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Lung diseases

Low blood oxygen level

11/01/2007

Question:

Hello,

I have terrible migraine headaches. My son said I should ask my doctor if I could try oxygen to help with them. My doctor ordered a pulse oximetry test to be done overnight. My levels went down to 69 and now I am getting oxygen brought to my home. Can you tell me what the normal level is for Blood oxygen and is the 69 a really bad level? I was diagnosed with small vessell ischemic disease of the brain 2 years ago with an MRI, could low oxygen be part of the problem? My doctor has ordered another MRI now.

Answer:

There are many things that can cause the oxygen level to drop at night. A low oxygen level can, indeed, cause headaches. One important condition that can cause the blood oxygen level to drop is sleep apnea. If your physician is uncertain what is causing the low oxygen, then a consultation with a sleep specialist and possibly a sleep study may be useful.

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Response by:

James N Allen, Jr, MD James N Allen, Jr, MD
Clinical Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University