British Lung Foundation
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Oxygen 98, possible lung scarring can anyone explain this to me please?

I kept myself well last year only being diagnosed as having very mild COPD and Asthma and I didn't have any chest infections or Colds. I kept excercising too. This Feb I had a spell in hospital due to an unrelated illness and came out with a chest infection (or not as the case may be). Anyhow I've taken four different courses of three different kinds antibiotic, the last being finished only last Wednesday. I'm still bringing light green phlegm up of a morning and then it turns normal but my cough is worse than it normally is. I also took a sample of my sputum to my GP three weeks ago. I had my COPD review last Friday and the nurse told me my stats had dropped slightly but I was still in the very mild bracket and I remember her saying my Oxygen was 98 and that was good. She then made me an appointment to see a doctor today.

I've seen him and he informed me all my stats were lower including my Oxygen levels and I'd lost 'some' lung capacity. He suggested that the stats show that I have scarring on my lungs. He also said that the results of my sputum test showed no pathogens. He then went on to say that my spirometry test shouldn't have been undertaken while I was coming off the back of an infection and it may be an erroneous result. The upshot is I'm to see if the phlegm clears and I get better and then arrange another spirometry test for July. I became very worried because he looked very grave. I can't remember the other stats but can anyone explain the 98 Oxygen level and the possible scenario of having scarred lungs.

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5 Replies

Hi Wiggins, I'm not a medical professional, I have emphysema so some experience of some of the terms and symptoms. The 98 oxygen refers to the percentage oxygen saturation level of your blood. 98% would normally be thought of as good.

Best of luck with your further tests.


My partner has normal healthy lungs and never smoked and has no problems at all but her sats are always 96%. So 98% is good.

It's great you've got some good medical care there.

Re the mucus, I find that drinking plenty (I don't mean alcohol) softens and makes it more liquid/loose. Hope this helps. P

If your mucus is a normal colour the rest of the day I wouldn't worry too much. Plenty of fluid will help and sipping very hot drinks just don't scald yourself!

I am an 81 year woman, and was recently told that I have COPD, however my normal oxygen level is 98%?? I have no shortness of breath and although I have tried every inhaler made, lol, I am unable to take any inhalers because my lips become swollen and very painful. My dx does not make sense to me, I walk a lot and usually 3 days of walking 2-3 miles daily. Has anyone here got an answer? I am seeing my lung doctor in a few days, one of them told me "severe" and the next one told me "mild". Are there other methods to treat one's lungs other than the inhalants? I would appreciate any ideas.

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