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What is oxygen saturation?

The amount of oxygen present in your red blood cells is an important figure known as oxygen saturation - the human body regulates this to be a certain level, around 95-100 percent in most normally functioning bodies. Problems can arise if this oxygen level falls below 90 percent, known as hypoxemia, and become dangerous if it falls below 80 percent, risking damage to vital organs that require a constant supply of oxygen enriched blood, such as the heart and brain. People with heart conditions and respiratory diseases are at greater risk of lowered oxygen saturation levels, and so it is important that oxygen saturation level be frequently monitored along with heart rate to avoid medical emergencies.

Oxygen saturation monitors

Fortunately, oxygen saturation monitoring is painless and non-invasive, consisting of a small device like a gentle clamp that fits over your finger. If you've ever had a stay in a hospital bed or a trip to the emergency room, you'll likely have had one of these devices fitted to your finger or thumb with a wire coming off it. Using the same technology, on eBay you'll find many self contained monitors that have a built in screen to display oxygen saturation. Many models also double as a heart rate monitor, reporting heart rate in conjunction with oxygen saturation. Some monitors have built in alarms that alert the user when oxygen levels fall below a certain point.

You don't have to have a medical condition to benefit from an oxygen saturation monitor. Many athletes who experience rapid changes to various levels in the body due to strenuous exercise can look after their health through careful monitoring, as can hikers and mountain climbers who enjoy high-altitude activities where oxygen in the air is lower. Such devices are a necessity for pilots intending to ascend beyond 10,000ft, putting them at risk of hypoxia.

Keep your health and fitness in check with eBay's huge range of self-monitoring equipment, including fitness heart rate monitors and pedometers from top brands like Garmin, Fitbit, Jawbone, Nike, Omron and Polar.

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