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Good saturation levels, but stressful breathing. What is happening?

Community Answers
  • Lazy T author
    2 years ago

    Dr. says could be early signs of a flair up if it continues…office visit required.

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi (again) GeneTurney. I’m glad to hear you’ve reached out to your physician. You are the best judge of how you’re feeling; better than a day or so ago? The same? Worse? If your labored breathing persists or worsens, it may be prudent to go and visit the doctor to make sure something else isn’t going in with your condition.
    Please do keep us posted.
    Leon (site moderator)

  • Casey Hribar moderator
    2 years ago

    Glad to hear you talked to your doctor, GeneTurney! I’m hoping it’s a manageable flare if that’s indeed what’s happening. Let us know how your office visit goes. We’re here for you, and thinking of you!

    Best, Casey ( Team)

  • Lyn Harper, RRT moderator
    2 years ago

    That’s a great question, GeneTurney. I’m assuming what you mean by “stressful breathing” is shortness of breath and an inability to catch your breath, perhaps feeling like you can’t take a deep breath. Is that right?

    Oxygen saturation levels don’t tell the whole story – as you prove. For instance, there can be many reasons a person is short of breath, yet their saturation level will be fine. When a person has a build up of fluid, this will cause stressful breathing, but will not necessarily affect saturation.

    In addition, if carbon dioxide is high, that can cause breathing problems but saturation will remain the same.

    I would certainly recommend calling your doctor and explaining any symptoms that you’re having. It may indicate an underlying problem that needs to be dealt with so that you can again breath with ease.

    Please keep us posted.

    Lyn (site moderator)

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi GeneTurney – you are definitely NOT alone on this. Many in our online community have expressed feeling similar to you – their oxygen saturation is acceptable and yet they remain short of breath. Lyn has provided an excellent explanation, which I trust provides you with a basic understanding of what may be happening in your situation. I would reemphasize the importance of checking with your physician to make certain nothing else is going on as well.
    If you haven’t as yet, you may want to check out our Facebook page: There you will find many of our community members in a very interactive forum. You can participate there and enjoy conversations with other like minded people in our COPD community, if you’re so inclined.
    Please check back with us and let us know how you’re doing.
    All the best,
    Leon (site moderator)

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