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British Lung Foundation
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Hi again, another problem i have although my doc ses my emphysema is mild is im very fatigued alot and my pusle ox reads 95% to 97% alot but if im falling alseep on the couch or sitting down resting it goes down between 90% and 94% and my heart rate drops alot into the 50 to 60 beats ... my o2sat if i leave it on my finger for say 1 hour constantly changes every minute or so between 90 then up to sometimes 98 but fluctuates constantly.... could this be causing me fatigue and lightheadedness when i walk sometimes almost like im on a boat

6 Replies

Everything sounds normal to me. Maybe you just need to get fitter? Have you seen your doctor yet about possible health anxiety? Have you packed in the ciggies yet or made a plan to stop?


You have a great healthy resting heart rate! You have great 'normal range' daytime O2 sat's , and most people find they have lower sats when relaxing as our breathing usually becomes slower, more shallow when resting/ sleeping. As for leaving the pulse ox on your finger for an hour - there is little point as the standard pulse ox is not made for continual monitoring. If you have concerns re light headed you need to see your doctor. A pulse ox is not going to tell you much if you are only mild stage and if it is just causing you to worry it might be better to do without it. Light headedness can be normal like we all get from time to time throughout life, or if serious/ frequent/constant then you need to see a doctor. Sometimes being light headed is to do with the aging inner ear - I have had a few bouts of Vertigo and your description (like I'm on a boat) sounds very much like it. If it is Vertigo it is harmless but you could see your doctor. It will pass anyway over a few days - the more you are up and about the quicker it passes - just be sensible about keeping safe and waiting for it to settle before using stairs/ driving etc. Hope this helps ;)


thank you for your response .... i have had 1 bout of true vertigo 6 years ago where everything was spinning and it was the crystals in my inner ear that had to be put back in place and it lasted only 2 or 3 days and never came back ... my symptoms the past 2 years a few times a week are more the boat and light headed feeling only when walking .. and constant fatigue. if my emphysema is mild should i feel so tired and bloated all the time ?


Not usually, no, but then everyone is different. I do think you should tell your doctor how you're really feeling though - it never hurts to check. Also just because we have been diagnosed with emphysema or COPD it doesn't mean we can't still have other things going on. Whatever the cause I hope things look up for you soon :)




Hi hubby has O2 since November and often says he has headaches and light-headedness so your not alone. Similar readings to yours as well. he now goes to Pulmonary Rehab exercises two time a week and he feels this is helping him. Lots of people who have similar problems and they have a chat session- information and self help groups- as well afterwards. Run by the NHS so its free. you get 16 sessions. hope this is of some help


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