If you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), you may have had a doctor tell you what your blood oxygen levels are. You may not know what these values mean or how your COPD affects them. However, it’s important for COPD patients to understand these 2 factors because blood oxygen levels are a key indicator of lung health.
What Your Blood Oxygen Numbers Mean
Oxygen levels, or oxygen saturation, is one way doctors measure how much oxygen your blood is carrying. This vital gas is transported throughout the body by molecules in the blood called hemoglobin. As your heart pumps blood through your lungs, oxygen from the air you breathe is attached to hemoglobin. From there, the hemoglobin carries the oxygen to other parts of the body where it’s used to create energy and perform other necessary functions.
How Are Blood Oxygen Levels Reported?
How much oxygen your blood is carrying is commonly measured by a blood test (arterial blood gas test) or a pulse oximeter. In a clinical setting, an arterial blood gas test measures the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your blood. At home, it’s less likely that you’ll have access to blood tests, and you might use a pulse oximeter, a small device that clips onto your finger.
These tests report their findings as a percentage of the total amount of oxygen your blood is capable of carrying. For instance, a person with normal oxygen saturation should score between 95 and 100%. Any score below 90% is considered low, and this is where many COPD patients find themselves.
COPD Lowers Oxygen Levels
Oxygen saturation is often negatively affected by COPD. For one thing, COPD has symptoms such as inflammation that make it more difficult for you to breathe. In turn, difficulty breathing makes it harder for you to bring in the oxygen your body requires.
Also, COPD causes damage to the air sacs in the lungs called alveoli, and these air sacs are responsible for allowing oxygen to enter the blood. Once the alveoli are damaged by COPD, less oxygen will be able to enter your blood, and this causes oxygen saturation to drop.
Lung Health Institute Wants to Help COPD Patients
At Lung Health Institute, we want to help COPD patients slow the progression of this chronic lung disease. For this reason, our health care team offers several alternative treatment options.
Lung Health Institute offers 3 Anti-Inflammatory Initiative™ plans. These plans offer tips about factors like diet, exercise, sleep habits and supplements that may help COPD symptoms. They’re designed to help you take control of your health by boosting your immune system, and these plans are also intended to help train your body to use fats as fuel to fight inflammation.
You may also consider trying cellular therapy. This minimally invasive procedure uses concentrated platelets and other cells from your body to target lung disease. These platelets release healing properties that, when combined with growth factors, proteins and other helpful cells, may encourage the healing of damaged tissue and reduce inﬂammation in your lungs.
Take the next step to find relief. Contact one of our patient coordinators today for more information or to schedule a free consultation.