Advancement in technology has brought tremendous benefits to the health sector. Complex procedures and operations can now be done safely in a conducive environment as opposed to in the past when the equipment used were crude and risky.
Modern gadgets that can be used to monitor one’s health both at the hospital and home have also been as a result of technology. One such device is the oximeter. This is an electronic equipment used to measure the pulse rate of an individual and the oxygen saturation in their blood.
Here is all that you need to know about it. Masimo Personal Health and sites like it have more details as well.
How does it work?
Like all electronic gadgets, it uses electromagnetic waves. It is usually clipped to a body part such as a finger or earlobe. When attached to the body, it measures the oxygen levels through the hemoglobin content in the blood.
The amount is then displayed on the screen as a percentage. For a healthy human being under normal conditions, the reading should be 95%. However, there is a margin of plus or minus 2% hence an individual with a reading of 93% or 97% is still within the normal range. The pulse rate reading is arrived at by measurement of the heartbeat rate.
This is also displayed on the screen as a number. Others display both the number and a waveform to allow comparison and easy monitoring of the parameters being measured. It is easier to deduce the general trend of the variables from a waveform than from a group of numbers.
The device comes with a memory chip for storing the records. Thus it allows you to track your progress over a certain period of time depending on the size of the storage space.
How is it important?
The oximeter is a very helpful device when used properly. It enables you to monitor your health and can also help you discover health issues that you didn’t know you had. Some of the uses include:
- Post-workout recovery
All workouts require that you give yourself enough time to recover afterward. The more intense it was the more time your body will need. It’s hard to know the exact amount of time that you will need to fully recover and this might be an issue especially if you are short on time. Going back to the gym or field before recuperating properly might lead to injuries. An oximeter will show you that you have recovered by displaying normal readings.
- Regulated exercise sessions
Sometimes it is easier to build on a specific area than the other when exercising. For example, some find it easy to develop strength than resilience.
A good exercise plan should develop both areas and to do so one has to regulate the different types of exercises in terms of intensity and repetitions. The device helps you with this by indicating the oxygen saturation at different intervals.
This information enables you to make the necessary adjustments to ensure that the saturation is equalized.
- Managing health conditions
Health conditions related to the oxygen content in the blood can be successfully managed using the gadget. For instance, if you have asthma it can make you aware of an impending asthmatic attack. This grants you enough time to take the necessary precaution such as getting your inhaler ready or make adjustments to avoid the attack. As such, it is vital equipment that everyone with respiratory health complications should aim to have.
- Altitude adaptation
Human beings usually function best at sea-level altitudes. This is because the air pressure at this level is high hence breathing is easy and the body has adequate supply of oxygen.
At high altitudes, however, breathing becomes difficult due to decreased air pressure and the body requires some time before it can adapt to the situation. This process is referred to as acclimatization.
If you embark on an activity that involves a change of altitude, for example, mountain climbing you will have to make your advancements slowly to give your body time to acclimatize.
The oximeter will come in handy by showing your oxygen saturation to let you know whether it is safe to proceed to the next altitude or not. See this link to see more reasons why oximeters are considered to be more important https://edition.cnn.com/2020/04/26/health/pulse-oximeters-coronavirus-wellness-scn-trnd/index.html.
How to choose the best one?
There is a wide variety available on the market. Here are a few tips to help you pick the right one:
- Suitable user-interface
You have to go for the one with the user-interface that will best suit you. This will make it easy for you to operate it thus saving you time. It should be more graphical than textual for easy interpretation of recorded data. This also makes it easy to see the changes over time.
- Reliable operation
It should be able to give accurate information. A wide error margin beats the entire purpose of its use. Also, it ought to have enough power to operate for the entire period of use. In this case, the one having a rechargeable battery pack will be more reliable than the one with a disposable battery.
If you are planning to use it during activities such as hiking or climbing, it should be as light as possible. This allows you to perform the task without any hindrance. A heavy one can be burdensome to carry around with you.
- Ample storage space
The memory space should be large enough to accommodate previous data records. These records are important for further health analysis. You can determine patterns if there are any and adjust your routine accordingly. Click here to read more.
Oximeters play a significant role in the field of medicine. You don’t have to go to the hospital to have your oxygen saturation and pulse measured anymore. You can easily purchase one and do so by yourself. Also, if you have any respiratory illness you can manage it on your own without having to go to the doctor every time. While this is true, you still have to know how to use the device properly for you to get accurate results. Remember to remove any nail polish and keep your hands dry before clipping it to the finger.