How to Increase Oxygen Saturation

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Quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke.,
Breathe fresher air.,
Lose excess weight if needed.,
Exercise sensibly.,
Consume more water.,
Try sitting up instead of lying down.,
Accept the inevitable variations in oxygen saturation levels.

Breathing in smoke from tobacco products seriously damages your lungs and inhibits their ability to efficiently introduce oxygen to your bloodstream. If you smoke and have low oxygen saturation levels, quitting is the first and perhaps most vital step you can take to deal with the condition. Seek out whatever help you need to quit.If you are on supplemental oxygen, smoking is also a severe fire hazard. Concentrated oxygen is extremely flammable, and many people have been seriously or even fatally burned as a result of smoking while using supplemental oxygen.

, Oxygen levels in the surrounding atmosphere have an impact on your oxygen saturation; people who live in higher elevations typically have lower saturation levels, for example. The more oxygen and less “other stuff” — like dust, particulates, smoke, and so on — that circulates in the air you breathe, the better for your oxygen saturation.If you live in an area with fresh air, open a window or go outside. Keep plants in the house to boost oxygen levels. Clean and dust regularly. Invest in air cleaners if desired.
Don’t expect major increases in oxygen saturation this way; use it in coordination with other changes.

, If you have a body mass index (BMI) that is above recommended levels, the excess weight you carry likely causes you to breathe with more difficulty and less efficiency. Lower BMI levels have been shown to correlate with higher oxygen saturation levels.Also, even if your oxygen saturation were to remain the same, losing weight makes it easier for you to utilize the oxygen in your body. Compare it to how an unloaded car uses fuel more efficiently., Aerobic exercise in itself does not necessarily increase oxygen saturation, but it will increase your ability to utilize the oxygen you do have more efficiently. Exercise that helps you lose excess weight is more likely to have a positive impact on actual oxygen saturation levels.If you have COPD or another condition that impacts your pulmonary or cardiovascular health, you will have restrictions to your exercise choices. Work with your medical team to develop a realistic and effective plan for you.

, You might recall from chemistry class that a water molecule contains two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. So, every time you drink water or eat water-rich foods, you are introducing oxygen into your body. Gulping down water won’t magically fix your problem of low oxygen saturation, but regular hydration is a sensible part of any plan for someone with low levels.Plain water is the best choice for hydration, while fruits and vegetables are water-rich and healthy food choices. Try, for instance, steamed spinach, carrots, or green beans, or freshly-made fruit juices and smoothies.
Drinking water can help to loosen up the mucus in your airways. This will help them to stay open and provide the maximum oxygen access.

, You can cause a slight but demonstrable increase in your oxygen saturation simply by choosing to sit instead of lie down. When you’re resting or relaxing, sitting up may make it easier for you to breathe in deeply and increase your oxygen saturation. Don’t use this as an excuse not to get up and be active, however, as improving your overall fitness will provide a greater, lasting benefit.You can also alter your position to improve your ability to breathe and increase oxygen saturation. This is a non-invasive way to improve your oxygen saturation. For example, if you are laying down, elevate the head of your bed to at least 30 degrees. If you elevate the head of your bed to 45 to 60 degrees, then this may improve your oxygen saturation even more.

, While an oxygen saturation level above 95% is usually considered good and below 90% is often considered problematic, every individual is different. Oxygen saturation levels will vary from person-to-person based on many factors — levels tend to peak around mid-childhood and slowly decline thereafter, for instance. Don’t get fixated on a specific number; instead, work with your doctor to find the range that suits your overall health best.

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