Serious medical diagnoses always come with a long list of worries — what do all the medical terms mean? What caused the illness in the first place? What will this affect your life? Is there anything you can do to make things better? Such is the case when patients first hear of the term hypoxemia. Other than it meaning having low blood oxygen, what are the consequences? And, what can you expect from treatment?
What is hypoxemia?
Hypoxemia refers to low blood oxygen. Having an adequate amount of oxygen coursing through your arteries is necessary for the brain, heart, lungs, and other major organs to function properly. Having hypoxemia could result in extensive organ and tissue damage within minutes.
During a hypoxemia attack, airways will narrow — making it difficult for the person to get enough oxygen into their lungs. To make matters worse, coughing requires additional oxygen and may aggravate symptoms.
Causes of Hypoxemia
The condition can be caused by several underlying health conditions. The most common include:
Treatment for hypoxemia can only be provided at a hospital. It includes placing a mask over the patient to administer oxygen therapy. The doctor may also inject an IV if the oxygen therapy is not providing relief fast enough. In addition, patients may be injected with steroids to reduce inflammation of the lungs.
Risk Factors of Hypoxemia
Risk factors for hypoxemia include the underlying medical conditions listed above, as well as smoking and altitude changes. If you have asthma, you are at a higher risk of developing hypoxemia — so always follow your doctor’s treatment plan and carry your medications and an inhaler with you.
If you have a medical condition that may affect the oxygen levels in your blood, you can lower your risk of a hypoxemia attack by incorporating healthy lifestyle practices. These include:
Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables
Doing low-impact exercises — such as walking, hiking, or yoga
Contact Care Options for Kids for Home Health Care
It can be hard to balance your time between work, home, and caring for a loved one with a serious medical condition. Home health care providers offer the support and medical skill sets your family member needs.
If you or a loved one are considering Home Health Care Services, contact the caring staff at Care Options for Kids. Call today at (888) 592-5855.