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Oxygen Saturation

Oxygen Saturation Pronunciation: ˈäk-si-jən sa-chə-ˈrā-shən

Definition: Oxygen saturation, often measured with a device called a pulse oximeter, refers to the extent to which hemoglobin in the red blood cells is saturated with oxygen. It’s usually expressed as a percentage – the percentage of hemoglobin binding sites in the bloodstream occupied by oxygen. A healthy individual typically has an oxygen saturation of 95-100%.

Frequently Asked Questions About Oxygen Saturation

What is considered normal oxygen saturation?

Normal oxygen saturation levels typically fall between 95% and 100%. However, values down to 90% could be normal in some cases. If oxygen saturation falls under 90%, it’s considered low and could warrant medical attention.

How can I measure my oxygen saturation?

Oxygen saturation is usually measured using a pulse oximeter, a small device that clips onto a finger and uses light to measure how much oxygen is in your blood. This is a non-invasive, painless measure that provides results quickly.

What can cause low oxygen saturation?

Several medical conditions can cause low oxygen saturation, including respiratory disorders like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, pneumonia, and sleep apnea. Other conditions like anemia, heart disease, and lung cancer can also cause lower-than-normal readings. If you’re consistently getting readings below 90%, you should contact a healthcare professional.