What Is Normal Oxygen Level In Adults?

Oxygen level is the number of oxygen circulating in the blood. Oxygen is carried by blood cells, which get oxygen from the lungs and deliver it to all body parts.

The body closely controls oxygen levels to keep them within a special range so that there is enough oxygen for the requirements of each cell in our body.

A person’s blood oxygen level is a sign of how well the body gives oxygen from the lungs to the cells.

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Blood Oxygen Level Normal Range
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Blood oxygen level normal range

An average oxygen level ranges between 75 and 100 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).

An oxygen level below 60 mm Hg is considered low and may need oxygen supplementation, depending on a doctor’s decision and the particular case.

When the oxygen level is too low compared to the expected level of a healthy person, it can signify a situation known as hypoxemia. It means that the body has difficulty carrying oxygen to all cells, organs, and tissue.

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How is oxygen level measured?

The most effective way to control oxygen levels is by an arterial blood gas or ABG test. During this test, a blood sample is carried away, generally in the wrist. 

This process is very accurate, but it can be a few painful. In addition, an ABG test can be difficult at home, so a person may wish to do an alternative test using a small tool known as a pulse oximeter.

A pulse oximeter is a small clip often put on a finger, although it can also use it on the ear or toe. It measures oxygen indirectly by information intake through a person’s pulse.

Although the pulse oximeter test is quicker and not painful, it is not as accurate as of the ABG test because dirty fingers can influence it, bright lights, nail polish, and poor circulation to the extremities.

For people who wish to buy a pulse oximeter, a range of easy-to-use tools is available online.

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Causes of low oxygen level

oxygen levels below the normal values Cause 

  • No enough oxygen in the air.
  • The inability of the lungs to breathe and send oxygen to all tissues and cell.
  • The inability of the bloodstream to circulate to the lungs, get oxygen, and transport it around the body.

Several conditions can add to the above risk factors, including:

  • Heart diseases, congenital heart disease
  • Asthma
  • Anemia
  • pneumonia
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 
  • Interstitial lung disease
  • Emphysema
  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome 
  • Excess fluid in the lungs.
  • Sleep apnea where breathing is disrupted during sleep.
  • Some medicines, including some narcotics and painkillers
  • Obstruction of an artery in the lung.
  • Pulmonary fibrosis or scarring and harm to lungs.
  • The appearance of air or gas in the chest that causes the lungs to fall.

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High oxygen variation during sleep

Frequently high variations on your estimate of oxygen variation may indicate that you experience trouble breathing when sleep.

Disturbances in breathing can be exacerbated by variations in oxygen levels, indicating that your body does not get the oxygen it needs while sleeping.

When to see a doctor

  • Experience sudden and challenging shortness of breath.
  • Shortness of breath when at rest.
  • Eave difficult shortness of breath that worsens during a workout or physical activity.
  • Wake suddenly with shortness of breath or an of feel shocking.
  • Difficulty breathing with a cough, fluid retention, and rapid heartbeat.


Treatment for low oxygen levels includes taking supplemental oxygen. It can be done at home when it is called home oxygen therapy.

There are various tools for delivering and checking home oxygen therapy, but some are medicines and need a prescription.

Can take some self-care measures to reduce signs of shortness of breath and improve overall health and quality of life. These include:

  • Eating healthy food with fruits and vegetables
  • Exercising daily
  • Avoiding smoking in areas where others smoke
  • Quitting smoking


Oxygen levels in the blood are not certainly painful and can occur in people who can recover or in healthy people at high altitudes. These people do not need to check their oxygen levels regularly.

People with low oxygen can also make lifestyle changes, not smoking, improving their diet and exercise habits, and being managed with supplemental oxygen.

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