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Pulse Ox

Old 09-18-23, 07:58 AM
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Salmonchaser
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Pulse Ox

Anybody track their day and night time pulse ox with a smart watch?
Over the last year or so, and prior to the last few weeks (another covid infection), I was in decent cycling shape for my age (53), with my estimated VO2 max sitting between 58-62 depending on training phase, with my FTP just over 4w/kg. I started wearing a Garmin watch partly to see what my pulse ox was doing as finger oximeter measurements were consistently showing me sitting between 93-96% during the day. I started getting interested in this measurement over the last few years, as I've been waking up with headaches now and then. I'm quite slim, don't have a big snoring issue, and no apnea noticed by my spouse. The watch agrees with finger measurements, and shows that during the wee hours of the morning, around 4am, I'm slipping into the upper 80's most nights. I've been having a lot of waking around that time, which might turn out to be triggered by this o2 dip.
No idea what the origin of the issue is as I don't have obvious lung disease, and my performance number are quite good, although it seemed to get worse after I had the scalene muscles and the top rib removed on one side around 4 years ago due to strongly symptomatic thoracic outlet syndrome. I found out after the surgery that the scalene muscles have a minor but important role in breathing, especially for those that COPD. I do also have LBBB resulting from myocarditis a dozen years ago, but I'm not (yet) in heart failure from it - the LBBB definitely did cut ~20% of my top-end performance though, so no more racing for me.
Curious if anyone else is tracking their pulse ox and what they see.
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Old 09-18-23, 08:18 AM
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staehpj1
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Early in the pandemic I checked mine with the finger checker just as a way to screen for covid. I figured if I saw a drop I'd do a covid test if I could get one (they were scarce at that point).

I have auto logging of pulse ox turned off on my watch since it is apparently a battery hog. At least that is what I have read.
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Old 09-18-23, 08:25 AM
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81 y/o. Oxgen stays 96 most of the time.
Does Not drop at Night.
I use a Finger meter.
Passed Life: Pnemonia Twice and TB 15 Months.
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Old 09-18-23, 01:34 PM
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I have Dendriform pulmonary Ossification which means I have bones in my lungs in a tree-shaped pattern. I rarely have a reading over 90%. This is an orphan disease, maybe a couple hundred people in the world have it diagnosed. No one knows what to do about it, nor seems to actually care, except to document it. I forgo being an object of study as I wanted my life to be as normal as possible. There's not much to do and I just ignore it, I'm doing the best I can. I lost a whole lot of weight on purpose to reduce any incidents of apnea. I've made it to almost 84, look great, and have noticed a reduction in energy these last few years, which is probably normal for someone my age. I do track every now and then my oxygen level.
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Old 09-18-23, 01:38 PM
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Using my fingertip pulse oximeter, I am consistently 99, occasionally 98%, pulse rate between 45 and 60, depending on how long I have been sitting still.
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Old 09-18-23, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by John E
Using my fingertip pulse oximeter, I am consistently 99, occasionally 98%, pulse rate between 45 and 60, depending on how long I have been sitting still.
Yeah, same for me. I got a meter during the pandemic. Even when I was COVID+, it never went below 98.
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Old 09-18-23, 05:57 PM
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If you are going into the 80's and waking, you may still have sleep apnea or hypoventilation.
It might be related to your headaches.
You should speak to your doctor about getting formal overnight oximetry or a polysomnogram, or seeing a sleep specialist (some places PCP's cannot order sleep studies)
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Old 09-20-23, 04:28 PM
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Don't know what elevation you live at but those numbers are somewhat lower as elevation goes up.

Don't know how accurate that watch is.

If you are concerned about it go to a doctor.
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Old 09-20-23, 08:58 PM
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I've used a finger pulse-oximeter, but mostly for personal interest. My understanding is that if one can get that down to 93 by exercising, you get a dump of EPO and thus eventually a higher hematocrit. I've only been able to get mine that low doing jumping jacks at 10,000', but I guess some real athletes can do that on the trainer. Just can't generate enough power for long enough, I guess.
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Old 09-22-23, 12:00 PM
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I saw the same thing the few times I did an overnight recording, which is why Im not doing that anymore!

Its presumably subclinical nocturnal hypopnea/apnea.
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Old 09-22-23, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha
I saw the same thing the few times I did an overnight recording, which is why Im not doing that anymore!
Now that is an excellent strategy! If you don't like the results, don't measure the results.

That's my go-to method when I know I'm out of shape: just ride and don't look at the numbers.
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Old 10-01-23, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by 3Roch
Don't know what elevation you live at but those numbers are somewhat lower as elevation goes up.

Don't know how accurate that watch is.

If you are concerned about it go to a doctor.
We live at 7,500' and never drop below about 95. 80's need medical review.
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