Asthma UK community forum

Fluctuating Sats

Hi everyone,

I'm not worried or anything, just wondering if it's 'normal'. I've been having lots of tests recently, so have had my sats measured a few times. They've been fluctuating between 92-99, even when I'm feeling fine, is that normal?

I had a exercise test where (before it started) they were between 96-98, mostly at 97, which I was told was slightly low. Today I had a bronchoscopy, and afterwards, waiting for the (very very mild) sedative to wear off, I turned round and saw my sats were at 92, but they then climbed quickly, (without me appearing to do anything), but kept changing pretty quickly, although they didn't go that low again that I saw.

My GP who appears to be far more concerned about sats than any other doctor thinks them being at 96 is really bad, but other doctors dont bat an eye lid. So it's a bit odd that they were 92, and I was totally fine.

Cheers, C

4 Replies

checking ur profile u dont show ur age but i wouldnt worry to much anything within the 90 to hundered range is fine when i am ill my sats often drop down and the docs dont start worrying to much till they drop below 89 if the docs were concerened they would be doing a blood gasses test anyway.


Thanks Andy. I was just thinking I should have said my age. Mid twenties, and I'm relatively active, which is why they said they should be above 97. I'm not worried, it just seems odd that they'd drop quite a lot when I feel fine, and wondered if anyone else had this.


Sometimes they can be effected by external factors and it isn't actually your sats which are fluctuating. Cold fingers and nail vanish can give abnormal readings as can having the monitor slightly off centred in your finger. I once got the doctors in a bit of a flap when my sats were showing 85 and i'd just gone for clinic (and was feeling well!) but it just turned out my fingers were to cold for the sensor.

If it is your sats i think 97 is about normal range but i would defnitly say that any lower than about 92/3 you should be having some serious discussions as to why its happening and any signs of lips/eyelids/nails going blue get your self STRAIGHT to a&e. Lack of oxygen can cause brain damage and even death so its really important you get this seen to.

Annie x


Cheers. I have no traces of nail varnish, I was warm, and (having had the same experience with a sudden massive drop as well previously in an ambulance) I think the thing was on my finger properly. I've spent time at high altitude where it's very normal to have low sats (low 80s), and my sats were good for that altitude, so I assumed I had a supersonic body for absorbing O2, but maybe not!


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