Pulse oximeters have traditionally been used by nurses and clinicians, or for home monitoring with conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or pulmonary fibrosis. The device is a painless, reliable way to check someone's oxygen saturation—or the amount of oxygen that's currently being pumped through your blood.
While you should always consult your physician first if you’re concerned about your blood oxygen levels, a pulse oximeter can regularly spot-check your levels on a daily basis. Your symptoms may be mild, but a sudden drop in your blood oxygen saturation can be an early warning bell to go see your doctor ASAP.
“It’s normal for your oxygen to fluctuate between 95 and 100% if you are otherwise healthy” Kathleen Dass, MD, an allergist and immunologist privately practicing in Michigan, tells Verywell Health. “There aren’t any known risks to using a pulse oximeter unless [you don’t know] how to interpret the numbers you have.”
Here are the best pulse oximeters on the market today.
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