Having low blood-oxygen levels is one of the many demands of living with chronic lung disease. A condition called hypoxia can occur when a proper amount of oxygen is not received by the organs, cells, and tissues of the body. The risk of developing hypoxia is high when you have chronic lung disease. Given below are some points to help and understand low blood oxygen and how it affects the body.
What is hypoxia and why is it dangerous?
Hypoxia is occasionally mentioned as hypoxemia and it is a condition where the oxygen level in the blood is below normal. Hypoxia can be tested by measuring the arterial blood glass a blood sample or by using a pulse oximeter to measure oxygen saturation in the blood.
The signs and symptoms of low blood oxygen levels
• Feeling shortness of breath while resting
• Awakening feeling out of breath
• Coughing frequently
• Feeling choked
• Extreme shortness of breath after physical activity
• Skin turning blue
Low blood oxygen levels and lung disease
Chronic lung diseases such as chronic bronchitis, COPD and emphysema cause difficulty in breathing and are identifiable by the blockage of the airflow. Chances of developing hypoxia are high when the airflow is blocked.
Complications of hypoxia or low blood oxygen
Even though hypoxia caused by chronic lung disease prevents a person from breathing normally, it disturbs more than the lungs. When it becomes difficult to inhale or receive fair amounts of oxygen, the blood gets deprived of oxygen and this is a serious situation. All organs, tissues, and cells in the body require oxygen and it is very important to ensure your body gets the adequate amount of oxygen
What is oxygen therapy
Most doctors prescribe oxygen therapy or supplemental oxygen for people with lung diseases who are deprived of adequate oxygen. The objective of oxygen therapy is to assist the patient to receive sufficient oxygen to their system.
What is a normal blood oxygen level, and how to improve oxygen levels
Normal blood oxygen levels are higher than 95 percent. Oxygen levels below 96 percent are judged low blood oxygen, indicating hypoxemia.
There are various other means of helping improve oxygen levels. In order increase oxygen naturally, in the homes, plants such as areca palm, snake plant, money plant or gerbera daisy could be placed inside residential areas. Natural air purifiers such as salt lamps, peace lilies, and bamboo charcoal could also be tried.
Oxygen levels can be improved by staying calm and practicing deep breathing exercises which reduces stress levels. It is easier to breathe when you are relaxed, so, meditation, yoga, writing or positive thinking exercises are some activities that could be considered.
Exercise is an important activity for everyone, especially for those with lung diseases. Walking or even light forms of activity such as Tai Chi helps in improving oxygen levels and supporting exercise resistance.
Drinking adequate water is another easy way to increase your blood oxygen levels. Water hydrates the body and helps increase the volume of blood to oxygenate the lungs
Oxygen levels can also be improved with a healthy diet. Eat fresh, steamed vegetables such as potatoes, green beans, carrots, and spinach. Add plenty of lean protein to your diet and use herbs instead of salt to reduce bloating in addition to giving flavor to your food.
It’s always best to consult and discuss with your doctor before trying a treatment plan, new diet or exercise.