Respiratory Disorders Expert Forum
Sleeping Pulse Ox Values
About This Forum:

This forum is for questions and support regarding lung and respiratory issues. such as: Allergies, Asthma, Bronchitis, Colds - Flu, Chronic Cough, COPD, Cystic Fibrosis, Emphysema, Fibrosis, Lung Abscess, Nasal Polyps, Pleurisy, Pneumonia, Sarcoidosis, Sinusitis, Tuberculosis.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Blank Blank

Sleeping Pulse Ox Values

Just had a sleep study and I was a little disturbed to note that when I occasionally glanced over at the pulse ox readout it was as low as 93 and never seemed to get above 96.  I had thought 97 or higher was normal.  Are values typically lower during sleeping/at night; are these values normal; or do I have a potential problem?  Thanks.
Related Discussions
251132_tn?1198082422
Normal oxygen levels are 92% to 94% at an elevation of 5,000 feet and >96% at sea level.  So at 5,000 feet a level of 93% would be considered normal.  While at sea level this same reading would be considered low, but not harmful.  Assuming that you were tested at sea level this could be a sign of a breathing problem during sleep.  Most likely you had a sleep study because a potential problem was suspected.  However the pulse oximeter read out can vary by 2% higher and 2% lower than your true level.  The read out may be effected slightly by position and skin pigmentation.  When this is of concern an arterial blood gas measurement is done to check that the oximeter is showing your true level.  Usually this is only treated with oxygen when your level is below 90%.
6 Comments
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Normal oxygen saturations (by definition) are 90-100%

You need to leave me a little more information on why you had the sleep study. Was it because of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?

You also have to understand the technology when it comes to pulse oximetry. sometimes movement and misplaces probes can cause readings to be false. Also, sleeping at night will cause some lower readings. Our respiratons decrease as well as the depth of breathing too.

Finally, a saturation of 93% is COMPLETELY fine. Its all based on your age, current state of health, and disease state. I need more info.

Dont forget, these numbers are just guides bases on several-several factors I Cannot get into. Its just far too much. Believe it or not, pulse ox is just a guideline readings...not hard core science. There are alot of things that can skew these values. I have patients that saturate in the mid-high 90's and feel like ****, and there are those patients that sat in the mid 80's and feel just fine.

DO NOT get blinded by numbers. Go by how you feel.

-Andy, RRT, CPFT
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Andy thanks.  I guess the test was to rule out sleep apnea or other sleeping disorders, as I don't have specific evidence of apnea but rather generalized exhaustion, headaches, and exercise intolerance and I guess it was felt this was one diagnostic test that never had been done and it might as well be.  I appreciate the information on the pulse ox readings.  I guess my concern was because whenever I had had a reading done in the ER before it was always 98 or 99 and made me wonder.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I've always read & been told that we should all normally have O2 SATs in the 95-100% range while awake at sea level (as you do when you are measured in the hospital), but most folks SATs do drop a bit while they sleep.  
My docs are happy when my SATs are at 93% or higher most of my sleeping hours, which they generally are.
As Andy said, as long as our SATs are 90-100%, the docs don't generally get too concerned.  When we're 5000 feet above sea level, normal saturation levels are 90-95%.
Hope you can figure out why you're having the symptoms you mentioned.  Have you considered meditation & relaxataion techniques, included guided progressive relaxation?  Those are non-invasive techniques that have helped many improve their overall health.
Aloha,
Starion
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I had the same problem, being run down unable to catch my breath,edema. I have fatty liver disease and just thought that was the problem. But thank god for my husband putting his foot down and making my primary dr call in plumonary/sleep study Dr. My o2 stats would go from 87 to 96. My point is I got a real good lung dr and he found out I had plumonary hypertension. I understand this can be hard to find because of the the problems with fatigue, shortness of breath being so common with alot of problem. My point being listen to your body and act on how you feel.Sometimes dr's need to be pointed in a differant direction.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
My daughter recently had a sleep study, her ox saturations were between 94 and 92 ocasionally dropping to 87. I would be grateful for your opinion on this. Thank you very much Ann.
Blank
Continue discussion Blank
This Forum's Experts
242587_tn?1355427710
David Tinkelman, M.D.Blank
National Jewish Health
Denver, CO
Blank
Request an Appointment
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Asthma Tracker
Asthma Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Blank
Allergy Tracker
Allergy Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
233488_tn?1310696703
Blank
New Cannabis Article from NORTH Mag...
Jul 20 by John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
3 Reasons Why You are Still Binge E...
Jul 14 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating: What Your Closet ...
Jul 09 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank