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COPD and Knowing your Safe Oxygen Levels

22 Aug 2017
| Under COPD, Lung Disease, Oxygen Levels | Posted by | 6 Comments
COPD and Knowing your Safe Oxygen Levels

For people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis and other chronic lung diseases, keeping a close eye on their blood oxygen level is often part of the daily routine. However, for people living with COPD and other chronic lung conditions, receiving enough oxygen can be challenging. Every cell, organ and tissue in your body needs adequate oxygen, so oxygen is essential to a properly functioning body. When your body doesn’t receive enough oxygen, it’s unable to function properly. We’re here to help you better understand your blood oxygen level, how your body gets oxygen and what it could mean for you.

Oxygen and the Body

Your body uses oxygen in various ways to keep you at your best. Your blood transports oxygen throughout your body. Your body contains many different types of blood vessels, which act as the road system for your blood to travel throughout your body. Oxygen-rich blood travels through arteries and arterial branches to deliver oxygen and essential nutrients to your body. Capillaries are small, thin blood vessels that connect arteries and veins. Capillaries are important because they allow oxygen, nutrients, carbon dioxide and waste to pass to and from the tissue’s cells. Oxygen-poor blood travels through veins back to the heart and lungs where it will be re-oxygenated.

Your heart and lungs work together to deliver oxygen to your body, and your lungs inhale oxygen-rich air and exhale carbon dioxide. The heart pumps your blood to your lungs, so your blood can become oxygenated. Then, your heart pumps the oxygenated blood through your arteries and sends your blood to deliver oxygen to other cells, organs and tissues in your body.

How Your Heart and Lungs Deliver Oxygen Step-by-Step

Your heart has four chambers and four valves, which work to pump blood throughout your body. Your lungs and linked blood vessels deliver oxygen and remove carbon dioxide. The bronchi inside the lungs branch into smaller, thinner tubes called bronchioles. These tubes end in bunches of tiny, round air sacs called alveoli. Alveoli are covered in capillaries, and these capillaries connect to a network of veins and arteries.

The pulmonary artery and its branches deliver oxygen-poor blood to the capillaries that surround the air sacs. Once inside the air sacs, carbon dioxide moves from the blood and into the air to be exhaled while oxygen moves from inhaled air into the capillaries. Oxygen-rich blood then travels to the heart through the pulmonary vein and its branches, and on to the rest of the body.

Here’s How Oxygen Is Moved Through the Heart and Lungs to the Body:

A healthy, normal blood oxygen level remains around 95 percent to 100 percent. You can monitor your blood oxygen level at home with a pulse oximeter. Values below 90 percent are considered low.

When your body doesn’t receive enough oxygen and you have a low blood oxygen level, hypoxemia or hypoxia, cyanosis and other conditions may occur. Because COPD and other chronic lung diseases restrict or obstruct normal breathing, low blood oxygen levels can be a serious issue. Hypoxemia or hypoxia occurs when your body has insufficient oxygen and can range from mild to severe. Symptoms of hypoxia can include severe shortness of breath, wheezing, constant coughing, a choking feeling and a bluish discoloration of the skin (cyanosis).

Chronic hypoxia can lead to cerebral hypoxia or brain hypoxia, which means that your brain cells could become seriously damaged within minutes.

If you suspect hypoxia call your doctor immediately. For cerebral hypoxia, call 911.

Improve Your Blood Oxygen Level

Many doctors will prescribe oxygen therapy to help you receive enough oxygen and to improve your blood oxygen levels. Your doctor may also prescribe breathing exercises, diet and exercise changes, pulmonary rehabilitation and medications to help you breathe. Keeping a close eye on your blood oxygen level is important as well. Remember to see your doctor regularly even if you’re feeling well, so you and your doctor can work together.

In combination with traditional treatments, many people with COPD and other chronic lung diseases have seen improvements to their pulmonary function after cellular therapy. A relatively new treatment, cellular therapy works to promote healing from within the lungs, potentially improving lung function. In fact, many patients report coming off or significantly reducing their oxygen therapy use after treatment. If you or a loved one has COPD, emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis or another chronic lung disease and would like to learn more about your options, contact us at the Lung Institute at (855) 621-1526.


  1. Lung Institute

    5 months ago


    Thank you for your comment. We are sorry to hear about your mother’s condition. We would suggest you continue to talk with her primary doctor or specialist to get the answers to your question. They know your mother and her medical history and are in a much better position to help.

    We’re happy to answer your questions about cellular therapy for COPD. Our dedicated medical team has a wealth of knowledge about cellular therapy, treatment options, candidacy and more. So, feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149 to speak one-on-one with someone from our medical team over our secure phone line. We look forward to hearing from you soon.


    The Lung Institute

  2. Helen Rigg

    5 months ago

    Hi my moTher has been diagnosed with Copd, she has had 4 horrible chest infections one after the other, it seems to be recurring as soon as the steroids she takes drop from 7 to 2, this weekend the gp said her oxygen levels were low at 82 but not low enough to be admiTted to hospital for oxygen, hes been back today and said they were 96, she was finding it harder to breathe today than the weekend, im very confused about what her readings should be ?

  3. Lung Institute

    10 months ago


    We would recommend contacting your primary physician for a checkup and see if he/she would suggest you see a specialist. If you are diagnosed with a lung disease we would encourage you to contact us.

    We’re happy to answer your questions about cellular treatment for chronic lung diseases, so feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149 to speak with our knowledgeable medical team. We look forward to hearing from you soon.


    Lung Institute

  4. Howard Smith

    10 months ago

    Patient has these symptoms since April 2016.
    1. I can’t speak properly. Words I am very familiar with I forget.
    2. Legs seem to weigh a ton when I try to move them.
    3. I don’t sleep properly. Neck hurts.
    4. I have bouts of smothering. Oxygen, according to blood gases, at 96% and I can’t breathe. Lungs only 65% capacity.
    5. It seems like most times I am in a cloud of dust or smoke and I can’t get my breath.
    6. I don’t ‘cough up’ much mucus. I don’t cough any more than normal.
    7. I strangle on fluid easily.
    8. Ringing in ears. (For several years.)
    9. Can’t seem to get confirmable in bed. I am either too hot or too cold.
    10. I am unable to do much. I have led a very active life and now I can do very little.
    11. It feels like I am “Going Down” awfully fast since my fall from the roof.
    12. Was diagnosed May 26th 2017 by Dr. Victor Horn with “Rocky Mt. Spotted Fever”.
    13. I was to take “Doxycycline” twice a day for ten (10) days. (Which I did.) I finished the last one the morning of June 5th 2017.
    14. Wednesday, June 21st 2017, 2:30am I went to the emergency room at the Calhoun City Hospital. I was passing out (twice), sweating and very sick at my stomach. I vomited a bunch of bitter tasting fluid.
    15. It was suggested that my ‘sugar’ may have dropped – but my sugar was o.k. when I arrived at the emergency room.

  5. Lung Institute

    10 months ago


    We are sorry to hear about your struggles. We would suggest you contact your primary doctor and have them recommend a specialist.

    If you do find you have a lung disease then please contact us. Our dedicated medical team has a wealth of knowledge about cellular therapy, treatment options, candidacy and more. So, feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149 to speak one-on-one with someone from our medical team over our secure phone line. We look forward to hearing from you soon.


    The Lung Institute

  6. Howard Smith

    10 months ago

    I find myself SMOTHERING even though my meter says that i have plenty of OXYGEN. what doctor should i go too.? no one can find the problem!

* Every patient is given a Patient Satisfaction Survey shortly after treatment. Responses to the 11-question survey are aggregated to determine patient satisfaction with the delivery of treatment.

^ Quality of Life Survey data measured the patient’s self-assessed quality of life and measurable quality of improvement at three months.

All claims made regarding the efficacy of Lung Institute's treatments as they pertain to pulmonary conditions are based solely on anecdotal support collected by Lung Institute. Individual conditions, treatment and outcomes may vary and are not necessarily indicative of future results. Testimonial participation is voluntary. Lung Institute does not pay for or script patient testimonials.

As required by Texas state law, the Lung Institute Dallas Clinic has received Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval from MaGil IRB, now Chesapeake IRB, which is fully accredited by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Program (AAHRPP), for research protocols and procedures. The Lung Institute has implemented these IRB approved standards at all of its clinics nationwide. Approval indicates that we follow rigorous standards for ethics, quality, and protections for human research.

Each patient is different. Results may vary.