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How to check blood oxygen at home

Updated March 23, 2017

Your blood oxygen level measures how well your lungs are able to move oxygen through the blood, and in turn remove carbon dioxide from the blood. Using a home testing device, you can quickly check your blood oxygen level to make sure it is neither too high nor too low. Having an oxygen level that's too high or too low can make you very sick, and can even lead to death.

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  1. First, purchase a blood oxygen level meter. These can be found online at many health retailers or at some outdoor sporting goods retailers.

  2. Place any batteries needed into the meter, and turn on the device.

  3. Place the blood oxygen level meter on your index finger. Your finger should fit into a slot on the device snugly and your fingertip should be flat on the meter.

  4. Push the "read" button to have your blood oxygen level taken. Wait three to five seconds for the meter to take the level.

  5. The results will show up on a small screen on the device. Make a note of it, and repeat the process if necessary.

  6. Tip

    Testing your blood oxygen level regularly during exercise can be beneficial to see how well your lungs are dispensing oxygen to the rest of your body. Some exercise equipment has a blood oxygen level meter on it, which you can use during exercise.


    Blood oxygen levels are important for pilots and hikers. If you have too much oxygen in your blood, you can actually get altitude sickness or have severe complications that can lead to death.

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Things You'll Need

  • Blood oxygen level meter

About the Author

Lauren Farrelly has been writing and producing for television since 2003. She has experience covering sports, business news and general news events for CNBC, ESPN and Bleacher Report. Farrelly has a BA in broadcast journalism from Arizona State University.

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