How to tell if your blood oxygen is low?

Written by vanessa padgalskas
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Low blood oxygen, also called hypoxaemia, can interrupt your body's function and cause tissue damage. An oxymeter is a device placed over your pointer finger that reads your blood oxygen level. Normal blood oxygen levels are between 95 to 100, and low levels are under 90. When your blood oxygen dips into the 80s, you will experience numerous symptoms that signal low blood oxygen.

Skill level:
Easy

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Take note of any sudden shortness of breath during periods of rest or basic exertion. If any shortness of breath affects your ability to function, you could have low blood oxygen.

  2. 2

    Notice any sustained feeling of tiredness that is out of the ordinary. Low blood oxygen will make you feel fatigued.

  3. 3

    Notice any decline in cognitive function. Low oxygen levels mean there is less oxygen reaching the brain. This may make you feel confused and disoriented.

  4. 4

    Look at your finger tips and lips. If they appear bluish in colour you could have low blood oxygen or severe hypoxaemia, where your blood oxygen dips into the low 80s and 70s. Your extremities will also feel cold.

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