Oxygen Level: Had an appointment with... - British Lung Foun...

British Lung Foundation

46,168 members54,468 posts

Oxygen Level


Had an appointment with the Respiratory Dept at St. Thomas today. It's only the 2nd time I've been monitored, the last time was about 6 years ago, then it was established that my oxygen level dropped after walking for 6 minutes from 98 to 82, but as soon as I stopped walking it reverted back to normal. This time, after walking for 6 minutes it dropped from 96 down to 77, but returned to 95 - shock horror. They wanted me to have oxygen at home for when I go out, but while I can get by without it I will do so, even if I have to stop more often. Any advice!

19 Replies

JLC72, you need oxygen when you are doing anything such as walking, period. Get it and use it , or you will continually be damaging your heart and brain cells. With only best Wishes, judg69

You need supplementary oxygen to maintain the health of other organs. If the other organs , heart etc, are not getting enough oxygen when you put pressure on them then they could go into failure mode.

Yes, you can get by without it but your are in serious danger of shortening your life for the sake of pride.

Supplementary oxygen has been suggested to you for a reason. It's your health you are playing with !

You really should use it if advised as by doing so your also protecting other organs from being deprived of oxygen your heart in particular. You will soon get use to it just as I did


Ambulitory oxygen therapy is not to be feared or ignored. It’s only extra medication. Mine was prescribed when my sats dropped to 83 on excertion. Dropping to 77 on a regular basis is not good, and will diminish your walking abilities.

Any help is welcomed .I f it eases the problem overall make use of it as it will be to your benefit



As GPs no longer prescribe oxygen therapy, I would speak with your respitory team at local hospital. Or ask your GP for a referral. They would not allow a pulmonary rehabilitation course with sats at 83/87. Not without Ambulitory oxygen.

Sorry to high jack the post but reading this I wonder whether it is worth having an oxygen monitor. They are about £17 on Amazon. Until I read this post I did not realise that you could damage your heart etc by not having enough oxygen. Thanks for any advice.

jjnanna in reply to rossie1942

I am on Oxygen 15/24 and my sats drop terribly so to be sure I got a finger pulse reader and it was awful so now I use oxygen when I need to move about and overnight but not above 15. Don't let yourself get paranoid with it though and use it all day every day x

janice01 in reply to rossie1942

I've got one and they are a good guide as to what is going on!

Oxygen nurse did ear test whilst l was confined to bed with viral influenza recently. Said gases 93-95 at rest.

Put thingy on finger walked to bathroom found says dipped to 65%!

Soon changed her mind.....

rossie1942 in reply to janice01

Thanks janice01

Greatbanks in reply to janice01

I feel that when visiting GP Ect it's the same case you've sat waiting to be seen so sats seem stable it gives a wrong impression 😳, you then feel your wasting GP's time 🤔 , but in fact your oxygen levels drop dramatically on movement , I've had to take snap shots on my mobile of readings in the hope there taken notice of 😳!

I agree the pulsemetre is a useful tool to keep a check on oxygen levels ,

But not to get obsessive using it .

Thanks very much. x


When I went for my ambulatory 6 min walk test the respiratory nurse decided before I even did the walk test that I would be going on oxygen as it was 87 ...So that isn't too low but I was put on it ... now I don't know all the facts but what I will say is when the docs/ respiratory nurses check your sats it's for a few seconds once every few months so that is impossible to know your true readings and that's why it's important to write everything down ... do you not feel blurry eyed or not quite right when your oxygen drops so low as my body lets me know ...I'm on o2 24hours a day and it's helped me as without it i prob wouldn't be here ...get a 2nd opinion if needed but i really think you should consider going on it as like others have said their sats where ok then walked and it dropped below 70 ... it is not bad for you only if not used correctly just like any meds ... ...your main reason is the strain on your other organs so next time you see the consultant just have all the questions ready to ask and don't be afraid to ask as it's your body and well being xx take care oh obviously again I don't know all your history so just sharing what I know obviously there may be factors why you don't need to go on 02

jlc72 in reply to Hidden

No I don't feel anything, that's the point. When I saw the ambulatory assistant she tested my oxygen level and it was 97. I did the 6 minute walk which I did rather quickly without stopping and I didn't feel out of breath and when I was asked to stop my 02 level was tested and it had dropped quite low to 77, I sat down and within seconds it had gone up to 95. I have an appointment at Pulmonary Rehab in a few weeks and I was told that if I needed oxygen they had it there. I never feel light headed and I've heard of people getting terrible headaches and I can honestly say that I have never experienced this. In the past i was given a tape to wear in bed which recorded my breathing and I was told that I did stop breathing now and then but I wasn't given anything for it. I was told to lose weight and sleep higher and that's all.

I agree with the others. You are playing with a fire that can't be put out.

Why not ring the BLF team before your appointment? They are excellent at talking things through and suggesting the questions you can ask. 03000 030 555 during office hours.

Hi 👋 I need it and have one in my car and carry it over my shoulder it’s light 💡 and thankful I got it with me sometime s take it if you’re offered it. 🤭


Oh and obviously being out of breath or not will not decide if you get oxygen therapy or not ...as it is about your blood rather than your breathing although some people say it has helped their shortness of breath but it doesn't help me whatsoever but my breathing is very very bad now ....your sats did drop an awful lot whilst your are mobile but I wonder if because it came straight back up to normal again you think you will be fine without it ...please don't think that ...I got told all kinds of rubbish about oxygen being bad for me and will get bad headaches etc etc but none of it has happened it's just been a godsend to me ...take care

You certainly don't need to be out of breath to be short of oxygen. I recently had arterial oxygen of 7.2 after sitting for an hour waiting for a doctor. Hence me now being on 15 hours a day oxygen. You soon get used to ambulatory oxygen, nobody takes a scrap of notice, and it works really well, b&a is now doable!

You may also like...