How to use a pulse oximeter? Know the natural ways to boost oxygen levels

pulse oximeter

The COVID-19 has created chaos all across the globe which is hard to deal with. In fact, the second wave of COVID-19 has created havoc in the country and left people breathless. Due to the lack of oxygen, the situation has become more dangerous. People carrying the virus need to be extra cautious when it comes to their oxygen levels. The coronavirus targets the small blood vessels in the lungs and leaves you breathless over a period of time. Thus, it is essential to have a pulse oximeter in hand to keep an eye on your oxygen levels to avoid getting into a life-threatening situation.

What is an oximeter?

pulse oximeter

It is a compact portable device that is beneficial to monitor oxygen levels at home. In other words, an oximeter is a small device in a clip shape that you can attach to your fingers, toes, or earlobes for exact oxygen levels in the blood. You can even say, it is a device to see the condition of your heart pumping oxygen through the body.

The tough and confusing times of COVID-19 have left everyone numb. People are still skeptical about when to get a bed in a hospital. In such uncertain times, an oximeter gives you a clear picture of what to do next.

Therefore, it is highly important for all to understand how to use the pulse oximeter correctly. Here is a step-by-step guide to check your oxygen saturation with an oximeter:

Steps to Use a Pulse Oximeter:

pulse oximeter

  • Essential measures – For women, it is better to remove nail polish before you put a finger inside the pulse oximeter. In case, you have cold hands then warm them by rubbing against each other.

pulse oximeter

  • 5minutes rest – before you begin with the reading, ensure to take a rest for at least five minutes before you take any final measurement.
  • Rest your hand – while resting, ensure that you rest your hand on the chest. This is to be done at heart level. Hold your hand still for few minutes.

pulse oximeter

  • Pulse Oximeter – switch on the oximeter. You can either place this clip-shaped device on your index finger or middle finger for proper reading.
  • Oximeter reading – the reading displayed on the device may fluctuate in the beginning. One must maintain patience and be stable while completing the process. It is recommended to keep the device in place for more than a minute or more to get an accurate reading.
  • Write down the result – note down the highest results once they get constant for about five seconds. Ensure to record every reading by paying proper attention.
  • Use an oximeter 3times a day – it is ideal to track from the baseline. You should record the readings at least three times a day. This way you can monitor the oxygen saturation well.

When should one call for emergency help?

pulse oximeter

A doctor probably tells every patient suffering from COVID-19 to monitor their oxygen level using a pulse oximeter. However, if your blood oxygen saturation drops below 95% it becomes an alarming situation. In such situations, you need the immediate attention of a doctor.

However, if you have certain health issues like COPD, the oxygen level also may drop lower than 95%. It is essential for you to ask your doctor what oxygen number to expect while using an oximeter. Find out which number or measurement is particularly an alarming sign for you.

On the other hand, call your doctor if your COVID-19 symptoms get worse or you are not recovering as expected.

How to improve oxygen levels naturally at home?

Knowing the deplorable situation where people are running for oxygen cylinders it is important to improve your oxygen levels at home with some breathing exercises. Proning is one of the best ways to improve blood oxygen levels to a great extent.

What is proning?

pulse oximeter

It is a medically approved position that helps in improving oxygenation and breathing comfort to a great extent. Those who are COVID-19 positive can try this process to improve their oxygenation right in the comfort of their home.

How to do self proning at home?

pulse oximeter

Lie down on your belly

Lie down on your right side

Sit up with your legs outward right in front of you

Lie on the left side

Then go back to the first position and lie on your belly

How to keep pillows?

pulse oximeter

Keep one pillow below the neck

One or two pillows beneath the chest

Keep two pillows below the shinbone

Precautions while doing proning

Don’t do it for more than 30 minutes in each position

Don’t start it right after taking meals. Wait for at least 2 hours

Adjust the pillows as per your convenience.

Don’t put stress on your stomach while lying on your belly

Take a note of previous injuries while performing it

Who should not do proning?

It should be avoided if you are:

  • Pregnant
  • Treated for deep venous thrombosis in the last 48 hours
  • Suffering from any cardiac disease
  • Suffering from pelvic fractures or spine related problems.

Other natural and effective ways to improve oxygen levels

pulse oximeter

Add more antioxidants to your daily diet

pulse oximeter

Its very important to increase the intake of antioxidants in your daily diet. Try to eat more fruits, berries, red kidney beans, plums.

Add more protein to your diet

pulse oximeter

Try to add more protein and fatty acids to your diet such as vitamin F. It will help to enhance the amount of oxygen that hemoglobin carries in the bloodstream. Thus, add more protein-rich foods such as soybean, flaxseeds, cottage cheese, walnuts, etc.

Do some physical activity daily

pulse oximeter

Exercise or any physical activity is really important to enhance the oxygen levels and eliminate waste in your body via the lymphatic system. You can do aerobics, brisk walking, cardio activities, etc. for 1 hour daily.

Do breathing exercises

pulse oximeter

You have to practice deep breathing exercises to improve your oxygen levels. Give good exercise to your lungs while doing deep breathing exercises. Try to breathe slowly and deeply from the diaphragm and nose. Don’t breathe from the upper chest and mouth.

Drink a lot of water

pulse oximeter

Water is very important for your body. Thus, keep your body hydrated by consuming at least 8-1- glasses of water every day. Avoid consuming carbonated drinks, alcoholic beverages, junk food, or high sodium food.


In such a grim situation, precaution is better than a cure. So, wear a mask and maintain hand hygiene. Also, follow social distancing and try not to visit crowded places. It is very important to maintain a healthy lifestyle to win over this deadly virus. In case, you will become COVID-19 positive then follow the above-mentioned ways to monitor and improve your oxygen levels.

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