The pulse oximeter is a compact device that slips over the tip of the finger and is able to measure blood oxygen levels.
The pulse oximeter is non-invasive and considered safe and accurate by medical professionals.
Athletes, people with respiratory problems and many others can potentially benefit from using a pulse oximeter.
17 Benefits Of A Pulse Oximeter
The pulse oximeter is something of a modern marvel. Compact, effective and safe it provides an array of benefits for a variety of people.
1: A pulse oximeter can help those with asthma and other respiratory conditions.
Patients with respiratory conditions like asthma (1) need to know their blood oxygen levels to know if their treatment is effective. With a pulse oximeter, they can track their blood saturation levels and then share those numbers with their doctor. The doctor can then use that information to refine their treatment if necessary.
2: A pulse oximeter can help people with sleep apnea.
Many folks who suffer from sleep apnea (2) use CPAP machines (3) to keep their airway open as they sleep. It’s the most effective treatment known for this troubling condition. If they have a pulse oximeter that allows them to record results (not all do), they can review those results with their doctor. This will help the doctor determine if the pressure needs adjusting on the CPAP machine.
3: A pulse oximeter may help improve physical performance.
Vigorous exercise is the key to good health at every stage of life. But people don’t always make the most of their workouts. That’s because they aren’t always aware of their blood oxygen levels at any given time. And blood oxygen levels are the key to effective exercise (4). A pulse oximeter can help you keep track of oxygen in your blood an adjust your workouts accordingly.
4: A pulse oximeter can help those with the coronavirus.
The device helps those who’ve tested positive for coronavirus (5) stay up to date on how efficiently their lungs are working. And that’s crucial because pulmonary function is a clear indication of whether their coronavirus is in danger of morphing into the much more dangerous ARDS or Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (6). ARDS has been responsible for most of the covid-19 related deaths.
5: A pulse oximeter is very easy to use.
In fact, it’s one of the easiest medical devices known. Just turn the device on and squeeze the ends to open it up then close it over the tip of your finger. Some units work faster than others. But in any case, you should have your blood oxygen level and blood pressure in 10 or 15 seconds. It might take a little more if you move your hand about.
6: A pulse oximeter can help someone with cardiac problems.
People are often advised to use supplemental oxygen at home (7) if they have lung disease, or they’ve had open heart surgery (8). If you’ve been sent home with the instructions to use supplemental oxygen, a pulse oximeter can be of immense help. It can tell you when oxygen levels in your blood are dropping, so you know it’s time to don the mask and use the supplemental oxygen.
7: A pulse oximeter is affordable.
50 years ago, when the oximeter as we might recognize it today first appeared, the device was several times the size of the average PC. It was so big it was rolled around the hospital on a cart. It also cost more than $20,000, which at the time was a substantial amount of money. Today, the pulse oximeter can be had for less than $50 and is so small and light you can carry it in your pocket.
8: A pulse oximeter can help protect mountain climbers from hypoxia.
If you’ve ever seen a documentary about Mount Everest, you no doubt noticed that on the upper part of the mountain just about everyone is using supplemental oxygen. That’s to prevent hypoxia (9), commonly known as ‘altitude sickness.’ A pulse oximeter can help you avoid hypoxia by altering you that your blood oxygen levels are falling.
9: A pulse oximeter is extremely portable.
In fact, today’s pulse oximeters are so small that they’ll slip easily into your pocket. If you’re traveling, they’ll take up almost no space in your purse or carry on. If you’re a casual hiker or mountain climber, you can sling it from your belt or put it in one of the pockets of your backpack. The point is the pulse oximeter will go wherever you go and never get in the way.
10: A pulse oximeter can help pilots avoid hypoxia.
Pilot spend a large portion of their lives up in the thin air. It’s important that they stay alert at all times. In the air it is crucial that blood oxygen does not drop below the 90% threshold. A pulse oximeter can provide a pilot with valuable, real-time information regarding his or her blood oxygen level. This, in turn, increases safety for everyone on board the aircraft.
11: A pulse oximeter is non-invasive.
That’s one of its most attractive qualities. So many procedures, therapies, and diagnostic tests today are invasive. We’re thinking anything that involves drawing blood (including diabetic test strips (10) that require the user prick their finger), arthroscopic and laparoscopic surgery (11), and more. It’s rare to find any type of test that is both important and non-invasive like the oximeter.
12: A pulse oximeter can alert people to the side effects of different medicine.
Most people aren’t aware of it, but there is a laundry list of medications that have the potential to create respiratory problems (12). These include seizure medications, rheumatoid arthritis medications, chemotherapy drugs, and more. If you are taking a medicine that has the potential to cause breathing problems, you’d be smart to have a pulse oximeter on hand.
13: A pulse oximeter can provide peace of mind.
Uncertainty is a major cause of stress. And stress is a well-known aggravator of numerous ailments (13). If you suffer from a respiratory illness, the last thing you need is stress to make things even worse. A pulse oximeter that enables you to keep tabs of your pulmonary condition can go a long way toward alleviating unnecessary levels of stress and improving your health and quality of life.
14: A pulse oximeter can help you determine if your inhaler is effective.
The inhaler is one of the most commonly used medical devices. People with COPD (14), asthma, acute bronchitis (15), and more all use inhalers to obtain relief. But in many cases, they’re not getting what they need from their inhaler, and they don’t even know it. A pulse oximeter can provide evidence that their inhaler is or isn’t working.
15: A pulse oximeter can be useful during an emergency.
The pulse oximeter is incredibly easy to use. You don’t need special training, and it doesn’t present a threat to the person being tested. For this reason, it’s an outstanding device to have on hand in case of an emergency. If someone is suffering from a respiratory event, virtually anyone in the family can get a read on their blood oxygen levels and relay that to EMTs.
16: A pulse oximeter doesn’t require an external power supply.
No matter if you’re on the beach or in your yard or halfway up a mountain, you can obtain a quick and accurate measure of your blood oxygen level. And in most cases, your blood pressure and heart rate too. That’s because these devices are entirely battery-powered. So there’s never a need to search for an outlet.
17: A pulse oximeter can be used in conjunction with other health-related apps.
While most pulse oximeters won’t sync directly with your smartphone, the information they provide can be entered into a variety of health-related apps to provide more comprehensive feedback. This enables the user to put the information that oximeter is giving them to better use. Since the food you eat can affect blood oxygen levels (16), this information can be used to adjust your diet in a way that produces better results.
Whether you suffer from respiratory illness, sleep apnea or cardiovascular issues it is likely you will find the pulse oximeter useful. But pulse oximeters are not just for those with health problems. Athletes, pilots and others can also benefit from the vital physiological information it provides.