How Pulse Oximeter Can Benefit Your Health

How Pulse Oximeter Can Benefit Your Health

oximeter testing
Oximeter

For most people, pulse oximeter is a foreign word. Even though many of us may not think we know what this device is, almost all of us have used them many times throughout our lives. A pulse oximeter is the small device that nurses often place on our fingertips as we enter the doctor’s office. Stepping on the scale, standing up next to a tape measure, having our blood pressure monitored and finally the small device on our finger is all part of the process.

So what exactly does a pulse oximeter actually do? Pulse oximeters measure blood oxygen saturation and a person’s pulse. These measures are important for people of all ages because a lack of oxygen in the blood can be caused by many health implications, like asthma, lung disease, anemia, blood clots and heart disease. Low blood oxygen levels detected by a pulse oximeter can cause shortness of breath and fatigue, as well.

Know Your Body

One of the biggest benefits to using a pulse oximeter regularly is that knowing your blood’s oxygen levels can tell you how well your body is functioning. I’ve run track my entire life, but when I first began running long distances, I would become extremely light headed after my first few laps around the track. When the team would run around the neighborhoods nearby the high school, I wouldn’t last more than a three quarters of a mile before I had to take a break. I was completely healthy and in good shape, but my coach had to teach me new breathing techniques so that I was able to increase the amount of oxygen that was getting to my body.

On the track is where I first discovered a pocket pulse oximeter. Before he went into instructing me on how to breath more effectively, he pulled out a tiny pulse oximeter and checked my blood oxygen levels. Of course I had no idea what the numbers meant, but he said that low levels like mine were normal for athletes and others to exercise regularly. I don’t live anywhere near a high altitude, but mountain climbers, pilots and others training in high altitudes carry pocket pulse oximeters with them at all times to test their levels. Knowing that your body’s oxygen levels are getting low can be the difference in replenishing your body with what it needs and losing consciousness.

Get the Most Out of Your Treatment

Another huge benefit to using a fingertip pulse oximeter is that when your blood oxygen levels are declining you can implement your treatment immediately. If you have a condition that results in low oxygen levels, most likely you and your physician have discussed a plan of attack for when you begin to feel its effects. This might include breathing through the mouth, an inhaler or in extreme cases, mechanical ventilation through the nose or mouth.

By using a pulse oximeter, your treatment can begin quickly, preventing you from experiencing the negative consequences that can lead to serious health problems.

Don’t Forget the Kids!

I learned just how beneficial pulse oximeters can be for children first hand when my son was diagnosed with asthma when he was four years old. I panicked during his first asthma attack and rushed him to the emergency room when he first began coughing incessantly. Thankfully, his asthma is now easily controlled by regular use of a prescribed inhaler. But his pediatrician let me know that there are pediatric pulse oximeters on the market for kiddos like my son, or others with heart and lung conditions.

He suggested a Clinical Guard pulse oximeter for my son because it is one of the most affordable health products. Clinical Guard pulse oximeters are lightweight, accurate and reliable so that my husband and I always know when our son’s oxygen levels are lower than we’d like. We bought a pediatric pulse oximeter for him and use it frequently so that we can get him his inhaler as soon as he needs it to prevent any attacks.

Pulse oximeters can be the difference in preventing anyone from letting their blood oxygen levels dip too low. Normal oxygen levels are key for regular functioning of all organs at any age.

 

 

 

 

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