Hypoxemia (Low Oxygen Level) : Everything You Need To Know


Hypoxemia, A problem related to the Low oxygen level of the body is called hypoxemia or hypoxia, but hypoxia and hypoxemia are not synonyms. Hypoxemia means a decrease in the partial pressure of oxygen in the blood. In simple words, this is called a lack of oxygen in the blood. Now talking about hypoxia, this is the condition in which the oxygen level of the tissue decreases.

Yes, it is also true that hypoxemia, i.e. lack of oxygen in the blood, increases the risk of hypoxia (lack of oxygen in the tissue). It is obvious that when there is less oxygen in the blood, then there will be a danger of lowering the oxygen levels in the tissue as well. Research also suggests that in some cases both these problems occur simultaneously, but not necessarily those who have hypoxemia, they also become a victim of hypoxia.

Normal Hypoxemia(blood oxygen levels)

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what is safe and what is low?

The measurement of blood oxygen is called oxygen saturation level. In medical language, words like PaO2 and SpO2 are used. Below we are talking about the normal levels of oxygen related to these two.

1. Normal Oxygen Level

The oxygen level (SpO2) in a pulse oximeter device should be 95 to 100 percent. This is called normal oxygen level. Healthy lungs have a normal ABG (arterial blood gas) oxygen (PaO2) level of 75 to 100 mmHg (millimeter mercury). Yes, lung disease, especially COPD, does not have a normal pulse oximeter level (SpO2) of 95 to 100 percent. is. Doctors recommend maintaining oxygen levels between 88 and 92 percent for serious patients struggling with this problem.

2. Abnormal Oxygen Level

When the oxygen level falls below normal, it is called hypoxemia. While there is no standard for how much oxygen saturation occurs, hypoxemia occurs, but oxygen saturation (SpO2) below 95 percent is considered abnormal. Some research suggests that oxygen levels (SpO2) ) Tends to be below 90 percent, then that condition is hypoxemia. Also, if ABG oxygen (PaO2) is below 75 mmHg, it is considered an abnormal level.

Diagnosis of Hypoxemia (Low Oxygen Level)

How is oxygen deficiency checked?

Your doctor will do a physical examination to check for the lack of oxygen, in which the sound coming out of your lungs and heart is heard. If there is any abnormality in these organs, it may indicate a lack of oxygen. Apart from this, the doctor will look at the skin of your fingers, lips, and other organs and check whether their color is turning blue.

Your doctor may also do some other tests to check your oxygen level, such as:

1. Arterial blood test

It is considered an effective tool for detecting hypoxemia. This provides much additional information in addition to the diagnosis of hypoxemia. For example, it detects oxygen levels as well as carbon dioxide (PCO2), which can also explain the cause of low oxygen.

During this test, the acid and base in the blood are also examined, which is called the pH of the blood. Is called a balance. If there is more or less acid in the blood, it is known that there is a problem in the lungs and kidneys. During this procedure, blood is extracted by inserting a needle into the artery. This results in severe pain, as blood from the vein causes more blood to be extracted from the artery.

2. Pulse Oximetry Test

Blood oxygen levels are also tested in this test. It does not use any kind of needle. A small clip with a sensor called pulse oximetry is applied to the fingers. This device measures oxygen levels, called Peripheral Oxygen Saturation or SpO2.

3. Lame Function Test

If the cause of lack of oxygen is not known, then the doctor may ask for a lung function test. With the help of this test, it is found out how much air you inhale and release and how fast you release your breath. Also, with the help of this test, it is also known how well your lungs are transporting oxygen to the blood.

The most common type of lame function test is called spirometry. With the help of this test, it is found that after taking a deep breath, you release the amount of air back out and how fast.

Symptoms of low blood oxygen levels

Some symptoms are seen when the level of oxygen in the body decreases, with the help of which the first necessary steps can be taken from time to time. These symptoms are as follows.

  • Inhalation
  • Skin, lips, and nails are blue in color
  • Brisk breathing
  • Cause confusion
  • Headache problem
  • breathlessness
  • Irritability
  • Feeling sleepy or wanting to sleep all the time
  • To have seizures
  • Heart rate exceeding 100 beats per minute (Tachycardia)
  • Chest pain

Causes of low blood oxygen levels

Along with the common cause, medical conditions also cause hypoxemia ie low blood oxygen, some of which are as follows.

  • Breathing in contaminated air
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) ie lung disease
  • Due to pneumonia
  • Corona (COVID-19)
  • Severe asthma attack
  • Late-stage heart failure
  • Cystic fibrosis (a genetic disease affecting the lungs and digestive system)
  • Sleep apnea (breathlessness of a few seconds)
  • Cardio Pulmonary Disease (all conditions affecting the heart and lungs)

How to maintain oxygen level in the body: Tips to Increase Your Blood Oxygen Level

Some tips can be followed to maintain the blood oxygen level. We are going into detail about them.

1. Breathe in the fresh air

Open your home and room windows and breathe in the fresh air. In fact, due to the lack of oxygen in the house, the oxygen level of the body can also be reduced. In such a situation, this small effort can prove to be effective.

2. Quit Smoking

Healthy people who smoke cigarettes also have lower oxygen levels than others. For this reason, smoking should not be done to maintain the right level of oxygen in the body. It is said that quitting smoking improves oxygen levels in the body. This may also improve lung functionality.

3. Stay close to nature

Oxygen levels in the body are low due to contaminated air. Stay close to nature in such a situation. In addition, you can do plantations in and around your home. There are many such plants planted indoors, which are known to purify the air. These can increase the oxygen level of the house by reducing carbon dioxide, which can also increase the oxygen level of the body.

4. Do Breathing Exercise

Breathing exercises can also help maintain oxygen levels in the body. They are said to open the airways and help increase oxygen levels in the body. Taking a long breath for a while, then stopping it for a few seconds can be effective exercises.
Also, pruning exercises can also increase oxygen levels. For this, you have to take a deep breath while lying on your stomach and then stop the breath for three seconds. During this time, one should have two pillows under the head and two under the stomach.

5. Take the support of yoga

Yoga can also be done to increase blood oxygen. Pranayama is considered good for this. Apart from this, oxygen levels in the body can also be increased with the help of Tadasana and other yoga poses.

6. Keep drinking water

Even when there is a sufficient amount of water in the body, the oxygen level remains normal. Waterworks not only supply nutrients to the body but also to oxygen. For this, it is necessary to have body water balance in the body.

7. Walking in the morning and evening

walking and jogging are also considered essential for oxygen level. Research suggests that jogging for a while can improve blood oxygen levels. In such a situation, low oxygen levels can also be avoided by walking and jogging in the morning and evening.

8. Eat a healthy diet

Foods also have a direct relationship with oxygen level. In this case, only include nutritious food in the diet. The most important nutrient in these is iron, which helps in making hemoglobin protein in the body. It is the hemoglobin that carries oxygen to the blood. For this, include spinach, cabbage, dried beans, etc. in the diet.

9. Chewing activity

According to research, chewing activity for a while can also improve blood oxygen levels. This can help avoid low blood oxygen levels in the brain caused by stress. This can help in increasing blood circulation as well as oxygen level.

Low oxygen level Medical Treatments

After low oxygen levels, the main goal of treatment is to reach oxygen to the lungs and other organs. Also, carbon dioxide is extracted from the body. Some such treatments can be done for this

1. Oxygen therapy

During this treatment, oxygen is delivered to the body through a nasal cannula (two small plastic tubes inserted into the nostril) or by fitting an oxygen mask to the nose and mouth.

2. Tracheostomy

It is a surgical therapy. Through this, a small hole is made in the front part of the neck through surgery, which goes directly into the windpipe. Then insert a tube that helps in breathing in this hole. This tube is called tracheostomy or tracheal tube.

3. Ventilator

This machine, which helps in breathing, fills the air in the lungs. This also removes carbon dioxide from the lungs.


Non-invasive positive pressure ventilation (NPPV) creates light air pressure to keep sleeping airways open. It is an air mask in a helmet-like band, which is fitted from nose to mouth.

5. Other treatments

Low blood oxygen can also be treated with the help of a special bed, which helps in breathing and exhaling. This bed moves forward and backward, aiding the breathing process. Doctors may also recommend the (IV) Fluid flow through a vein in the body. This improves blood flow in the body and can also provide nutrition to the body.

Foods that increase oxygen in the blood – Foods that help increase oxygen in the blood

In the event of hypoxemia, the level of oxygen in the blood can also be increased by including the right foods in the diet. We are talking about both what to eat and what not to eat in hypoxemia in two parts.

What should we eat

Foods to be eaten include iron-rich foods that increase hemoglobin. This is the reason that hemoglobins carry oxygen to the blood.

  • Dried Beans and Fruits
  • Egg (especially egg yolk)
  • Red meat
  • Salmon and tuna fish
  • whole grains
  • Dried plum
  • Raisins
  • Apricot
  • Soybean
  • Beans
  • Peas
  • almond
  • Brazil nuts
  • Brockley
  • Spinach
  • cauliflower
  • Kale
  • asparagus
  • dandelion greens
  • Wheat
  • Millet
  • Oat
  • Brown rice
  • Garlic

Whom to refrain from

In order to maintain oxygen levels, it is recommended to include a low carbohydrate-rich diet. Meaning high carbohydrate foods should be avoided. Also, be sure to avoid these things.

  • Avoid drinking cold drinks
  • Do not smoke
  • Don’t drink alcohol
  • Avoid sweet things
  • Do not eat foods rich in salt
  • Avoid fried foods

Complications caused by low oxygen Level

A person also has some complications when hypoxemia is a low oxygen level. These complications can be something like this.

1. Lung complications

There may be a block of the lung artery, which is called pulmonary embolism. Additionally, pneumothorax is also a complication of low blood oxygen levels in low blood oxygen levels.

This occurs when air leaks between the lungs and the chest wall. Pneumothorax may cause complete or malfunctioning of the lung. In addition, increasing an individual’s dependence on ventilators is also a complication.

2. Complications of heart

Complications such as heart failure, poor heartbeat, and heart attack can also be caused by hypoxemia.

3. Gastrointestinal problems

Hypoxemia can lead to intestinal problems if not treated at the right time. This includes the risk of stress ulcers, intestinal blockage, and hemorrhage.

4. Nutritional problem

The person may be a victim of malnutrition. In addition, he may have diarrhea, diarrhea, lack of blood sugar, and electrolyte mineral disturbances.

5. Neurological complications

Hypoxemia can lead to complications such as brain damage and brain dead.

6. Organ Damage

There is a risk of Organ Damage when hypoxemia occurs. Multiple organ damage can occur to one part or more of a person’s body.

7. Death

A person may also die due to problems of low blood oxygen level for a long time and not treating it.

When to see a doctor

Sudden breathing becomes worse when blood oxygen levels are low. In such a situation, you can immediately contact the doctor. Also, if symptoms of low hypoxemia are seen, then visit the doctor.

  • Nail blue
  • Shortness of breath or inability to breathe
  • Having any type of respiratory problem
  • Abnormal breathing

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why are Corona and Covid-19 patients in need of oxygen?

Corona affects the respiratory system of a person, due to which patients who are in critical condition need oxygen.

When do corona (covid-19) patients need oxygen?

Corona patients may require oxygen in case of respiratory failure, low oxygen levels covid, and severely affected lungs. On average, 14% of corona victims require oxygen upon hospitalization.

Can low oxygen levels be reversed?

Yes, oxygen levels can be increased with the help of oxygen therapy and other treatments. Apart from these, household tips such as breathing exercises and yoga can also improve oxygen levels.

What is the first sign of hypoxemia?

The first sign of hypoxemia is shortness of breath.

How does it feel when there is a lack of oxygen?

When there is a lack of oxygen, there is difficulty in breathing and the breath does not come properly.

What is acute hypoxemia?

The condition of severe hypoxemia is called acute hypoxemia.

How can I increase oxygen in my blood?

You can increase the oxygen level by consuming iron-rich foods, with the help of yoga and breathing exercises.

What are the symptoms of low oxygen levels at night?

Shortness of breath is also a symptom of decreased oxygen level at night.

Is cyanosis an early sign of hypoxia?

Yes, cyanosis ie blue of the hands, feet, lips can be an early sign of hypoxia

Which finger is best for the pulse oximeter?

For pulse oximeter, right middle finger (middle finger) and right thumb are considered best.

Can stress also cause low oxygen levels?

Yes, oxygen levels may decrease due to anxiety and stress.

What is "Happy Hypoxia"?

An unusual complication seen in patients with corona (Covid-19) is called “Happy hypoxia”. “Happy hypoxia” is also called the silent killer. In this, the blood oxygen level of the patient is very low, but any respiratory problem is not caught.

Does pranayama increase oxygen levels?

Yes, pranayama can increase oxygen levels. Actually, breathing exercises done during Pranayama can work to increase the amount of oxygen. For this, pranayama like Kapalabhati and Anulom-Antonyms can be done.

How can one increase the oxygen level in a room?

To increase oxygen levels in a room, keep the window open. Also, small plants can be placed in pots in the room or near the window. These plants can help clean the air. At the same time, opening the windows and doors of the room can be taken for a while. If someone has a habit of smoking, he should quit this habit immediately. In addition, breathing exercises and yoga should be done regularly.

Which exercise is best for oxygen?

Breathing exercises can be considered best for increasing the amount of oxygen. Prone breathing, buteo nose breathing, alternating nostril breathing, and lion breathing exercise can be done for this.


I, hope by this article you’ll get all the necessary information regarding Hypoxemia(Low Oxygen Level)/Hypoxia. If you have a query comment down below and you like this post kindly please share as sharing just needs one click, and who knows one click can be helpful to someone.

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