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Low O2 Levels

Has anyone lost the ability to think and speak clearly when your O2 levels drop?

  1. When I feel breathless, I feel panic. I go into a mindset that just focuses on that, and not things around me. That makes me feel like I'm not thinking. My doctor pointed out that I even hold my breath, which makes the oximeter show even lower saturation. My Pulmonologist gave me insight on what to do if my saturation drops to 88% or lower, and how many minutes it should take to recover when I stop walking. He said I should be more concerned if I can't speak a normal sentence. I have a poem I recite, and it really helps me get out of that panic mode.


    1. Hi again, twovillages, and thanks for your reply. It sounds like you have a good, interested, and understanding physician. These are good guidelines for you to assess how you are doing, You must feel a bit more in control to have this understanding of your own specific condition. Perhaps having these assessment tools to use will help to alleviate some of the anxiety you tend to feel.
      We value your candor here with the community.
      Warm regards,
      Leon (site moderator COPD.net)

    2. yea it's so hard not to panic

  2. This is an interesting question. It's amazing to hear all your stories.

    1. , yes that is how I was diagnosed. I still have that problem today with 02.


      1. Hi yalexander, and thanks for your post. I see my colleague, , has already responded to your comment.
        I am sorry to hear you are still having the same issue, even when using the supplemental oxygen. Have you had an opportunity to discuss this with your physician? Perhaps an adjustment to the oxygen and/or medication regimen might be of some benefit.
        What do you think?

        All the best,
        Leon (site moderator COPD.net)

    2. Hi Gwynne! When I am extremely short of breath, that happens to me. Have you heard the saying, “when you can’t breathe, nothing else matters”? For me, it is very true.
      I stop what I am doing, concentrate on slow, pursed lip breathing and slowing my breathing down. I keep reminding myself this works and I’ll be fine.


      Carol (community moderator)




      1. I call 911 when my oxygen levels fall into dangerous numbers. We all have different medical conditions that may affect us as well. I suggest talking to your doctor and having a plan for that. Good luck!


        Carol (moderator)

      2. Many of us have that feeling of our bladder giving out on us. I have been practicing breathing exercises with pursed lip breathing daily, 15-20 minutes per day. I usually break it up. I do it slowly, and yes, I have found it works a great deal of the time for me. If I don’t pace myself and panic because I’m short of breath, then I have moments when it doesn’t. Learning not to panic and reminding myself I know how to handle it is key.


        Carol (moderator)

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