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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At our dentist they put this thing on your finger that counts your heartbeat and oxygen level, and dh's oxygen was really low. It was between 90-93 while sitting there at first, and after he laid down it dropped to 80 at one point! What causes this and how can we fix it? He's only 27 but he is overweight (6 ft 215 lbs). Is there anything we can do or does he need to go to a doctor and have it checked out? Thanks!
 

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I have no idea. Apparently it does, they said they had never seen someone as low as him (mine was right at 97/98).<br><br>
ETA: it's a holistic type dentist so they do a lot of things that other dentists don't
 

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I bet the best thing he could do to fix it is lose weight. Maybe this could be a motivator for him? Does he ever have trouble breathing? Like snoring or sleep apnea?
 

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Yeah, this is definitely a motivator for him, I'm hoping he actually sticks with it this time. I don't think he has any sleep/breathing problems. I have some insomnia lately with the pregnancy, so I occasionally lay in bed awake for hours and I know he doesn't snore, but I'm going to pay attention more to see if he might have sleep apnea.
 

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He really needs to get in to see a doctor. Oxygen levels in the 80s can cause a lot of issues throughout your body. Your organs needs the oxygen to function well. If I'm working with a person who has O2 levels in the 80s (staying there, that is - not just momentary) we send them to the ER. Did the dentist check him at rest and after a walk, or just at rest? Does he have asthma or does he get quickly short of breath?<br><br>
Basically, I don't know of anything you can do at home quickly enough unless he has asthma and has inhalers or a nebulizer. Otherwise it really needs to be checked out ASAP. I don't want to sound alarmist, or scare you, but if that oxygen sensory was correct he really needs to get it taken care of ASAP. The risks are heart attack, stroke, decreased brain function (level of alertness, memory, etc) which can lead to car accidents, injuries, etc.<br><br>
What did the dentist recommend?
 

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Is this it?<br><br><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulse_oximeter" target="_blank">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulse_oximeter</a>
 

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Pulse oximetry basically reads how much oxygen is bound to hemoglobin with all kinds of spiffy science involved. For the most part it's accurate but a lot of things can throw it off. I can look up, at work, and see the screen reading that my patient has a pulse ox reading of 70%. Then I notice that the pulse on the pulse ox and the actual heart rate aren't correlating. The reading is inaccurate. Just one little bump and it can knock the pulse ox around so it can't read properly. Heck, I've had a patients blanket read at 95%, the patient took it off to eat and was laying on the bed.<br><br>
The dentist probably wasn't concerned because you always "Treat the patient, not the machine." Was he turning blue, having trouble breathing, having periods of not breathing, sick? You have to look at the patient.<br><br>
Some people just run in the low 90's. I don't know your husbands condition but if he was a smoker at one point, exposed to smoke through work, ect it could effect is lung function. As long as it's 90-100% I usually don't worry, they're doing ok. Long time smokers actually hang out at 85-88% naturally. To bump them up to 90 or 100% would actually hurt them.<br><br>
It's possible that weight effects breathing, it's called Pickwikian syndrome (I don't think I spelled that right) but those people are VERY large. Basically, they are too big to breathe.<br><br>
If you're really concerned, see your MD.
 
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