What is a pulse oximeter and how it works

Child or adult, we are all vulnerable to one or more diseases in today’s society. So, when the coronavirus epidemic spreads panic in people’s minds, it becomes a disaster. In our country, it is taking its final grip at alarming rates. With so many people becoming infected daily, this device is an essential part of every home: a pulse oximeter. Here we provide detailed information on what it is and how to use it so that you can protect yourself from this disease.

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What is a pulse oximeter?

A pulse oximeter is a medical instrument that calculates the oxygen level in your blood. It’s a small, clip-like device that attaches to your finger and uses infrared light to calculate how much oxygen is in your blood. Pulse oximeters are used to check for respiratory problems, such as asthma or COPD, and to monitor the health of people with heart or lung conditions. Many sportsperson use them to measure their oxygen levels during training.

You can easily check the oxygen level in your blood by using a pulse oximeter. It usually consists of two sensors placed on different fingers (or, in some cases, on your earlobe or toe). The device then uses light to measure how much oxygen your blood absorbs. The results are displayed as a percentage on a screen.

How does a pulse oximeter work?

Pulse oximeters measure the fraction of oxygenated hemoglobin in the blood. You can use them to indicate how well oxygen is delivered to the body tissues.

There are two pulse oximeters: those that use infrared light and those that use red and near-infrared light. Infrared light is absorbed more by oxygenated hemoglobin, so an infrared pulse oximeter will tend to give a higher reading for the same amount of oxygenated hemoglobin than a red and near-infrared pulse oximeter.

The pulse oximeter probe is placed on a thin part of the patient’s body, such as an earlobe or fingertip. The probe emits light at two different wavelengths, usually red and infrared. As the light passes through the body tissue to the sensor, some of it is absorbed.

The absorption at each wavelength depends on how much oxygen is bound to hemoglobin in the blood. The absorption ratio at the two wavelengths is used to calculate the blood oxygen saturation percentage (% SpO2).

The benefits of pulse oximeter

The most important benefit is that it can help you monitor your oxygen levels. It is essential if you have a condition that could cause your oxygen levels to drop, such as COPD or sleep apnea.

A pulse oximeter allows you to keep track of your heart rate and oxygen level. It’s an ideal tool if you are a heart patient or trying to monitor your fitness level. Pulse oximeters are generally very simple and affordable, making them an excellent option for people who want to monitor their health at home.

How to use a pulse oximeter

An average oxygen level is typically between 95 and 100 percent. If your oxygen level is lower than average, it’s called hypoxemia. Several conditions, including lung disease, heart disease, anemia, or sleep apnea, can cause hypoxemia.

Suppose you have a condition that causes hypoxemia. In that case, your doctor may prescribe a pulse oximeter for you to use at home. Using a pulse oximeter is simple:

1. Wash your hands and remove any nail polish from your fingernails.

2. Place the sensor on your finger and ensure it’s snug but not too tight.

3. The display will show your current oxygen level and heart rate.

4. Remove the sensor when you’re done monitoring your oxygen level.

Some common misconceptions about pulse oximeters

There are a few common misconceptions about pulse oximeters that we would like to clear up. First, some people think that pulse oximeters only measure the oxygen saturation of the blood. However, pulse oximeters measure both the oxygen saturation and the pulse rate. Second, pulse oximeters are not just for monitoring medical patients. They can be used by anyone who wants to check their oxygen saturation or pulse rate. Finally, although pulse oximeters are very accurate, they could be better. Sometimes readings may be inaccurate due to low blood pressure or movement.

Types of Pulse Oximeters

Pulse oximeters come in various types, each with unique features. The most common type is the handheld pulse oximeter, which is small and portable. These devices are typically used for spot-checking oxygen levels in the blood. They are ideal for doctor’s offices, hospitals, and other medical settings.

Another type of pulse oximeter is the wearable device. These devices can be worn on the wrist or around the neck and are often used by athletes or people who work in high altitudes. Wearable pulse oximeters continuously monitor oxygen levels and can provide valuable data over time.

There are also implantable pulse oximeters placed under the skin and measure oxygen levels in the tissue. These devices are typically used for long-term monitoring of patients with chronic lung conditions.

precautions of pulse oximeter

When using a pulse oximeter, you must keep a few precautions in mind:

  1. Make sure the sensor is positioned correctly on the finger. The sensor should be placed on the top of the finger and not be obstructed by clothing or jewelry.
  2. Be aware that factors such as cold hands or movement can affect the accuracy of the reading. Try to keep the writing still and warm.
  3. Remember that pulse oximeters are not intended for use on children under the age of 2.

Who can Use a pulse oximeter

A pulse oximeter is a medical device that helps measure how well your heart pumps oxygen through your body. It’s non-invasive, meaning it doesn’t require breaking the skin, and it can be used on all patients, from infants to adults.

Pulse oximeters are most often used in hospitals but can also be found in homes and doctor’s offices. Some people use them to monitor their health, while others use them to keep an eye on a loved one who may be ill.

Things to keep in mind while buying a pulse oximeter

Keep a few things in mind while purchasing a pulse oximeter:

  1. Consider what type of activities you will be using it for. If you plan on using it for exercise or athletic activities, look for a model specifically designed for that purpose.
  2. Check the reviews to see what other users have said about the device’s accuracy.
  3. Please make sure the pulse oximeter you purchase is compatible with your smartphone or other devices you might use it with.
  4. Consider the price and choose a model that fits your budget.

Prices of Pulse Oximeter

Prices for pulse oximeters can vary depending on the specific model and features you are looking for. However, a basic pulse oximeter generally costs around $30 and can go up to $100 or more for a more advanced model.

An essential use of pulse oximeter in the coronavirus epidemic

Using a pulse oximeter is one of the most important things you can do to monitor your health during the coronavirus epidemic. A pulse oximeter is a small, lightweight device that attaches to your finger and measures how much oxygen is in your blood.

It’s essential to keep track of your oxygen levels because if they drop too low, it can be a sign that the virus is starting to affect your lungs. Additionally, suppose you have other symptoms like a fever or shortness of breath. In that case, it’s essential to check your oxygen levels immediately.

If you don’t have a pulse oximeter at home, you can usually find them at pharmacies or online. It’s essential to get one that is FDA approved so that you know it will give you accurate readings.

Once you have your pulse oximeter, using it is easy. Just put the sensor on your finger and wait for the reading. Most devices will beep when they’re done so that you know it’s time to check the display. Normal oxygen saturation levels are between 95-100%. If yours drops below 90%, it’s time to seek medical attention.


A pulse oximeter is a health device that helps measure the oxygen level in your blood. It works by attaching to your finger and then sending light waves through your skin to measure how much oxygen is being carried in your blood. Pulse oximeters are often used by doctors and nurses to check the oxygen levels of patients, but they can also be used at home to monitor your own health. If you think you might need a pulse oximeter, talk to your doctor about whether it’s right for you.

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