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Surely, if you hear the word pulse oximeter, it sounds rather mysterious and scientific, you have probably seen one of these and had your pulse taken on one at a routine exam in recent years, so you may find it more familiar than the name of the instrument. It is a device for hospital use that, in its most popular version, is placed on the finger and measures the percentage of correct oxygen levels in the blood.
On this occasion, we are here to tell you that the pulse oximeter has also become a very useful tool for athletes, as it can help them improve their performance. In fact, it is advisable to use it in training that tests lung capacity. Want to know more? Read on.
- 1 Key Facts
- 2 Our Selection: The Best Pulse Oximeters on the U.S. Market
- 3 Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Pulse Oximeters
- 3.1 What is a pulse oximeter exactly?
- 3.2 What is the oxygen saturation measured by a pulse oximeter?
- 3.3 What types of pulse oximeters are available?
- 3.4 What are the advantages and disadvantages of a finger pulse oximeter?
- 3.5 How do I interpret the results of a pulse oximeter?
- 3.6 Should I use a pulse oximeter after exercising?
- 3.7 When should I worry about the reading of my pulse oximeter?
- 3.8 How does an oximeter assist in resistance training?
- 3.9 How is a pulse oximeter used correctly?
- 3.10 How much does a pulse oximeter cost?
- 4 Buyer’s Guide
- 5 Summary
- The pulse oximeter is a device that measures the saturation of oxygen in the blood. There are those for hospital use, but also for home use.
- They are very popular among athletes and climbers, as they can help identify an emergency in case of oxygen levels fall below those recommended.
- The accuracy and use of batteries of these devices are critical factors in your purchase. The after-sales service by the manufacturer is also an important feature that should be taken into account in the buying process.
Our Selection: The Best Pulse Oximeters on the U.S. Market
Whether you engage in energetic workouts or if you are fond of heights, you should know that a pulse oximeter is vital during the development of your activity. Therefore, we offer you the most outstanding articles. For domestic use, the finger pulse oximeter is the most recommended, although there are several different types.
Best Overall Pulse Oximeter
This is an Amazon’s Choice pulse oximeter with over 6000 reviews for a 4.5 out of 5 rating by verified buyers. Includes 2 AAA batteries for instant use, and a lanyard for convenience, and the LED display faces toward the user for readability. This pulse oximeter has a surprisingly affordable price of one $18.99.
Best Cuff-Style Pulse Oximeter
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This easy to read cuff-style pulse oximeter, large display with an LED back-light makes it easy to read even in the dark. The strap fits wrists from 5.5″ – 8.5″ and this pulse oximeter includes batteries, so you can use it right out of the box.
Best Wearable Pulse Oximeter
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This wearable pulse oximeter works with an app on your iOS or Android phone and is much easier to use than the conventional fingertip oxygen monitor when exercising. All you have to do is stop for about 10 seconds and you’ll have your reading. You can monitor your pulse continuously for up to 16 hours, to analyze and improve your health over time.
Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Pulse Oximeters
What is a pulse oximeter exactly?
Oximeters or pulse oximeters for athletes also include other benefits, such as heart rate control, breathing rate measurement, perfusion index (arterial pulse signal) or even the hydration level. These are benefits that can make them an almost indispensable element for athletes and lovers of heights.
What is the oxygen saturation measured by a pulse oximeter?
What types of pulse oximeters are available?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of a finger pulse oximeter?
You should keep in mind that these oximeters are the most suitable for domestic use. In addition to being portable, they are simple to use and interpret. They are recommended for patients or athletes who need to monitor oxygen saturation without having to go to an appointment. In addition, they work with batteries, so they are fully portable.
How do I interpret the results of a pulse oximeter?
Should I use a pulse oximeter after exercising?
When should I worry about the reading of my pulse oximeter?
Hypoxia is the trigger of acute mountain sickness (MAM), which can trigger: dizziness, headache, nausea and vomiting, lack of appetite, physical exhaustion, sleep disorders, and cerebral and pulmonary edema. These symptoms may manifest mildly, moderately or acutely. The oximeter will help you identify it correctly.
How does an oximeter assist in resistance training?
In addition, the pulse oximeter is essential for athletes who train at high altitudes. It is in this type of training that we must be careful since the decrease in atmospheric pressure lowers our oxygen levels to the point of posing a threat to our health.
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The good old Oximeter- I love having one of these just chilling in my house, anytime I’m not feeling the best (or a fam/friend) I run to my little nursing kit and do a full set of obs! So good for avoiding trips to the ED/ docs or knowing when we should escalate care! Who else has an oximeter in their home? ??
How is a pulse oximeter used correctly?
- First, you must clean the sensor with a cotton or similar fabric.
- Before placing the oximeter, remember that your nails must be clean without enamel remains so that the measurement does not lead to ambiguity. You must not move.
- Do not expose the oximeter to light, natural or artificial, just before reading the result.
- Check that your hands are not too cold. If so, rub them to a more adequate body temperature.
- Place the device on the finger to be measured at the height of the nail.
- Wait a few seconds until you get the oxygen saturation reading.
How much does a pulse oximeter cost?
Before buying a finger pulse oximeter you should take into account a series of parameters that will make your decision easier. It is likely that you do not know anything about this device, so before buying one, we advise you to study a series of features that will guarantee you the right decision.
Most oximeters have a standard size of about 1.5 x 2.5 inches. However, we advise you to measure your finger from the tip of the nail to the bottom of the knuckle. With this measure, you will be able to get the oximeter measurements right and avoid any surprises after your purchase.
It is true that, today, all oximeters are up to date as far as technology is concerned. However, you can assess those that offer you additional features, such as signals that tell you if the test cannot be carried out correctly. In this way, you will be completely sure that the accuracy in reading the data.
You should take into account the use of the device since it is not the same to measure saturation after physical tests than after an expedition to the mountain. In this regard, you should assess whether you prefer the use of batteries. You should think about how long the oximeter will be outside its charging base and decide which of the two options fits you the most.
Display and Data Readout
We recommend that you look for an oximeter with a large, easy-to-read screen. There are some oximeters that offer records of previous tests, comparatives, and follow-ups. Do not buy a highly sophisticated one if you think that reading an instrument like this can complicate your life. You can always resort to writing down the paper and compare the data yourself.
The pulse oximeter is a device that allows the level of blood saturation (SpO2) to be measured in a non-invasive and painless manner. For hospital use, the devices have gained much popularity among patients with respiratory diseases, athletes and lovers of heights. The finger pulse oximeter is the most recommended for domestic use.
In addition, the pulse oximeter allows the athlete to carry out a proper recovery of their training. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the optimal levels of a healthy body are between 95% and 100%. When buying an oximeter, you should take into account its intended use since you can choose between battery operation or rechargeable oximeters, and while rechargeable types are lighter, batteries can last longer.
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