Q. Is 88 percent considered a good oxygen level?

Answered by
Dr. Basuki Nath Bhagat
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 29, 2023

Hello doctor,

My oxygen level is 88 percent on an oximeter, and my pulse rate is 70 bpm. Should I be worried?

Kindly help.



Welcome to

Thank you for your query.

I have read your query and understand your concern. Is your pulse oximeter working properly? Do you have symptoms like breathing difficulty, chest pain, or fever? Do you have any medical conditions? I suggest you to walk a few steps in the room for two minutes and recheck it.

I hope this has helped you. Thank you.

Hello doctor,

Thank you for your reply.

Medications I am currently taking are a tablet of Gabapentin 300 mg, three capsules daily; a tablet of Allopurinol 100 mg, zinc 10 mg; a tablet of Prilosec 40 mg, a tablet of Lovaza two capsules thrice; a tablet of Lipitor 80 mg, a tablet Flomax daily. My cholesterol is high, and I have had breathing issues for the past two to three months. I feel like I cannot take a deep breath, which is getting worse every day, but if I get excited, I cannot breathe. I have to use my rescue inhaler, which does not even work; if I lay flat on my back, it is not easy to breathe.



Welcome back to

You are taking medication for high cholesterol, blood pressure, enlarged prostate, and uric acid. There is no medication for asthma except an inhaler. Also, respiratory symptoms are progressive in terms of respiratory difficulty. Therefore, your breathing difficulty needs evaluation to know the cause of your breathing difficulty. As you have mentioned, even a rescue inhaler does not work, which suggests some other etiology, or you need step-up treatment for asthma along with an inhaler. You are suffering from breathing difficulty at rest, so your pulse oximeter value is around 88, which correlates with the clinical symptoms. I suggest you to visit the hospital without any delay to start on an oxygen supplement through a nasal spray to increase your SpO2 level. Your concerned doctor would then order a laboratory investigation to know the cause of oxygen desaturation.

I hope this has helped you. Thank you.

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