July 10, 2022 - Parul Saini, Webmedy Team
With the growing popularity and usefulness of Pulse Oximeters, people are now using a pulse oximeter at home to monitor their blood oxygen levels.
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In this article, we will give you helpful tips on how to use a Pulse Oximeter at home correctly to get accurate results.
A pulse oximeter is a small, clip-like medical device. It attaches to a body part, most commonly to a finger. A pulse oximeter uses a non-invasive method for monitoring a person's blood oxygen saturation (as opposed to measuring oxygen saturation directly through a blood sample). It can rapidly detect even small changes in oxygen levels. To know how a Pulse Oximeter works read this related blog article - What is a Pulse Oximeter?
First, let's go over the factors that can affect the accuracy of a Pulse Oximeter reading.
The finger should fit comfortably. It should not be too tight as it may restrict blood circulation. On the other hand, it should not be too loose for the device to fall off or allow outside light to interfere with the reading.
Nail polish or dirty nails can absorb the light emitted by the pulse oximeter and affect the accuracy of the test.
Movement of hand or shivering can result in an inaccurate reading.
Cold hands and fingers mean that the blood flow and circulation to your hand is low and may cause difficulty for the oximeter to detect a good pulse signal.
A person who smokes heavily might cause their oxygen saturation to be measured at 8% higher.
It has been found that dark skin or high pigmentation skin can result in overestimation of oxygen saturation, especially at low saturation levels.
Direct bright light in the room or bright sunlight can interfere and result in an inaccurate reading
Do not rely only on a pulse oximeter reading to assess your health condition or oxygen level. If you are monitoring your oxygen levels at home, also pay attention to other signs or symptoms of low oxygen levels, such as:
We hope, these tips will make you confident in using and getting accurate readings with a pulse oximeter at home.