Users' questions

Why do you need a Pulse Ox to check your oxygen level?

Why do you need a Pulse Ox to check your oxygen level?

Smoking causes carbon monoxide to build up in your blood. A pulse ox can’t tell the difference between this other type of gas and oxygen. If you smoke and need to know your blood oxygen level, an ABG may be the only way to receive an accurate reading. Most people don’t need to regularly monitor their blood oxygen level.

What to do if your blood oxygen level is too low?

If your blood oxygen level is too low, you may need to boost your oxygen saturation. This is often done with supplemental oxygen. Home supplemental oxygen is considered a medication, and your doctor must prescribe it.

When to tell your doctor about your oxygen saturation?

Whether you experience low oxygen saturation and high heart rate, or high oxygen levels with breathlessness, let your doctor know if you experience shortness of breath. It is especially important if you have normal O2 saturation levels as it may indicate the need for other interventions and treatment.

How is oxygen saturation calculated on a pulse oximeter?

Oxygenated hemoglobin absorbs more infrared light and deoxygenated blood more red light. A photodetector opposite the light emitter on the pulse oximeter receives the light and calculates the ratio of red to infrared light, which gives the oxygen saturation percentage. .

How does hyperbaric oxygen therapy increase air pressure?

In a hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber, the air pressure is increased to three times higher than normal air pressure. Under these conditions, your lungs can gather more oxygen than would be possible breathing pure oxygen at normal air pressure.

How does oxygen therapy make a difference in the body?

Oxygen therapy helps by supplying the body with the oxygen it needs to properly function and improve blood flow. It also protects the heart from conditions caused by low oxygen levels while helping people feel less fatigued and while preventing breathlessness.

How does supplemental oxygen therapy help you breathe better?

Supplemental oxygen therapy helps you breathe better, but it does much more than that. Even though it is just a gas, medical oxygen is actually a potent medication that affects both your cardiovascular system and your lungs.

How is hyperbaric oxygen therapy used at the Mayo Clinic?

To effectively treat other conditions, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan and administered with other therapies and drugs that fit your individual needs. Explore Mayo Clinic studies testing new treatments, interventions and tests as a means to prevent, detect, treat or manage this disease.