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what causes low oxygen level

Although I have none of the symptoms of sleep apnea, my doctor requested an overnight sleep study.


I could not go to sleep.  Did dose off few times. Stopped test after 2 hours.


The next day I was contacted by pulmonary clinic and cardiac clinic to come in for pulmonary test and cardiac test.  I requested that my doctor call me.  She said the sleep study revealed very low oxygen level.


What causes low oxygen level?  What is the corrective action?

Related Topics: Sleep Apnea, Heart, Oxygen

Answers From Experts & Organizations (1)

General Medicine
1,458 Answers
65,243 Helpful Votes
Many things can cause low oxygen levels in the blood. To name a few: Lung injury (collapsed lung); lung disease (COPD, lung cancer); pulmonary embolism; heart disease (congestive heart failure); anemias -- and that's just a handful I can think of off the top of my head.

This is why your doctor wants you to go in for further testing, which I recommend you do as soon as possible. Low blood oxygen levels are nothing to mess around with. Obviously, all of your organs (including your heart) require adequate amounts of oxygen to function properly.

In answer to your question, the corrective action for low oxygen levels will vary depending on the underlying problem. In the meantime, you can help your body get as much oxygen as possible by sleeping with your head elevated on a couple of pillows and by pausing to take 3 or 4 slow, deep breaths every hour when you're awake. (Keyword: slow.)

With luck, the source of your low oxygen levels will be diagnosed quickly and turn out to be something easily treatable. That's my wish for you.

All the best!

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