My Oxygen level is 98 But Short of Breath: Why?
US Health State says a typical oxygen level is usually 95% or greater. So your 98 oxygen level indicates normal oxygen level though you have short of breath! Sometimes a person with a normal level of oxygen may feel short of breath!
This is because an inefficient heart has a lower cardiac output, which means less blood is pumped out of the heart and to the rest of the body with each beat. This makes it feel like you can’t get enough air. That’s why you are facing shortness of breath; though your oxygen level is 98 (that was normal)!
But how do you know if your shortness of breath is severe, and what should you do if you have short of breath though your oxygen level is 98? In this article, we will learn about the facts of oxygen levels with the multiple things about the shortness of breath. Keep reading to know details about this!
Shortness of Breath
It’s called shortness of breath when you feel like you can’t get enough air into your lungs. This scary feeling is called dyspnea by doctors. Shortness of breath can mean a lot of different things about your health. For example, you might say it feels like your chest is tight or that you can’t take deep breaths.
Having trouble getting enough air is often a sign of problems with the heart or lungs. But dyspnea can also mean that you have asthma, allergies, or anxiety. You might also feel out of breath if you work out hard or have a cold.
Normal Oxygen Level
Oxygen is essential for life, and our bodies need a certain amount of oxygen to work right. And The amount of oxygen in the blood is called blood oxygen level or blood oxygen saturation. When you breathe, oxygen goes into your body through your nose or mouth and your bloodstream through your lungs.
Once the oxygen is in your blood, it goes to cells all over your body. All your cells need oxygen to make energy as efficiently as possible, and your body needs energy for everything it does, including digestion and even thinking.
Carbon dioxide is made when your cells use oxygen. The carbon dioxide is then taken back to your lungs by your blood, and you breathe it out through your mouth or nose.
Your body closely monitors how much oxygen is in your blood. Low blood oxygen levels (hypoxemia) can cause many serious health problems and damage organs, especially your brain and heart. In addition, your lungs and/or circulatory system may not work as well as they should if your blood oxygen level is low.
Most of the time, a normal oxygen level is 95% or higher. However, some people with chronic lung disease or sleep apnea can have normal levels of around 90%. The “SpO2” number on a pulse oximeter (Check the latest pulse oximeter price on Amazon) shows how much oxygen is in a person’s blood. You should call your doctor if your SpO2 reading at home is less than 95%.
Your Oxygen level is 98 But Short of Breath: Why?
Your oxygen level is 98, but you’re still having trouble breathing. This is because oxygen saturation doesn’t show how much oxygen is carried in the blood as a whole.
Hemoglobin (Hb) is a protein that moves oxygen around the body. Each hemoglobin carries four oxygen molecules.
Pulse oximetry determines oxygen saturation, which tells us how much of the hemoglobin is filled with oxygen molecules. For example, if the oxygen saturation reading is 100%, each Hb-molecule is filled with oxygen molecules to its fullest capacity. The normal range of oxygen level is between 95% and 100%, you know!
The most important thing to remember is that oxygen saturation does not consider how much hemoglobin is in the blood. It only looks at how much each molecule of hemoglobin is full.
So, if you have anemia, where your blood has less than normal amounts of hemoglobin and red blood cells, the reading can still be 100%. How? Even when the total amount of hemoglobin in the blood is very, very low, each hemoglobin can still carry four oxygen molecules. This means that the blood is 100% saturated.
But since the total amount of hemoglobin in the blood is low, the total amount of oxygen carried is also low. This could be a cause of feeling out of breath. (For example, if 15 hemoglobins carry 60 oxygen in a healthy person, ten hemoglobins will only carry 40 oxygen in a person who is anemic)
Oxygen saturation may not even be a good measure of “oxygen” saturation. This is because any other gas could take over the hemoglobin molecule, and the meter would still read 100%.
This is clear when people get stuck in a fire. When a fire happens, it releases a lot of carbon monoxide, quickly replacing oxygen in the blood. Carbon monoxide sticks to hemoglobin 210 times better than oxygen does. This is what makes carbon monoxide poisoning happen.
Pulse oximetry won’t tell the difference between oxygen and carbon monoxide, so it will still say that these people have 100% oxygen saturation. However, the victim was suffering from shortness of breath!
So, to answer your question, immediately see a doctor if you suddenly feel short of breath though your oxygen level is 98. It could be as simple as anemia, which is easy to treat, or something that needs immediate care.
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