Low Oxygen level

By sissy354 Latest Activity December 29, 2012 at 2:19 am Views 8,121 Replies 21


I was told that I have sleep apnea and that when I sleep my oxygen level is 73 and it should be at 92. Should I be worried? My doctor has done nothing about it and doesn't seem worried.

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Replies (21 replies)

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  • jerseygirlinla
    jerseygirlinla January 18, 2013 at 9:34 am   

    I have the same problem so I have a oxygen machine that hooks up to my bi-pap.

  • graciecat5
    graciecat5 January 5, 2013 at 8:55 pm   

    Thank you. The tongue trimming just sounds painful. Any idea on what it means that my oxygen level is in the low 89% when I sleep? How bad is that?

  • graciecat5
    graciecat5 January 2, 2013 at 12:13 am   

    I am. Thank you so much. You really have been a big help

  • graciecat5
    graciecat5 December 31, 2012 at 11:46 am   

    I had an overnight sleep study and then a nap test. When I got the results, they told me my oxygen levels were in the low 89% and I am right at the border for OSA, I don't have it but my dr said I should get a sleep study done every few years. What is OSA and how is it different than SA?

  • Tez62
    Tez62 December 31, 2012 at 11:40 pm   

    Graciecat5, Sleep Apnea is the general term, there are three types of SA, OSA or obstructive sleep apnea (where your throat or tongue collaspes over your throat and stops you breathing), CSA or central sleep apnea (where your brain tells your nervous system not to bother breathing) and Complex Sleep Apnea which is a mixture of the other two.

  • graciecat5
    graciecat5 January 1, 2013 at 1:47 am   

    Hmm. Interesting. Thank you. Is there anything you have ever heard of that helps someone before they get SA? Something to maybe prevent it?

  • Tracy
    Tracy January 5, 2013 at 12:09 pm   

    gracie, one must first know the anatomical reason why they have sleep apnea in order to know if it MIGHT be preventable. osa means obstructive sleep apnea - SOMETHING obstructs the airway…tongue, uvula, high arched soft palate, tonsils, adenoids etc…coupled with a narrow airway or narrow jaw, it just causes a higher level of severity. others may have osa due to nasal obstructions

    most surgeries to correct are not successful - other than tonsilectomy or adenoid removal, but having said that, the number of people who have apnea soley for that reason is very low.

    i do know people who felt desparate and had their wide tongues trimmed surgically ( oh my ) and others who had jaw advancement surgeries…which can leave one in worse shape than before…I know a few who had permanent nerve damage. in my opinion - cpap, bipap etc is the best method of treating. and this is from someone who had UPPP…my uvula was removed, my tonsils and adenoids too…all that actually worsened my severity of apnea immediately upon surgery recovery. I'm left with a lot of airway scar tissue.

    to all considering surgery to "cure" apnea…research the success rates and think long and hard about the side effects one can be left with. get several opinions and make sure they are not all from ENT's the docs that do the surgeries…

  • Tez62
    Tez62 January 1, 2013 at 3:41 am   

    The answer is very complex, it is really a no, first we can't do anything about CSA because its our brains. With OSA you need to know how and why it happens, cavemen didnt have SA because they had large jaws and ate healthy foods, as we evolved our jaws got smaller so dont hold our tongues as well at night and because we eat so much junk and exercise less we have put on more weight and a lot of that is in our neck area so our throats are thinner, the two going together will cause OSA, the other thing is it is quite often hereditary so gets passed on, my sister has just been diagnosed. You could try to prevent it by losing weight and it may help but may not, being over weight is a common symptoms but not always that cause, I was 20 pound under weight but still have it, I have had it since I was a baby but only got diagnosed two years ago, I have had to live with it for 48 years. The best thing is to be diagnosed at a young age as possible, there is not cure but there is a treatment called a CPAP machine, it saved my life. It keeps our throat open and dectects when we stop breathing at night and basically keeps us alive and gives us a good quaity of live and for a small price to pay and that is wearing a mask to sleep. People try dental devices and operations but most are expensive, painful and normally dont work. It is a complex illness so hard to answer your question hopefully I have helped a little, please ask any more questions you have, I'm in Australia so sometimes the time difference means I cant answer straight away.

  • graciecat5
    graciecat5 January 1, 2013 at 7:08 pm   

    Thanks. Do you have any tips on how to wake up in the morning if you have Narcolespy?

  • Tracy
    Tracy January 5, 2013 at 12:00 pm   

    gracie do you have both osa AND narcolepsy? both have been diagnosed????

  • Tez62
    Tez62 January 2, 2013 at 12:10 am   

    Unfortunately I don't know much about it, I'm on a couple of other webites and most people with it are on Provigil or Nuvigil, I'm sure if your either on one of them or have been researching it, sorry I can't help much more, I assume you are in the support group for it on here.

  • sissy354
    sissy354 December 30, 2012 at 1:49 pm   

    I did have a sleep study and this is the results I was given. I do have a CPAP. I just didn't know if I needed to be worried about the low oxygen level or if the CPAP would solve it.

  • Lois T
    Lois T January 6, 2013 at 9:04 pm   

    My oxygen levels were completely corrected wearing the CPAP and losing twenty pounds.

  • Tracy
    Tracy January 5, 2013 at 11:58 am   

    your cpap SHOULD resolve your oxygen levels, but do discuss this with your doctor. he might be able to provide you with an oxygen clip (oxymeter) to wear at night at home, that can detect your night time o2 levels.

  • Tracy
    Tracy December 30, 2012 at 10:37 am   

    Oxygen levels should be in the mid 90% range during wakefulness AND sleep. People with osa ( obstructive sleep apnea) often have low oxygen levels during sleep and this is part of the diagnostic criteria. CPAP will treat the apnea and should bring your oxygen levels back to normal.
    Who told you that you have sleep apnea? Did you have an overnight sleep study? If the doctor that isn't worried is your primary care doc, ask for a referral to a sleep specialist, and then have the overnight sleep study. You need the proper diagnosis in order to get your insurance to pay for the treatment which is CPAP.
    Should you be worried about a 73% oxygen level? YOU BET! Anything under 90% is a red flag to a doctor…
    Low oxygen levels put you at risk for heart attack and stroke…don't take chances - get to a sleep doc asap and find out for sure, via a sleep study, if indeed you do have osa - then treat with CPAP.

  • Tez62
    Tez62 December 30, 2012 at 12:54 am   

    I agree with sparlyhthr, but would go further, if you have been diagnosied with SA you need to be on a CPAP. I would be asking why you are not getting the treatment you need.

  • sparklyhthr
    sparklyhthr December 29, 2012 at 5:12 am   

    Hi there!
    The simple answer -
    Your oxygen levels should be above 88! (unless you suffer from COPD)
    Your doctor should be concerned! And trying to find out why your oxygen levels are low at night.
    Usually the causes are a problem with your lungs or your heart. Neither one should be ignored.
    Being on oxygen at night is a good start.
    On your next appointment - you can say-
    I have been worried about the findings of my sleep study. What can we do to improve my oxygen levels while I am sleeping? And what is causing my oxygen levels to be low?
    Keep us posted.

  • mgcarey
    mgcarey January 1, 2013 at 6:38 pm   

    When I had my first sleep apnea test I learned that my oxygen level dropped to 48%. Then I was placed on CPAP and it improved to 78%. When I started using the CPAP in mid October, I was also given an oxygen concentrator and have that hooked into the line at 3 liters/minute. Haven't had a test again, but in a couple months will likely get it checked again to see if it has improved now that I'm used to being on the CPAP.

    I really like being on the CPAP!. If I get up at all, it is only once during the night and often that isn't even needed. I was getting up 4 - 6 times each night prior to being on CPAP. I would fall asleep at the computer at work. Fortunately, I didn't fall asleep while driving (at least that I know of). I have so much more energy now. Am walking every day and have now taken off 10 pounds. I believe that breathing well with the CPAP has been a big help for my quality of life!!

  • Tracy
    Tracy January 5, 2013 at 11:56 am   

    mgcarey - thanks for posting and sharing your experience. so happy to know are finding a better quality of life and that cpap is working well for you. I too had low oxygen levels when first dx. mine were 50% and I started on cpap WITH the addition of oxygen. finally, when I became used to the equipment and could sleep comfortably with my mask and bilevel…then the additional oxygen was removed. the machine allowed me to breathe fully and my oxygen levels during sleep returned to mid 90%.
    bilevel saved my life!

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