Hypoxemia refers to the low amount of oxygen in your blood, particularly in the arteries. The signs of hypoxemia are an issue with circulation or breathing and could cause various symptoms, including breathing difficulty.

Hypoxemia can be determined by measuring the level of oxygen in a blood sample collected from an artery (arterial blood gas). It is also possible to decide by measuring the oxygen content of your blood with the pulse oximeter, which is a tiny device that attaches to your finger.

Normal arterial oxygen is around 75-100 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). The values below 60 mm Hg typically indicate the person needs supplemental oxygen. A pulse oximeter reading is between 95 and 100%. Readings below 90 percent are considered to be below.

Hypoxemia Causes

Many factors are necessary to ensure that tissues and cells of the human body with oxygen.

  • It must be sufficient oxygen present in the air that you are breathing.
  • Your lungs need to be able to breathe oxygen-rich air and exhale carbon dioxide.
  • Your bloodstream should be able to move the blood towards your lungs, soak the oxygen in and then carry it throughout your body.

If you have a problem with one of these causes like asthma, high altitude, or heart disease could cause hypoxemia, particularly when the conditions are more severe, like exercising or suffering. If your blood oxygen levels fall below a certain threshold, you experience an increase in breathlessness and headache, along with anxiety or confusion.

Common causes of hypoxemia are:

  1. Anemia
  2. ADS (Acute respiration distress syndrome)
  3. Asthma
  4. Congenital heart problems in children
  5. Heart disease that is congenital in adulthood
  6. COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder) exacerbation – the deterioration of symptoms
  7. Emphysema
  8. Interstitial lung disease
  9. Certain medications, like anesthetics and narcotics, can reduce breathing.
  10. Pneumonia
  11. Pneumothorax (collapsed lung)
  12. Pulmonary Edema (an excess fluid that accumulates in the lung)
  13. Pulmonary Embolism (blood clot in an artery within the lung)
  14. The pulmonary fibrosis (scarred as well as damaged lung tissue)
  15. Sleep apnea

Seek out emergency treatment If you suffer from:

  • Severe shortness of breath is sudden and can affect your capacity to perform.
  • Severe shortness of breath, cough, rapid heartbeat, and fluid retention at elevations above (above 8000 feet, or around 2400 meters). These are indications and symptoms of fluid leakage from blood vessels into the lung (high-altitude Pulmonary Edema) that could be fatal.

Consult your doctor as soon as you can if you suffer from:

  • Shortness of breath after a small effort.
  • Breathlessness that becomes more severe during exercise or when you are physically active.
  • Rapid awakenings, shortness of breath, or the sensation that you’re choked could be signs of sleep apnea.

Self-care for Hypoxemia

To manage the constant shortness of breath To combat chronic shortness of breath, try:

  • Do not smoke. If you’ve been diagnosed with COPD or any other lung condition, the one and most crucial thing you can do is stop smoking.
  • Beware of passive smoke. Avoid places where people smoke. Smoking secondhand can cause lung damage.
  • Engage in regular physical activity. It may seem difficult to exercise if you’re experiencing difficulty breathing, but regular exercise will improve your endurance and strength overall.

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