Blood Oxygen Level: What It Is & How To Increase It

What is Blood Oxygen Level?

The Blood oxygen level is the amount of oxygen circulating in the blood. Red blood cells carry most of the oxygen, collecting it from the lungs and delivering it to all parts of the body. There can be serious consequences if the oxygen level is too little or too much. Low blood oxygen levels can be a warning sign that immediate medical care is required. Maintaining the right oxygen level in the blood is crucial to maintaining good health. Similar to our blood pressure or blood sugar level, our blood oxygen level plays a significant role in maintaining good health.

What should your oxygen level be?

The oxygen saturation level is considered normal if it is between 95% to 100%. If the oxygen levels fall below this range, the person must seek medical advice. Oxygen levels between 91% and 95% may indicate an underlying medical issue. People with oxygen levels below 95% must take medical advice immediately.

Oxygen level below 90% is very concerning, indicating a medical emergency. The state is termed hypoxemia. Immediate medical help must be given to the person. If the oxygen saturation drops below 85%, the severe lack of oxygen affects the brain. The person may experience vision changes and lose consciousness.

When the blood oxygen levels drop below 80%, the brain, liver, and other vital body organs get affected.

Cyanosis develops when the blood oxygen saturation falls below 67%. It is a condition characterized by a bluish tinge on the skin or mucous membranes due to a lack of oxygen.

What are the symptoms of low oxygen levels?

Hypoxemia refers to a condition when the oxygen concentration in the blood gets abnormally low. Depending on how low the blood oxygen level is, the symptoms of hypoxemia may vary from person to person. Some of the symptoms of low oxygen levels in the blood include shortness of breath, headaches, restlessness, dizziness, rapid breathing, chest pain, confusion, high blood pressure, lack of coordination, visual disorders, sense of euphoria, and rapid heartbeat. When the oxygen level gets very low, it leads to cyanosis. The person experiences bluish discoloration of the skin around lips, fingernails, etc., due to inadequate oxygenation in the blood.

Ways to prevent low oxygen levels

With appropriate medical advice combined with changes in lifestyle and food habits, we can maintain appropriate blood oxygen levels and prevent them from getting low. Healthcare workers recommend the following to increase the oxygen saturation in the blood.

  • Eat a healthy and nutritious diet
  • Consider doing yoga and breathing exercises
  • Exercising regularly
  • Preventive medications such as inhalers
  • Avoid triggers that may cause breathing difficulty, Be aware of your body
  • Keep yourself hydrated
  • Stop smoking
  • Avoiding secondhand smoke

Many conditions can cause low blood oxygen levels. Treating the underlying condition responsible will generally improve blood oxygen levels. People living with chronic lung diseases, such as COPD, and those who catch COVID-19 may need regular blood oxygen monitoring. A person with low blood oxygen can also make lifestyle changes, such as adjusting their dietary and exercise habits. In conjunction with oxygen therapy, these changes could help a person raise their oxygen saturation levels. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment are the keys to avoiding complications and ensuring good health. Book an Appointment with specialists in the field to get the right medical advice.


The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.


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