Getting a little scared

I was diagnosed with moderate copd back in March/April time. A that time my O2 levels were 99 even though I was smoking. Since then I'm nearly 4 months quit BUT yesterday I went to an assessment appointment for pulmonary rehab and my O2 levels were only 93!! I don't feel ill or have a cold etc but I do get SOB very easily. Can anyone give me an idea of what is going on please??

8 Replies

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  • Hello Winnietyson, Please don't be scared! First well done on stopping smoking! I would not be worrying too much about the 'numbers' your saturation levels can go up and down at the drop of a hat, if they go below 88 then that may be too low..but still no need to be scared. You can by a little oxymeter ( Amazon are fairly good and fast delivery) I have a 'Biosync' which was inexpensive and works fine. The top figure is your heart beats per minute and the lower number is your oxygen ( sats) number.

    Pulmonary Rehab is wonderful for improving your stamina and fitness, they will keep an eye on you and you will learn a lot about your condition, you'll meet others like us! Have fun and try not to worry :) huffx

  • Try not to worry Winny ! Oxygen sats are so erratic and vary so much , according to time of day, level of activity etc. If they drop below 90 then obviously you should discuss it with your doctor but 93 isn't really cause for worry.

  • Don't worry - my husbands SATS are usually 93 or 94 thats OK. The nurses told us that they needed to know if they dropped below 88. Apparently below 88 can have an affect on other organs in the body and oxygen is needed to protect your organs.

    Have you been referred for Pulmonary Rehab - if not ask your Doctor. Its a six week course, two hours a week, one hour monitored exercise and one hour information - it helped my husband so much by putting him back in control.

    Well done for giving up smoking - thats essential. Take good care, lots of love TAD xx

  • Don't worry!! the numbers will fluctuate. Below 90 might be cause for concern, so just go to the surgery or phone them if that happens- try not to worry :) :)

  • found this a while ago ...........False high readingsPulse oximeters can give a falsely high reading in the presence of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide binds to haemoglobin about 250 times more strongly than oxygen and, once in place, prevents the binding of oxygen. It also turns haemoglobin bright red. The pulse oximeter is unable to distinguish between haemoglobin molecules saturated in oxygen and those carrying carbon monoxide (Casey, 2001). False high readings are also always obtained from smokers - readings are affected for up to four hours after smoking a cigarette (Dobson, 1993). Other sources of carbon monoxide include fires, car-exhaust inhalation and prolonged exposure to heavy-traffic environments.

    Hope this helps.

  • Thanks Eyes. Very informative :)

  • Hi Winnietyson I was told that ciggies open you airways for the blimming smoke and you might feel a little worse before your lungs adjust to being smoke free,it can take a little while.Well done you stopping though it will definitely benefit you.Try and practice some slow deep breaths from your tummy trying to breathe out for longer than you breathe in, do it a few times a day it has helped me a lot.Dont be scared your doing brilliantly. :) Janexx

  • As Jane (Lonlungs) says, breathing will always help.

    When mine drop I can usually bring levels up with deep diaphragm breathing.

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