Shortness of breath with 95% oxygen

I have never posted on the British Lung Association site before, but was a regular participant in the discussions about PSP until my husband died from this terrible disease in 2012. I live in the US, but, when I lived in London in the 1990's, benefited from the excellent care that I received for my COPD.

I have had COPD for  many years and have lived a normal life with, family, job and travel. However, of late, as I get closer to 80 years , I find that my COPD is  constantly causing me to experience shortness of breath with almost any exertion.

I participate in a physical therapy program and thus have my oxygen levels and heart rate checked regularly.  I find that with an oxygen level of  95 or higher, i have a heart rate of 107 and experience extreme shortness of breath.  I wonder what is going on. I fear that I am developing a heart condition of some sort. Does anyone have any ideas about what could be going on?

8 Replies

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  • Excellent web page, Coughalot.  Very relevant for me. It explains in a nut shell my problems with pulmonary rehab. Thanks.

    K xx

  • Thanks for that coughalot, as I read through it I was becoming increasingly concerned ... then I got to the 'telling the difference' bit and saw the echocardiogram & ultrasound bit and breathed a sigh of relieve .... up to then all the symptoms seemed to fit but, having these tests just 16 months ago (following chest pains) my heart was declared the fittest bit of me!

    Even during the angiogram the Dr said he wished his arteries were as clear as mine!

    @ BarbR - really hope you get a good outcome

    Best wishes

  • Morning BarbR, the web page that Coughalot has flagged is excellent and is relevant for me, as I have similar problems to you.  Heart rate shoots up on exercise and I have had to withdraw from pulmonary rehab. If you look back at my posts you will find my account of that.  As you will see from that I believe that I have pulmonary hypertension (PH), which can cause right heart failure. I have a condition, chronic thromboembolic disease, which often leads to PH. Now all I need to do is to convince my doctors....

    You must get on to your doctors to check out your heart. 

    All the best

    K xxx

  • I have RLD and heart conditions with good heart tubes but poor electric signals.  I also have PH and have been deemed to be Exercise intolerance by the PR team.  I have an average heart rate of 120 and can go past 150.  If the heart is pumping faster then it is probably looking for more oxygen?  But it needs to do that so it can pump the O2 about the body and organs.  So it is doing what it needs to do but when you go that little further than normal you run out of air quickly, which is what happens to me.

    I would ask your doctor if they are aware of PH and have you been tested for it?  It is a simple test.

    Be Well

  • I am 69 with severe COPD and Emphysema; suffered a mini stroke last year and spent 18 days in Intensive care at Xmas with Pneumonia. I also have atrial Fibrillation .  My oxy levels are usually 96/97%  and this morning I reached 98% yet I remain short of breath and really struggle with minor house hold tasks. I just accept  it must be the state of my lungs with this disease.

  • Hi Barb,I am just a baby at 60yrs but with very severe emphysema ,similar oxygen level but heart rate often 120, I get breathless just walking to my kitchen.I still try to exercise as much as I can,my Fev1 is 20%.My GP put me on drugs to lower heart rate,they seem to work,I,m still breathless though.D.

  • I was told that I had COPD and they kept giving me prednisone and I wasn't getting better. 2 years of this and I felt like I was suffocating. I couldn't even walk up the stairs to my bedroom without having to sit down for 15/20 minutes to catch my breath. I also have a lot of other things going on with my health and the doctors just kept on treating each one individually. I however was not getting better. I got off all the medication and started researching stuff myself. And that's when I found out abou candida yeast and started an all natural cure for it seeing that prednisone is a drug that it feeds off of as well as a lot of other drugs and food.. I started feeling better but was not 100%and that's when I did more research and found out that my gut bacteria from all the medication and from the overgrowth of yeast need to be fixed as well. I started drinking a living tea called kambucha and taking cbd oils and in happy to say that I can breath for the first time in 2-2 1/2 years. It hasn't even been two weeks but I'm so happy to feel like I'm not dying anymore. Here a great link that can explain it better than I ever could..look up fungus and yeast 

    I AM NOT PROMOTING THIS TEA AT ALL..I HAVE NEVER USED IT BUT THIS INFO IS FANTASTIC 

    mymiracletea.com/html/fungu...

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