Pulse oximeters have changed radically over recent years. While still used primarily in emergency medicine and various laboratories, they have seen an increased popularity in the home environment. Some of the reasons that they are becoming so popular include portability, ease of use, accuracy, and some of the newer non-medical applications.
Portability is one of the primary benefits of an oximeter. Portable pulse oximeters are increasingly common, allowing individuals to monitor their health in any location. This portability makes them an excellent choice for individuals who are often traveling or moving around on a regular basis. For those with chronic illnesses or other challenges, portability can be especially important.
Accuracy is another benefit that many individuals who use a pulse oximeter may use. The finger pulse oximeter that is most common is small and portable, which allows it to be worn on just about any finger or part of the arm, making it extremely accurate and easy to use. Finger oximeters are especially useful for individuals with arthritis, diabetes, chronic lung disease, COPD, and other conditions that affect the lung. The accuracy can be significantly improved by adjusting the pulse oximeter settings.
Accuracy is also important for those who are suffering from any medical conditions that affect the lungs. Chest x-rays are useful for diagnosing bronchitis, emphysema, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. However, even if there is no clear-cut diagnosis for a medical condition that affects the lungs, patients can still monitor their progress through chest x-rays at home.
Emphysema and chronic lung disease often make it difficult or impossible for patients to exhale deeply enough to inhale oxygen. A pulse oximeter that has an accurate setting can accurately detect low oxygen levels in the blood, which can then be detected by the patient’s physician or respiratory therapist. This will allow them to make necessary treatment choices and reduce the effects of these medical conditions on the patient’s overall health and well-being.
The benefits of using a pulse oximeter are clear, but some people may wonder how to maintain accuracy and performance during every workout or physical activity. Maintaining accurate readings is best accomplished when the patient consistently wears their oximeter at the same time each day. This means that the device must be worn throughout the day on each of the four major parts of the body: the fingertip, the upper arm, the groin area, and the lower back. To ensure maximum performance and reliability, oximeter owners should remember that they should not wear their devices when performing activities that cause them to perspire excessively, such as exercising, swimming, or engaging in extreme physically active activities. If a person regularly perspires while exercising or working out, they should instead take a short walk around their community after their workouts are done.