Having low oxygen levels means trouble for your body. When the body does not have the right amount of oxygen, one could experience hypoxia and hypoxemia, which means having low oxygen in your tissues and having low oxygen in your blood, respectively. Yes, our blood contains oxygen, and it is essential in keeping the organs and tissues in our body healthy and fully functional.
So when there is not enough oxygen in your system, your brain and the rest of your organs can be damaged, even irreversibly, within minutes once the symptoms start.
Warning Signs to Look Out For
Symptoms may vary from person to person, but hypoxia and hypoxemia can yield common symptoms, including shortness of breath, rapid breathing, slow or fast heart rate, sweating, coughing, wheezing, skin color changes, and confusion. If you experience any of these symptoms, call emergency help right away.
Causes of Low Blood Oxygen Levels
To prevent hypoxia and hypoxemia, it’s best to first know what causes these conditions in order to avoid them. Your doctor can tell you a number of reasons your blood is not getting enough oxygen.
1.Severe asthma attack
An asthma attack or a flare is a common cause of hypoxia in both adults and kids. When an attack occurs, the airways of the lungs start to narrow, making it difficult for air to get into your lungs. This is also aggravated when you cough to clear your lungs, as you end up using even more oxygen in the process.
To prevent an asthma attack, try to avoid triggers or substances that you are allergic to as much as possible. It’s also highly important to take your maintenance medications religiously and to use your peak flow meter often.
2. Lung conditions
There is a wide variety of lung diseases that can reduce your blood oxygen levels, which includes chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary edema, and pneumonia. Since these diseases inhibit airflow to the lungs causing difficulty in breathing, this puts the patient at risk for developing hypoxia and affecting the organs of the body.
Lung disease such as COPD is a chronic condition, but while you may experience the symptoms on an ongoing basis, they are still considered a medical emergency. If you are diagnosed with the condition and are experiencing severe difficulty in breathing, call your local emergency services as soon as possible. During admission, your doctor will measure your blood oxygen levels through a Nellcor DS 100A oxygen sensor and apply the necessary interventions right away.
3. Heart disease
There are several factors that determine how well your cells and tissues are supplied with oxygen. First; the air in your environment should have enough oxygen. Second; your lungs should be able to inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide without trouble. And third; your bloodstream should have no trouble circulating blood to the lungs and delivering oxygen throughout your system, which is usually the problem for people with a cardiovascular disease.
To prevent the loss of oxygen in the blood for heart disease patients, it is important to seek emergency medical help when experiencing symptoms like chest pain, fainting, and shortness of breath. It is easier to reverse the damage caused by heart disease the earlier the condition is treated.
Aside from these health conditions, there are other factors that may lead to low oxygen levels in your blood and tissues. It could be due to strong pain medications, cyanide poisoning, and anemia.
To know your condition better and to figure out the right interventions to make, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with your doctor. And if you are diagnosed with the above conditions, don’t wait for the symptoms to subside and seek emergency care at all costs.