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How do you treat low blood oxygen levels?

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Quick Answer

The treatment for low blood oxygen is to administer oxygen to the patient through the nose or mouth, according to WebMD. For most people, doctors give oxygen through a small device that fits in the nose, but patients may also wear a mask that goes over the mouth and nose.

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Full Answer

In some cases, a doctor may give a patient medication or an inhaler to control breathing, explains WebMD. Steroids, for instance, may help to shrink lung inflammation. If a patient's life is in danger, a doctor may use a machine to help the individual breathe. Some of the signs that a person has low oxygen in the blood include changes in the color of the skin, coughing, confusion, a fast heart rate and rapid breathing. Patients also may experience sweating, wheezing and shortness of breath.

There are a number of causes of low oxygen in the blood, including a severe asthma attach, claims WebMD. When this occurs, the airways become narrow and the lungs cannot take in air. Other causes of low oxygen in the blood include lung diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchitis and emphysema, some medications, heart problems, anemia and cyanide poisoning. Low oxygen in the blood is a serious condition, and people must contact emergency medical professionals to reverse the situation.

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