How to understand oxygen saturation?

Oxygen saturation refers to the degree to which hemoglobin in red blood cells bind to oxygen molecules.There are two common methods of measuring blood oxygen saturation: arterial blood gas (ABG) test and pulse oximeter. Of these two instruments, pulse oximeters are more commonly used.


The pulse oximeter is clamped on your finger to indirectly measure oxygen saturation. It emits a beam of light to the blood circulating in the capillaries, reflecting the amount of oxygen in the blood. The pulse oximeter reading is expressed as a percentage. As mentioned above, a reading of 94% to 99% or higher indicates normal oxygen saturation, and any reading below 90% is considered hypoxemia, also known as hypoxemia.

If your oxygen saturation is low, the good news is that you can work hard to increase oxygen saturation. Using supplemental oxygen, eating healthy food and exercising regularly are three ways to directly improve the oxygen saturation level in the blood.

1.Supplemental oxygen

Supplemental oxygen may have the most direct effect and is prescribed by your primary care doctor or pulmonologist. Some people need supplemental oxygen 24 hours a day, while others use supplemental oxygen only when needed. Your doctor will be able to best guide you through flow settings and frequency of use.

2.healthy diet

A healthy diet also plays an important role in blood oxygen saturation. Eating meat and fish ensures that you have enough iron, as low iron content is a common cause of low oxygen saturation. If the iron content is low, try adding canned tuna, beef, or chicken to your diet.

If you are a vegetarian or do not want to eat a lot of meat, you can still get iron from plant sources. Kidney beans, lentils, tofu, cashew nuts and baked potatoes are important sources of iron. Although these foods contain iron, it is different from the iron in meat products. Therefore, taking supplements such as vitamin C or eating citrus fruits and iron-rich vegetables will help your body promote iron absorption.


Regular exercise can also increase blood oxygen saturation. A recent study in rats found that regular exercise can actually reduce the negative effects of hypoxemia. If you are not familiar with sports, please read our lung exercise blog post for important tips on getting started. Exercise is one of the best things you can do for lung health. Just remember to talk to your doctor before starting or changing exercise routines.

Post time: Jan-06-2021