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British Lung Foundation
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Oxygen levels

Hi guys, I contracted pneumonia 3 weeks ago. Within that time I've been in A&E twice but they let me home on Christmas eve. In that time I had 2 lots of drip antibiotics followed by oral Amoxicillin and clarithromycin for 2 weeks. Although I was feeling a little better my heart rate was still racing and oxygen levels were below 90. I am just on my second day of doxycycline for a week. Heart rate has come down below 100 and oxygen levels are slightly up to 90-92. Can anyone tell me when these levels will start to get back to normal? I am kind of relating my exhaustion and heavy weak legs to my oxygen levels, it has been the worse illness i've ever had in my life bar none. My eyesight has become worse since this illness also? Thanks in advance, Neil.

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Hi Neil. Doxy is good stuff and my ab of choice. Oxygen sats of 90/92 are acceptable but are likely to improve as the pneumonia is beaten. Rest as much as you can.

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Thanks.

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Hi francis1234 .

Please don;t take this as advice, just how COPD and chest infections affect me personally.

First I myself don't like doxycycline at all, reason is it is i suffer from Acid Reflux, so I would rather have Oxytetracycline.

SPO2 Levels of 90-92 are not drastic and as Toci says, likely to improve as your pneumonia improves.

With COPD my normal levels are 92-94, in the night sometimes go lower, that I understand is common when you have COPD.

Rest and keep warm and well hydrated and you body and doxycycline should do the rest.

Have a good new Year and hope you are well soon.

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Cheers!

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Hi Neil

Sounds positive..normal that your heart has to work harder when you are fighting an infection so your rate does come up. Oxygen levels coming up is good indication that antibiotics are working.

I would talk to the doctor about your eyesight it can be a side effect of medication and should get back to normal afterwards.

Feeling tired and weak is unfortunately the plight of having pneumonia you will have to take it easy..baby steps..

Wishing you a good recovery xx

Fran

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Hi. I have been through this. I am 76 and live most of my time in Thailand with my Thai wife. For 3 yrs 14 15 and 16 I spent up to 4 times a yr. in the hospital here with acute bronchitis and developed Pheumonia 4 times over this period. I was on antibiotic drips regularly and they pumped me with steroids. Worst thing ever. My muscles shrunk my skin became very thin. Slightest knock would split it. I read up a lot and antibiotics with part of the name Moxi in it had so many after efects also the steroids had terrible side efects. My legs became so weak and my eyes blurry. I managed to stay free of the Broncitis from the end of 2016 until now. My legs have become stronger. Before all this my skin would heal so fast after a cut etc. I also have COPD. BEING OFF STEROIDS FOR 12 months has improved my general health.

Read up on steroids and certain antibiotics some are a bit concerning.

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Hi Shaurene. I believe I may have acute bronchitis, but can't seem to get rid if it (I have just finished third course of steroids). Am told antibiotics don't work for bronchitis, which is inflammation as opposed to infection. Each time you had the bronchitis how long did it take to get rid of the inflammation? Also has your breathing returned to what it was before you contracted the bronchitis or is it worse? Thank you for your help

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Hi Dedalus

Acute is the worst type. Acute Bronchitis can take up to 4 months to clear. And they say you are prown to get it once each year. My doctor in New Zealand always puts me on Augmentin 500 mg 3 times a day plus another antibiotic which I cannot remember now 125 mg and also Prendislone. Which I do take when I have this problem. What I feel has also helped my was increasing my water. I try and drink 6-8 tall glasses a day with a squeeze of lemon or lime juice.

So expect a 3-4 month cure time. Plenty of rest, plenty of tasty warm soups, walk when you can around the park and sit on the benches often.

What I thought up my self many years ago when I did a lot of diving was to expand my lungs more than just deep breathing. I take a very deep breath them I gulp more air into my mouth and blocking off my nose passage ways and swallow the mouthful of air. You really feel your lungs expanding. Then breath your lungs out slowly. Not fast. It could make you a little dizzy. I do it morning and night in bed. Give it a go see if it helps with your breathing it does with mine.

Take care.

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Thank you so much - quite reassuring to know it can take 3-4 months to get better (thought something else must be going on, when I just couldn't seem to shake this horrible illness). I will definitely try the deep breathing exercises and increase water intake. Thanks again.

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agoShaurene

There are times when antibiotics alone won't help Chest Infections/COPD... All well and good if you can breath OK with the infection. But if your airways are inflamed, you do need steroids - The alternative is risk damaging your lungs. I don't like steroid medication at all, reading the leaflet shows the risks.

However the risks are weighed up against the consequences of not taking them if you have wheeze and other naughty's stopping you breathing proper.

You seemed to have had a very rough time and I can sympathise with your views on steroids, I have to take nasty meds like Alendronic acid because of steroids, along with Adcal D3 - I have been took off Alendronic acid for a while, thank heavens for that..

In short I am saying with COPD and persistent Chest Infections, I can't see an alternative to steroids.

BTW - A good side effect of steroids is it helps my arthritis and another condition, so for me it ain't all that bad.

Wish you well.

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My husband had pneumonia in October with a relapse in November. The most concerning thing was his oxygen levels but they are now really improved. Recovery does take a long time, I would say try not to worry but I know that’s impossible. Take care

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Thank you x

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I had pneumonia a few years ago and agree it's the worse i ever felt as well.

It takes a good 2 to 3 months to recover, gentle exercise i.e walking when you feel up to it, plenty of rest and lots to drink.Take it easy but don't expect to feel normal again for a while. Also make sure you take your meds and get as much gunk off your chest as you can x x

Hope you start to feel better soon x

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Thank you x

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Not the oxygen might be the after effects pneumonia it can take months to start feeling better. At the hospital when I had double pneumonia I was told not to expect to feel well in a week or two. That it could take months which it did

Best of luck hope you have a quick recovery.

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Frances if they gave to steroids in hospital they can affect your eyes

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