneficial fats such as (MUFAs) and (PUFAs). They also include heme-iron, which aids in the improvement of hemoglobin levels in the body, hence raising oxygen levels.
To receive the nutrients you need to increase your oxygen levels, eat organ meat once a week or once every two weeks. Organ meat, on the other hand, should not be consumed on a regular basis. If you have high cholesterol or arthritis, you should avoid eating organ meat.
How to Increase Blood Oxygen Level Instantly?
There are a number of things you can do to help boost your blood oxygen level immediately or on the short term:
- Straighten up as you stand or sit: Instead of lying down, which can place pressure on your lungs and make breathing difficult.
- Cough: If you have a cold or the flu, having trouble breathing might cause your blood oxygen saturation to drop. Coughing can help clear your airway by loosening secretions.
- Take a walk outside: Fresh air is beneficial to your lungs and contains higher levels of oxygen. However, if it is really hot or cold outside, this may make breathing difficult.
- Make sure you get plenty of water: Lungs that are properly hydrated are more effective in dispersing oxygen into the bloodstream.
- Slowly and deeply inhale and exhale: This should help to boost the amount of air that reaches your lungs.