Normal Blood Oxygen

  1. Normal Blood Oxygen
  2. Normal Blood Oxygen Percentage

All blood cells are divided into three lineages. Red blood cells, also called erythrocytes, are the oxygen-carrying cells. Erythrocytes are functional and are released into the blood. The number of reticulocytes, immature red blood cells, gives an estimate of the rate of erythropoiesis. Lymphocytes are the cornerstone of the adaptive immune. Sep 30, 2005 Hypoxemia is a below-normal level of oxygen in your blood, specifically in the arteries. Hypoxemia is a sign of a problem related to breathing or circulation, and may result in various symptoms, such as shortness of breath. Hypoxemia is determined by measuring the oxygen level in a blood sample taken from an artery (arterial blood gas).


What is hypoxemia?

Hypoxemia occurs when levels of oxygen in the blood are lower than normal. If blood oxygen levels are too low, your body may not work properly.

Blood carries oxygen to the cells throughout your body to keep them healthy. Hypoxemia can cause mild problems such as headaches and shortness of breath. In severe cases, it can interfere with heart and brain function. Hypoxemia that causes low oxygen levels in your body’s tissues is called hypoxia. Sometimes people use the two terms interchangeably, but they are not the same thing.

Symptoms and Causes

What causes hypoxemia?

A variety of conditions and circumstances can interfere with the body’s ability to deliver normal levels of oxygen to the blood. Some of the most common causes of hypoxemia include:

  • Heart conditions, including heart defects
  • Lung conditions such as asthma, emphysema, and bronchitis
  • Locations of high altitudes, where oxygen in the air is lower
  • Strong pain medications or other problems that slow breathing
  • Sleep apnea (impaired breathing during sleep)
  • Inflammation or scarring of the lung tissue (as in pulmonary fibrosis)

What are the symptoms of hypoxemia?

Symptoms of hypoxemia vary depending on the severity of the condition. They include:

Normal Blood Oxygen

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Coughing
  • Confusion
  • Bluish color in skin, fingernails, and lips

Diagnosis and Tests

How do doctors diagnose hypoxemia?

Normal oxygen levels for women

To diagnose hypoxemia, your doctor will do a physical examination to listen to your heart and lungs. Abnormalities in these organs can be a sign of low blood oxygen. Your doctor may also check to see if your skin, lips, or fingernails look bluish.

Doctors use tests to check your oxygen levels, including:

  • Pulse oximetry: A sensor that slips over your finger measures the amount of oxygen in your blood. Pulse oximetry is painless and noninvasive. Many doctors use it routinely each time you visit.
  • Arterial blood gas test: A needle is used to take a blood sample from your artery to measure the levels of oxygen in your blood.
  • Other breathing tests: These might involve breathing into tubes that are connected to computers or other machines.

Management and Treatment

How do doctors treat hypoxemia?

Normal blood oxygen level at altitude

Treatment for hypoxemia aims to raise the levels of oxygen in the blood. Doctors can use medications to treat underlying conditions that cause hypoxemia. These medications are often given through an inhaler that enables you to breathe the medicine into your lungs.

In more severe cases, your doctor may prescribe oxygen therapy. People typically receive extra oxygen through a device called a cannula (tube) that is clipped to the outside of the nose, or through a breathing mask. The location and amount of time people receive oxygen therapy is based on individual needs. You may receive oxygen at home, with a portable machine while you travel, or in the hospital.

What are the complications or side effects of hypoxemia?

If your blood does not have enough oxygen, it cannot deliver enough oxygen to the organs and tissues that need it. This situation can be fatal if severe in the short term and can affect the heart or brain if it persists over a long period of time.


Can hypoxemia be prevented?

There are steps you can take to prevent hypoxemia from returning after treatment. To increase the oxygen levels in your blood, your doctor may recommend:

Normal blood oxygen saturation
  • Deep breathing exercises
  • Mild exercise such as walking or yoga
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Quitting smoking

Outlook / Prognosis

What is the outlook for people with hypoxemia?

Hypoxemia symptoms can go away with treatment. Depending on the cause, people with hypoxemia may require treatment once or on an ongoing basis. Your doctor will work with you to manage the condition so you can live an active, healthy life.

Living With

Normal Blood Oxygen

When should I call a doctor regarding hypoxemia?

Contact your doctor if you experience symptoms of hypoxemia. Early diagnosis and treatment can help ensure the condition does not get worse and cause dangerous complications.

This oxygen chart extrapolates the effective amount of oxygen percentages to real altitude.

At real altitude, the barometric pressure of the atmosphere is significantly less than that of sea-level environments. The result is that oxygen molecules in the air are further apart, reducing the oxygen content of each breath incrementally as one goes up in altitude. The reduction of oxygen availability in the air thus reduces the oxygen saturation in the blood and brains of unacclimatized people introduced to the environment. This is why people traveling from sea-level often feel pretty lousy for at least the first week when they arrive at high elevation destinations. At its extreme, this desaturation of oxygen is what leads people to experience Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), which is an incredibly dangerous condition. To avoid these negative implications of rapid introduction to altitude, we recommend people employ a “pre-acclimatization” strategy at home to prepare their bodies ahead of the altitude exposure.

The change in barometric pressure at real altitude is what scientists call “hypobaric hypoxia.” At Hypoxico, instead of changing the barometric pressure of an environment, we decrease the oxygen percentage of the air available to users to simulate high altitude desaturation. That is called “normobaric hypoxia,” and it’s been shown to be very effective in mimicking high altitude and eliciting the performance, acclimatization, and general health adaptations inherent to high altitude exposure. By controlling the percentage of oxygen in each breath, users can desaturate in a very controlled and strategic way so they can meet their goals. Again, this desaturation of oxygen from the blood and brain is what kicks on the adaptive response in the body, and by incrementally introducing the stimulus, users at sea-level can arrive at real altitude with little to no ill-effects. Our chart will help you find the oxygen levels by elevation for many common altitudes.

Normal Blood Oxygen Percentage

Below is an altitude oxygen chart that extrapolates oxygen percentages to real altitude, which you can use in conjunction with Hypoxico systems. This chart will help you find oxygen levels at altitudes you are interested in, starting with the oxygen content of the air at sea level. You can consult with a Hypoxico representative if you have questions about the true altitude you are simulating. You can also see real-world cities that correspond with the simulated altitude at various oxygen percentage thresholds.

Download and save your own copy of the Hypoxico altitude to oxygen chart.

You can also download the altitude to oxygen chart in an excel format where you can input your current elevation to get the corresponding percentages for your elevation.

Hypoxico Altitude To Oxygen Chart

The elevation related to the oxygen percentage.
O2 Monitor
Similar Location
Sea LevelSea Level20.9%20.9%Hypoxico HQ - New York, NY
1,00030420.1%20.1% Tbilisi, Georgia (1,479' - 451m)
2,00060919.4%19.4% Canberra, Australia (1,984' - 605m)
3,00091418.6%18.6%Chamonix, France (3,264 ft. - 995m)
4,000121917.9%17.9%Salt Lake City, UT (4,226 ft. - 1288m)
5,000152417.3%17.3%Boulder, CO (5,430 ft. - 1655m)
6,000182816.6%16.6%Stanley, ID (6,253 ft. - 1906m)
7,000213316%16%Flagstaff, AZ (6,910 - 2106m)
8,000243815.4%15.4%Aspen, CO (7,907 ft. - 2410m)
9,000274314.8%14.8%Bogota, Colombia (8,660' - 2640m)
10,000304814.3%14.3%Leadville, CO (10,200 ft. - 3109m)
11,000335213.7%13.7%Cusco, Peru (11,152ft – 3399 m)
12,000365713.2%13.2%La Paz, Bolivia (11,942 ft. - 3640m)
13,000396212.7%12.7% Yabuk Camp, Sikkim, India (12,467' - 3800m)
14,000426712.3%12.3%Pikes Peak, CO (14,115 ft. - 4302m)
15,000457211.8%11.8%Mount Rainier (14,411 ft. - 4392m)
16,000487611.4%11.4% Mount Blanc (15,777' - 4808m)
17,000518111%11%Everest Base Camp (16,900 ft. - 5150m)
18,000548610.5%10.5% Mount Elbrus (18,510' - 5642m)
19,000579110.1%10.1%Mt. Kilimanjaro (19,341 ft. - 5895m)
20,00060969.7%9.7%Mt. Denali (20,310 ft. - 6190m)
21,00064009.4%9.4%Hypoxico Home Generator Max
22,00067059%9% Ama Dablam (22,349' - 6812m)
23,00070108.7%8.7%Aconcagua (22,841 ft. - 6960m)
24,00073158.4%8.4% K12, Pakistan (24,370' - 7428m)
25,00076208.1%8.1% Chomo Lonzo, Himalayas (25,604' - 7804m)
26,00079247.8%7.8% Annapurna (26,545' - 8091m)
27,00082297.5%7.5%Cho Oyu (26,864 ft. - 8188m)
28,00085347.2%7.2%K2 (28,251 ft. - 8611m)
29,00088396.9%6.9%Mt. Everest (29,029 ft. - 8848m)
30,00091446.3%6.3%Hypoxico K2 High Flow Max