Pulse Oximeter Readings Chart

For a person with respiratory problems, when do oximeter measurements become a concern?

There is no universal SpO2 number that indicates a person’s oxygen levels are healthy and ideal.

For an oximeter to be an effective tool, you will first need to know your baseline SpO2 and be aware that your baseline reading may be affected by pre-existing COPD, heart failure, or obesity.

Next, it is important to know when a change in the SpO2 reading becomes significant. A SpO2 of 100% has zero effective clinical difference from a 96% reading.

As a general rule of thumb, a person with respiratory problems who monitors their clinical condition at home will want to ensure that the SpO2 reading consistently stays between 90 and 92% or higher. If the number consistently falls below this threshold, timely medical evaluation is warranted.

Pulse Oximeter Readings Chart
Pulse Oximeter Readings Chart

Pulse oximeter readings normal range

A normal oxygen level is usually 95% or more. Some people with chronic lung disease or sleep apnea may have normal levels of around 90%. The “SpO2” reading on a pulse oximeter shows the percentage of oxygen in a person’s blood.

If your home SpO2 reading is less than 90%, call your healthcare provider.

Why is it important to measure your current oxygen level?

Why is it important to monitor my blood oxygen level?

If you have lung disease, your blood oxygen level may be lower than normal. This is important to know because when your oxygen level is low, the cells in your body may have difficulty functioning properly.

Oxygen is the “gas” that gets your body “in gear,” and if you’re low on “gas,” your body doesn’t function smoothly.

Having a very low level of oxygen in your blood can also put pressure on your heart and brain.

Most people need an oxygen saturation level of at least 90% to keep their cells healthy. Having an oxygen level lower than this for a short time is not thought to cause harm.

However, your cells can become strained or damaged if low oxygen levels occur too many times. If your oxygen level is low in the room air, you may be asked to use supplemental (extra) oxygen.

The oximeter can be used to help see how much oxygen you need and when you may need it. For example, some people need more oxygen when they sleep than when they are awake.

Some need more oxygen with activity than when they are at rest.

Pulse Oximeter Readings Chart
Pulse Oximeter Readings Chart

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