I have COPD, could you tell me what causes low oxygen levels? I am on 3 liters of oxygen, when I am up on my feet, my level drops to 83 within 45 seconds of walking without oxygen, this was found out last week so they increased me from 2 liters to 3. Is there anything I can do to improve my oxygen level?
Perhaps your doctor has already recommended Pulmonary Therapy to you. My mother is
89 and has COPD. She's been attending Pulmonary Therapy classes for three months, now.
Some of her classmates use O2 while they're there and some don't. You're taught how to
breathe and exercise correctly in order to increase the intake of oxygen and expell the
overbundance of CO2. My mother thought it would be impossible for her to increase her
breathing and her O2 saturation levels, but she's done both. Insurance or Medicare will
pay for these classes.
Very brief answer to your initial question: Your oxygen levels drop because you are unable to
adequately make the O2-CO2 exchange at lung's end. This can't be cured, but it can be helped. Try
breathing in through your nose, and breathing out for twice as long through your mouth. Stop if
you feel dizzy. This can increase O2 and lower CO2.
Methods such as pursed lip breathing also helps with the shortness of breath as well...Here is a link describing this technique: http://www.cchs.net/health/health-info/docs/2400/2408.asp?index=9443
Also, as Breanna has said already, perhaps pulmonary rehabilitation will help as well. They teach you how to breathe correctly during any exertion (trust me, I was doing it all wrong and didn't even realize it!) and how to exercise safely. Keeping muscle mass is difficult when there are breathing problems, it is hard to exercise when shortness of breath keeps us from doing so. But, the more muscle we have, the more efficiently we burn O2. Medicare paid for my rehab, actually twice and kept me off of the vent (I don't have COPD, other issues particularly diaphragmatic problems) longer than the docs expected. Sunny
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