For some COVID patients, oxygen levels in the blood can drop dangerously low, causing damage to vital organs. One doctor shows us two breathing exercises that COVID patients can do to boost blood oxygen. These exercises can be done right at home, and they can provide quick, temporary relief. But people who experience tightness or pain in the chest should still seek medical attention.

He places a straw in his mouth, breathes in deep through his nose, and then exhales through the straw. After repeating this three times, Dr. Chiang Kun-chun’s blood oxygen reading goes up from 93% to 99%. This is how to use a straw to raise blood oxygen levels, he says. With the epidemic worsening and case counts hitting new highs, more and more people are entering home care for COVID. The doctor says that if your blood oxygen drops, you can use a straw to clear your lungs of stale air. Once you inhale fresh air, your blood oxygen level will increase.

Chiang Kun-chun

Doctor

When you know that the remaining air in your lungs is low in oxygen, you can inhale 100 cubic centimeters of fresh air, which will then combine with the stale air in your lungs. By fully exhaling the air in your lungs, you will certainly improve your blood oxygen saturation.

If you don’t have a straw at hand, you can purse your lips into a circle and exhale in a similar way to whistling. This will achieve the same effect of increasing blood oxygen levels by 3-7%. But Chiang says these two breath exercises are only a short-term fix. If you experience chest tightness or chest pain, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.

Chiang Kun-chun

Doctor

If your blood oxygen level drops below 90%, generally speaking, you’ll start to experience some shortness of breath. If it drops below 80%, every working organ will start to be affected. The weight of the brain only makes up 2-3% of our total body weight, but the amount of oxygen it consumes is almost 20%. Once your brain is affected, you will start to lose consciousness. So when oxygen consumption – when your blood oxygen levels are too low, that’s extremely harmful to the human body.

If you don’t have a pulse oximeter at home, check the color of your fingernails. Nails that are dark purple are a sign of low oxygen levels. Other signs include an increased pulse rate, decreased urinary output, and tightness or pain in the chest. These all indicate that your condition has made a turn for the worse, and that it’s time to get medical attention.