Air pollution: How to check oxygen levels at home without an oximeter

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After the Covid-19 pandemic, the use of oximeters have been hugely generalized. All the doctors and healthcare workers might agree that the one and only one thing that low oxygen levels was a commonly observed symptom of Coronavirus. With the fear of Covid-19 still hanging over our heads and the increased air pollution in India’s capital city New Delhi these days, it wouldn’t hurt to be on the safe side. For this, learn how to check oxygen levels at home even without an oximeter. Let’s take a look at how to do that!

Oxygen levels basically are the measure of how much oxygen your red blood cells are carrying and having less of that can be a symptom of many problems like asthma, Covid-19, heart disease, etc.

Low oxygen levels can be a symptom of many health problems. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

According to various government health sites, the normal oxygen levels are considered to be between 80 and 100 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or 95-100 percent. This range will change only for lung diseases patients and their doctor determines what is a safe range for them.

When it comes to measuring oxygen levels at home, one can easily use the over-the-counter oximeters. But if you can’t acquire one or doubt its efficiency as claimed by a 2022 study published in the National Library of Medicine, then you can try out the Respiratory Rate method at home. Oximeters are subjective to errors due to fake nails, excessive lighting, pigmented skin, etc. but the Respiratory Rate method has its limitations too, but both the methods will give you an idea.

There is an alternative to oximeter. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

So, let’s take a look at how to check oxygen levels at home with the help of the Respiratory Rate method:

According to a 2014 study, respiratory rate is recognized as a clinically important parameter for monitoring respiratory status on the general care floor. This method is usually used by paramedics during emergency situations but one can try this at home too.

Step 1

To check your oxygen levels through this method, you need to keep your palm on your chest and breathe normally.

Check your oxygen levels! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Step 2

What you need to do now is that you count the number of breaths you take in one minute. Which will give you the breaths per minute or the respiratory rate.

Step 3

If your respiratory rate comes out to be less than 24 breaths per minute, your oxygen levels are good, But if it is more than 30 breaths per minute, that indicates a low oxygen level.

This is a simple method to check your oxygen levels at home, so give it a try!

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