What Your Blood Oxygen Level Shows
Your blood oxygen level is a measure of how much oxygen your red blood cells are carrying. Your body closely regulates your blood oxygen level. Maintaining the precise balance of oxygen-saturated blood is vital to your health.
Most children and adults dont need to monitor their blood oxygen level. In fact, many doctors wont check it unless youre showing signs of a problem, like shortness of breath or chest pain.
However, people with chronic health conditions many need to monitor their blood oxygen level. This includes asthma, heart disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease .
In these cases, monitoring your blood oxygen level can help determine if treatments are working, or if they should be adjusted.
Keep reading to learn where your blood oxygen level should be, what symptoms you may experience if your level is off, and what happens next.
Your blood oxygen level can be measured with two different tests:
What Exactly Is Heart Level
Ive mentioned heart level many times, but what exactly determines heart level? The American Heart Association states the correct height of the blood pressure cuff is the same level as the hearts right atrium;7. Thats nice to know, but how do you determine exactly where the right atrium is?
The right atrium is the right upper chamber of your hearts four chambers. Its located on the same side of your body as your right arm but you dont really have to know that when measuring your BP 8. The easiest way to determine the location of the right atrium is to know where the mid point of your sternum is.
The sternum starts at the top in the middle of your chest where the two clavicles meet. It runs down to the bottom where your ribcage turns up and meets. Measure the distance of your sternum from the top to bottom. The right atrium is located half way. This should be the height of your BP cuff when measuring your blood pressure.
Preventing High Blood Pressure
To keep your blood pressure in the normal range, your daily habits are key. These things help:
Donât smoke. Among the many health problems that smoking causes, it raises your blood pressure.
Make physical activity a habit. Most experts recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity five or more times a week. Or you could do a harder activity for a shorter period of time per session.
Eat right. Read food labels to see how much sodium is in a serving. Check with your doctor to find out what your daily limit should be. Include a lot of vegetables and fruits, along with whatever else you choose to put on your plate.
Stick to a healthy weight. Extra pounds raise your blood pressure. If youâre not sure what a healthy weight would be for you, ask your doctor.
If you drink alcohol, limit it to no more than one drink a day if youâre a woman and up to two drinks a day if youâre a man.
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Why Does My Blood Pressure Drop After Exercise
After a workout, blood tends to pool in the extremities, meaning less blood returning to the heart and a decrease in blood pressure. Also, the blood vessels near the skin surface widen to help release heat, causing a drop in blood pressure as well. Let your healthcare provider know if you feel dizzy or lightheaded during exercise, as it could indicate an underlying condition.
What Can I Do To Lower My Blood Pressure
There are things we can all do to help control blood pressure. These lifestyle modifications are changes you can make in your daily life.
- Follow the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH diet. This includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products with reduced saturated and total fat.
- Increase your physical activity. Add 90 to 150 minutes each week of aerobic exercise. Also, include three days of strength training each week. Not only can this help reduce or control your blood pressure, but it can also help with weight management. In overweight individuals, a weight loss of even five to 10 percent has been shown to reduce blood pressure.
- Limit your alcohol. It is recommended that men have no more than two drinks per day and women have no more than one to help control blood pressure.
- Manage your stress. Because stress can have a major impact on our bodies, it is important to have an effective coping technique. There are many techniques for relaxation.
- If you smoke, quit. Quitting smoking can have a huge impact on your health.
These are some of the most proactive ways one can support a normal blood pressure and an overall healthy life. But sometimes, even a healthy lifestyle is not enough to maintain a safe blood pressure. When lifestyle modifications do not lower blood pressure to better levels, medication can be prescribed.
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Asthma And Low Blood Oxygen Level
What are asthma symptoms and signs?
Many of the symptoms and signs of asthma are nonspecific and can be seen in other conditions as well. Symptoms that might suggest conditions other than asthma include new symptom onset in older age, the presence of associated symptoms , and lack of response to appropriate medications for asthma.
The physical exam in asthma is often completely normal. Occasionally, wheezing is present. In an asthma exacerbation, the respiratory rate increases, the heart rate increases, and the work of respiration increases. Individuals often require accessory muscles to breathe, and breath sounds can be diminished. It is important to note that the blood oxygen level typically remains fairly normal even in the midst of a significant asthma exacerbation. Low blood oxygen level is therefore concerning for impending respiratory failure.
How Is Blood Pressure Measured
A special cuff is used to measure your blood pressure. The cuff inflates and deflates, and during the process, your pressures are measured. Many times, a stethoscope is also used.
Blood pressure readings
Blood pressure is recorded as two measurements: systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Systolic blood pressure is the top/first number, and diastolic blood pressure is the bottom/second number. The numbers are expressed as millimeter of mercury
Systolic blood pressureThe pressure in the arteries when the heart is beating and the arteries are filled with blood
Diastolic blood pressureThe pressure in the arteries when the heart is resting between beats
What do the numbers mean?Your blood pressure can be normal, elevated, or you may have Stage 1 or 2 hypertension .Normal blood pressure is <120/<80 mmHgElevated blood pressure is 120-129/<80 mmHgStage 1 hypertension is 130-139 OR 80-89 Stage 2 hypertension is 140 or higher OR 90 or higher
Two or more readings are needed to determine if you have high blood pressure.
GET IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION!IF YOUR TOP NUMBER IS EVER 180 OR HIGHER AND/OR YOUR BOTTOM NUMBER IS EVER 110 OR HIGHER, GET EMERGENCY MEDICAL TREATMENT OR HAVE SOMEONE TAKE YOU TO THE HOSPITAL RIGHT AWAY!
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What Numbers Mean High Blood Pressure What Numbers Mean Normal Blood Pressure
Normal blood pressure is at or under 120 over 80.
In November 2017, blood pressure guidelines were modified. Any blood pressure measurement at or above 130 over 80 is now considered high. And thats what we in the medical community call hypertension. These numbers are down from the old recommendation of 140 over 90.
In the past, many people in the United States were considered prehypertension. The new recommendations get rid of that category, and now almost half of U.S. adults fall into the category of hypertension. That could seem shocking. But patients who are in this category should already be discussing their blood pressure numbers with their primary care doctor. If they arent, now is a good time to connect with their medical provider and come up with a plan for treatment.
Optimizing Treatment Of High Blood Pressure
The authors bring several evidence-based yet progressive concepts into the guidelines, the first of which is that high blood pressure should be treated using a team approach. This makes sense, as science supports more and better patient education around self-monitoring, nutrition, and lifestyle changes, as well as stress management. Telehealth is emphasized as a cost-effective method of ongoing monitoring that is more convenient for patients than frequent office visits.
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Diagnosing High Or Low Blood Pressure
Only one of your numbers needs to be higher than it should be to be diagnosed with high blood pressure, and only one needs to be lower than it should be to be diagnosed with low blood pressure.
So if your top number is over 140 or the bottom number is over 90, you may be diagnosed with high blood pressure, regardless of the other number. If your top number is under 90 or your bottom number is under 60, you may be diagnosed with low blood pressure. Use the chart to see where your numbers sit.
If your top number is consistently higher than 140mmHg, but the bottom number is healthy – this is known as Isolated Systolic Hypertension. If the bottom number is consistently higher than 90mmHg but the top number is healthy – this is known as Isolated Diastolic Hypertension.
Making sure your readings arent a one-off
A single high reading doesnt necessarily mean you have high blood pressure, as many things can affect your blood pressure throughout the day, such as the temperature, when you last ate, and if youre feeling stressed.
Your doctor or nurse will probably want to measure your blood pressure a number of times over a few weeks to make sure the reading wasnt just a one off and that your blood pressure stays high over time.;
Read about how high blood pressure is diagnosed, getting a blood pressure check, the further tests you might have if you have a high blood pressure reading, and what it means if youre diagnosed with high blood pressure.
Healthy And Unhealthy Blood Pressure Ranges
Learn whats considered normal, as recommended by the American Heart Association.
|SYSTOLIC mm Hg||and/or||DIASTOLIC mm Hg|
|HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE STAGE 1||130 139|
|HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE STAGE 2||140 OR HIGHER|
|HYPERTENSIVE CRISIS||HIGHER THAN 180||and/or||HIGHER THAN 120|
Note: A diagnosis of high blood pressure must be confirmed with a medical professional. A doctor should also evaluate any unusually;low blood pressure readings.
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Checking Blood Pressure At Home
Keeping track of blood pressure at home is important for many people, especially if you have high blood pressure. This helps you and your doctor find out if your treatment is working.
Your doctor may also suggest that you check your pressure at home if they think you may have “white coat hypertension.” It’s a real condition. The stress of being in a doctor’s office raises your blood pressure, but when you’re home, it’s normal.
Ask your doctor to recommend an easy-to-use home blood pressure monitor. Make sure the cuff fits properly. If your arm is too big for the cuff, the reading may be higher than your blood pressure really is. Ask your doctor for a larger cuff or make sure you buy a home monitor with a cuff that fits you.
You also can use a wrist blood pressure monitor, but they often aren’t as accurate. Follow the directions that come with the device to make sure you are using it correctly.
No matter which type of blood pressure monitor you have, it’s a good idea to take it to your doctor’s office. You can compare its reading to the numbers your doctor gets. Avoid caffeine, cigarettes, and exercise for at least 30 minutes before the test.
When you take your blood pressure at home, sit up straight in a chair and put both feet on the floor. Ask your doctor or nurse to show you the right way to position your arm so you get accurate readings.
Where Your Blood Oxygen Level Should Fall
A measurement of your blood oxygen is called your oxygen saturation level. In medical shorthand, you may hear it called a PaO2 when using a blood gas and an O2 sat when using a pulse ox. These guidelines will help you understand what your result might mean:
Normal: A normal ABG oxygen level for healthy lungs falls between 80 and 100 millimeters of mercury . If a pulse ox measured your blood oxygen level , a normal reading is typically between 95 and 100 percent.
However, in COPD or other lung diseases, these ranges may not apply. Your doctor will let you know whats normal for your specific condition. For example, it isnt uncommon for people with severe COPD to maintain their pulse ox levels between 88 to 92 percent .
Below normal: A below-normal blood oxygen level is called hypoxemia. Hypoxemia is often cause for concern. The lower the oxygen level, the more severe the hypoxemia. This can lead to complications in body tissue and organs.
Normally, a PaO2 reading below 80 mm Hg or a pulse ox below 95 percent is considered low. Its important to know whats normal for you, especially if you have a chronic lung condition.
Your doctor can provide recommendations as to what ranges of oxygen levels are acceptable for you.
Above normal: If your breathing is unassisted, its difficult for your oxygen levels to be too high. In most cases, high oxygen levels occur in people who use supplemental oxygen. This can be detected on an ABG.
Which Number Is Most Important
Both. Having a high number in either systolic or diastolic pressure can lead to a diagnosis of hypertension . However, systolic pressure tends to get more attention because high systolic blood pressure is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease for people over 50, and it can indicate major cardiac events.
Also note: Heart rate and blood pressure are not the same, and they can indicate different issues. The American Heart Association reports that blood pressure measures the force that blood moves through blood vessels, and heart rate measures the amount of times your heart beats per minute. Having a healthy heart rate does not necessarily mean your blood pressure is in a healthy range. Both measurements are important, but one does not replace the other.
High Blood Pressure In Adults
Healthy blood pressure in adults is a reading below 120 systolic and 80 diastolic. Blood pressure between 120 to 129 systolic and under 80 diastolic is considered elevated. Elevated blood pressure means you have a greater risk of developing high blood pressure later on. Your doctor may suggest eating less salt, eating a heart healthy diet, or living a more active lifestyle.
What Is The Ideal Blood Pressure
Blood pressure readings are calculated using one number over another: systolic blood pressure over diastolic. The blood pressure monitor shows measurements in millimetres of mercury, appearing as mmHg. Everyones blood pressure will be slightly different and you would need to discuss with a medical professional as to whats safe for you.
The normal blood pressure range for adults comes in between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg. This means that anything below 90/60mmHg mark constitutes low blood pressure;, while anything above 140/90mmHg indicates high blood pressure; as this is the threshold where a medical professional would actively monitor your blood pressure.
Knowing these numbers can help make you more aware of your health, and may help you to stay on top of your blood pressure
Who Should Have A Blood Pressure Check
All adults should have their blood pressure checked. Blood pressure becomes more common with age, so if youre over 40 you should have a blood pressure check at least every five years. Its a good idea to have a blood pressure check if you are younger as well, especially if you are carrying extra weight or have other health problems.
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How Do I Lower My Blood Pressure
The steps to lower your blood pressure aren’t as painful as you may be thinking. If you smoke, you’ll need to stop. Otherwise, lowering your blood pressure is as easy as the “more of this, less of that” approach you’re used to hearing about, including:
- Maintaining a healthy weight. If you’re overweight, a loss of as few as 10 pounds can lower your blood pressure.
- Consuming low levels of salt. Keep your salt intake under 1,500 mg/day.
- Getting plenty of exercise. Try to exercise for at least 90 minutes every week.
- Limiting alcohol. Keep your alcohol intake to one drink per day if you’re a woman, or two drinks per day if you’re a man.
- Eating healthy. Aim for a diet low in saturated and trans fats;and rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
“Not only may young people be tempted to brush off their elevated or high blood pressure,” says Dr. Nasir, “but they are less likely to be diagnosed by doctors during their office visits. Apart from taking steps now to reduce risk factors down the road, its important to discuss with your doctor if your blood pressure is consistently high.”
This article was updated on June 2, 2021 to reflect how the COVID-19 pandemic impacts a person’s everyday health and wellness.
Who Is Affected By High Blood Pressure
Approximately 1 in 3, more than 100 million, American adults have high blood pressure. But only half of those people have their condition under control. Many people develop high blood pressure when they are in their late 30s or early 40s, and it occurs more frequently as people age. However, because of the obesity epidemic, more and more children are also developing high blood pressure.
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