How to Improve Oxygen Saturation


Low blood oxygen, also called hypoxemia, occurs when oxygen supply to the bloodstream is reduced or interrupted. Your body needs oxygen in the blood in order for organs to perform properly. Blood oxygen is monitored by an instrument called the oximeter. Normal readings are 95 to 100 at sea level and readings under 90 are considered low, according to the Mayo Clinic. There are ways to improve oxygen saturation in the blood.

Things You'll Need

  • Oxygen units
  • Breathing tapes
  • Vitamins
Low oxygen.
Low oxygen. (Image: Jochen Sand/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Step 1

Use oxygen units that are stationary or portable to increase oxygen saturation. An oxygen supply company delivers the units and provides information on how to use the units. You place a mask from the unit over your nose and mouth and breathe in as long as you need to.

Oxygen unit.
Oxygen unit. (Image: Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Step 2

Exercise regularly. Exercise increases blood circulation and oxygen levels. Walking, swimming and jogging are just a few exercises to help increase oxygen saturation. Talk to your doctor before adding exercises to your routine when you are experiencing breathing problems.

Running regularly increases oxygen levels.
Running regularly increases oxygen levels. (Image: Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Step 3

Avoid second-hand smoke and smog. Air pollutants disrupt breathing, lowering oxygen levels.

Avoid smoke.
Avoid smoke. (Image: micha360/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 4

Lose weight if you are obese. Disrupted breathing during sleep by people who are obese has shown a decrease in oxygen saturation, according to the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. Being obese increases the risk of sleep apnea.

Lose weight.
Lose weight. (Image: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Step 5

Listen to relaxation and breathing method tapes. These tapes teach you how to breathe properly, helping to increase your oxygen saturation.

Listen to relaxing sounds.
Listen to relaxing sounds. (Image: Stockbyte/Valueline/Getty Images)

Step 6

Take vitamins and iron each day. Eat a healthy diet rich in green vegetables such as broccoli and spinach. Anemia has been shown to cause hypoxemia according to the Mayo Clinic, so keep your body strong with a good diet and supplements.

Take daily vitamins.
Take daily vitamins. (Image: Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

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Tips & Warnings

  • See your doctor when experiencing breathing difficulties, confusion or shortness of breath.


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