This is a good thing to have in case you get an infection. It is used to check your oxygen saturation.
Hemoglobin is the molecule in your red blood cells that carries oxygen. A pulse oximeter checks the percentage of hemoglobin that is saturated with oxygen. The higher the number, the better.
This is one of the things that you can use to make sure your lungs are still working okay if you get infected with COVID. (You might feel crappy, but at least you know your lungs are still working well. It is reassuring to have.)
If you drop below a certain number, you would know that you need to go to the hospital to get help with getting enough oxygen into your body.
A good thermometer and a pulse ox are two things to have in your house right now!
It’s pretty cheap, like in the $25-$30 range. I encourage everyone to get one!
I couldn’t agree more! Every time I go to my PCP (or my Endo) they check my oxygen levels with this “machine.” Last year when I had pneumonia I was checked regularly. Thank goodness my levels are as high as possible ( I think something like 98%, if that sounds right ???) But I totally agree that this should be a necessary household item in your med closet (mine is a closet and not merely a “cabinet.” )
(and something to have especially during the COVID pandemic!!!)
I bought one of these randomly a few years ago. It helped me before I was using a CPAP machine (when my sleep apnea was “too mild”). I’d wake up feeling like I couldn’t breathe and with my heart racing and feeling super dizzy. I found my oxygen was dropping to 80% during those incidents! So that ensured I asked my doctor for another sleep test and prescribed a CPAP machine.
Ironically, I have one of these pulse oximeter devices, but don’t have a thermometer. Still trying to find one that I can actually see (I can never see those black on grey LCD displays).
@Jen, do they have audible ones?
They do. I used to have one, but I didn’t like it because the speech output was so loud it was like the device was shouting.
I have one, and my old Samsung Note 4 measures pulse ox, too.
Just a note, and it could just be me, but both the pulse ox device and my phone can measure me on the low side, like 85%, at times. It could be due to having thalassemia minor. So I think it is a good idea to measure frequently to get an accurate baseline.
I have not heard good reviews of the phone measurements. How are they side-by-side with the pulse ox device?
Pretty similar actually within a few percentage points.