When you have a disability or chronic illness, one of the most important things you can do is to learn as much as you can about it. The more you know, the easier it should be to get a handle on those days when you feel like it is a constant battle and you are not sure you are winning.
Knowing the language or words that go with COPD/Asthma is a great way to start or to continue to refresh a person’s knowledge of the ins and outs of the lifelong health companion which we are dealing with.
With that, we discuss some of what we call ‘must know words’ of life with COPD/Asthma – and today we will discuss briefly the importance of knowing the word ‘Pulse Oximeter’.
A ‘Pulse Oximeter’ is a simple device which we have all used, either during a medical examination or at home, to clip on a finger-tip to get a determination of the percentage of oxygen saturation that is within a person’s blood. While this test can be extremely important for those battling COPD and/or Asthma, it is a very non-invasive (thankfully a test that does not enter or puncture our bodies), painless and done in a rather quick and easy manor.
The very importance of the ‘Pulse Oximeter’ for those of us with COPD and/or Asthma is it being quick to understand and keep an eye on our oxygen levels, which we all know is one of the most important medical levels we need to visually monitor on a regular basis and especially after doing anything that may be physically exhertive.
A ’Pulse Ox’ (as many may call it) works by shining a light on the skin which will then measure and determine the oxygen saturation of the hemoglobin in a person’s blood. Since each hemoglobin molecule can hold four molecules of oxygen and since our blood contains a fixed amount of hemoglobin, if oxygen gets in the blood it saturates all or nearly all of the blood.
The person’s oxygen saturation will be expressed as a percentage with most healthy people having an oxygen saturation level of 95-100%, and in a healthy system that number does not normally change even during physical excertion.
Now for those who may be battling COPD and/or Asthma, when they exercise or get really active, the pulmonary problems caused from the lung illness will produce a significant drop in the oxygen saturation. Most of us battling COPD and/or Asthma know that anytime the oxyben level drops below 90% it can and will cause a significant strain on both the lungs and the heart.
When a person with COPD and/or Asthma takes a six-minute test walk with a certified respiratory therapist, and the oxygen saturation level drops to or below the 88-89% mark, it will be used as a measuring stick of sorts as to whether you need or should be on supplemental oxygen, how much oxygen you may need and whether it be all the time or just some of the time.
We will presume here that most folks that fight a daily battle with COPD and/or Asthma have a small battery operated ‘Pulse Oximeter’, which hopefully they carry with them anytime they go somewhere as not only a precaution but as the best way to determine how severe any possible bout of SoB (Short of Breath) may be by checking their current oxygen saturation level.
While we do not give out medical advice, we are pretty sure that if you are one battling COPD and/or Asthma, that most physicians and pulmonologists will recommend or prescribe a personal ‘Pulse Oximeter’ as they will understand the importance of having one available at all times – because we all know that we never know when we may have to battle a flare up.
With that we like to ask a question of our readers – today we ask, “Do you have a ‘Pulse Oximeter’ and if so, how often do you use it to check your own oxygen saturation levels? As always, we look forward to hearing your input – thanx.
As always – if you or anyone you know have any symptoms involving lung and breathing functionality, and they linger over and over while disrupting a lifestyle – then please ask questions and get it checked out.
Remember – ‘a person without good breathing, is a person without a good life’, so let’s do what we can, to learn what we can, to improve what we can.
With that I bid to all – smiles, prayers, blessings and steady breathing – Mr. William.
(Copyright@2017, CrossDove Writer, reprinting or reuse of this article is restricted without written permission.)
NOTE TO REMEMBER: We only give descriptions and highlights of various aspects of having COPD and/or asthma and no way do we ever want our information to be considered medical treatment type of information, always consult your physician for more, clearer and more medical founded information.
Know that you can follow all the writings by CrossDove Writer pertaining to COPD/Asthma by following at wheezingaway.com or on Facebook at COPD Travels.
(Information gathered from various books and internet sources discussing COPD, Asthma and other lung diseases)