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11 Signs Your Oxygen Level Dropped

Over the weekend, it was reported President Trump's oxygen levels had dropped as a result of the coronavirus. Given that COVID-19 is a respiratory disease, this makes sense: if the lungs are affected, so is the amount of oxygen you intake. It's important to know the warning signs of low blood oxygen, also known as hypoxemia. Read on to discover if you may be in danger, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.


A Sense of Euphoria or Even Hallucinations

Mature man with bad headache at home

"A sense of euphoria can occur as hypoxemia progresses to hypoxia and can appear similar to intoxication," report the oxygen experts at Inogen. "There may be changes in appearance, behavior, rate and continuity of speech, mood or even hallucinations and abnormal beliefs about time, location or people. Judgment, memory and insight may be impaired."


A Bluish Tint to the Lips, Earlobes and/or Nail Beds 

Dark purplish lips color in congenital cyanotic heart disease girl patient.

Called cyanosis, "this is a sign of severe hypoxemia, indicating that your cells are not getting enough oxygenated blood," reports Inogen. "Cyanosis should be taken extremely seriously and warrants emergency medical care."

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Burning Sensations

man in white casual t-shirt, holding head with both hands, suffering from severe headache

"If hypoxemia is a long-term problem, the body may overproduce red blood cells, which causes the blood to become thick, restricting its ability to travel through smaller blood vessels," reports Inogen. "This may cause additional symptoms, including burning sensations in the extremities, ringing in the ears and itching."



Close up Portrait of young woman with headache

"COPD is linked to a condition called hypoxia, which occurs when your blood doesn't have enough oxygen. This overworks your heart and slows down tissue functions. COPD is also related to hypercapnia, which occurs when you retain too much carbon dioxide," reports Healthline. "Headaches from COPD happen from a lack of oxygen to your brain combined with too much carbon dioxide. COPD headaches commonly occur in the morning after waking up due to a buildup of carbon dioxide in your blood while you sleep."


Shortness of Breath

Pretty brunette coughing on couch at home in the living-room.

"Shortness of breath, or dyspnea, is one of the more common signs of hypoxemia," reports Inogen. "Shortness of breath feels like being winded, or struggling to get enough breath. Shortness of breath may also include a tight sensation in the chest, rapid breathing or feeling unable to get enough oxygen. Pursing lips or flaring nostrils while breathing may also occur."


Rapid Breathing

Curly woman feeling bad and suffering from strong cough while having flu

"Tachypnea is a medical term that refers to fast, shallow breathing," reports Medical News Today. "A lack of oxygen or too much carbon dioxide in the body is a common cause. It can also result from other health issues. Tachypnea is not a disease, but a symptom that the body is trying to correct another problem."

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trouble sleeping

"Early signs of hypoxia are anxiety, confusion, and restlessness; if hypoxia is not corrected, hypotension will develop," reports BC. "As hypoxia worsens, the patient's vital signs, activity tolerance, and level of consciousness will decrease."


Dizziness, Lightheadedness and/or Fainting Spells

Young woman, blond hair, fainted in bed.

"Feeling dizzy or lightheaded and/or fainting is a common indication that your body is not getting the oxygen it needs. A floating feeling or feeling the frequent need to yawn may also occur," reports Inogen.


Elevated Blood Pressure and Rapid Heart Rate

african woman feeling menstrual cyclic breast pain, touching her chest,

"Acute hypoxia activates several autonomic mechanisms, mainly in the cardiovascular system—such as increasing in resting heart rate (HR), cardiac output and blood pressure—and in the respiratory system, like causing pulmonary hypertension and hyperventilation," reports a study in BioMed.


Vision Issues

woman over white with blurred vision and trouble focusing

"Symptoms of oxygen deprivation in the eyes includes blurred vision, burning, excessive tearing and a scratchy feeling, almost like there is sand in the eye," reports LIOC. "Mild cases typically result in swelling in the epithelial layer of the cornea and temporary blurred vision."

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Lack of Coordination and Confusion

Woman has a Migraine and headache after wake up in the morning.

"Symptoms of mild cerebral hypoxia include inattentiveness, poor judgment, memory loss, and a decrease in motor coordination," reports the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. "Brain cells are extremely sensitive to oxygen deprivation and can begin to die within five minutes after oxygen supply has been cut off."


What to Do If You Fear Your Oxygen Levels are Dropping

Doctor wearing blue nitrile exam gloves performs a test using a fingertip pulse oximeter to check the patient's oxygen saturation level and pulse rate

Call your medical professional if you experience any of the symptoms above. And "if you are sick at home with this virus, be sure to regularly check your own blood-oxygen levels with a pulse oximeter, which you can purchase online or from any drugstore." And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more about Alek