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SPO2 drops to 89% when lying down.. - Printable Version

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SPO2 drops to 89% when lying down.. - tiredmonkey - 11-14-2017

Hi all,

new to the board and have been diagnosed with complex sleep apnea.. majoriy open airway and shallow breathing events.. only been on cpap for 2 weeks now..

I have a question though..

I'm also using an oximeter while i sleep to see if my O2 levels stabilize with cpap..

I started to notice that my O2 level are 95-97% standing and sitting, but when i lie down and relax it drops to as much as 89% ?

Is that normal? I dont feel out of breath or suffocating or anything.. But, if I sit back upright, it takes about 10sec and its back to 97%

Now if I breathe in/out deeply, it climbs to about 94%.. but that is just odd..  Huh

any thoughts?


RE: SPO2 drops to 89% when lying down.. - Walla Walla - 11-14-2017

Obesity Hypoventilation can be one cause. Not saying this applies to you. I know the treatment is usually a Bipap machine and settings for a wider than normal pressure support. Best thing is to talk to your Doctor about it. You don't want your O2 level below 90.


RE: SPO2 drops to 89% when lying down.. - tiredmonkey - 11-14-2017

Thanks!! 

Thats exactly why it has me pondering.. im  5-11 and 170lb..  so not super scrawny, but not obese by a long shot..

Just weird that its only when horizontal it dips..


RE: SPO2 drops to 89% when lying down.. - Sleep2Snore - 11-14-2017

Sounds to me as if your machine has been capped to low. I would have thought it would have been at least 10 on the higher setting?
6.5 is where I might have expected it to start not stop. Talk to the doctor about it, I think it might be a bit low in pressure, however, I am not a doctor, nor have I seen you. I think the machine needs to be given a bit more freedom with the higher limit on your pressure.

However, see your doctor.

Welcome to the forum!


RE: SPO2 drops to 89% when lying down.. - tiredmonkey - 11-14-2017

no - its set to Auto and it can go from 4 to 20..  (I dont have provider lock on it and I can access all the settings)

I just meant that the AUTO feature never takes the pressure higher than 6.5 when I use it.  i.e. 90% of the time its operating at 6.5

meaning it ramps from 4 to whatever previous night was and auto takes it from there.. Its usually around 6.5.. i think once went up to 8 with a leaky mask..

I edited my profile to reflect the machine settings Smile

And to be clear.. This O2 drop question does NOT pertain to using the cpap.. The level drops when I'm awake and NOT using cpap...


RE: SPO2 drops to 89% when lying down.. - jerry1967 - 11-14-2017

(11-14-2017, 12:19 PM)Walla Walla Wrote: Obesity Hypoventilation can be one cause. Not saying this applies to you. I know the treatment is usually a Bipap machine and settings for a wider than normal pressure support. Best thing is to talk to your Doctor about it. You don't want your O2 level below 90.

Are you saying a higher number pressure support increases 02 and helps to keep it above 90.


RE: SPO2 drops to 89% when lying down.. - Walla Walla - 11-14-2017

jerry1967,
I'm not an expert on it. I believe the idea is to allow a large gap between the inhale and exhale to make it easier to exhale the air. That allows a larger exchange of O2 for CO2.

If I'm wrong somebody please correct me.


RE: SPO2 drops to 89% when lying down.. - jerry1967 - 11-14-2017

(11-14-2017, 01:24 PM)Walla Walla Wrote: jerry1967,
                I'm not an expert on it. I believe the idea is to allow a large gap between the inhale and exhale to make it easier to exhale the air. That allows a larger exchange of O2 for CO2.

If I'm wrong somebody please correct me.

Thanks Walla, can you explain the difference between the two?


RE: SPO2 drops to 89% when lying down.. - Walla Walla - 11-14-2017

If your talking about O2 and CO2 here's a link to read. https://www.webmd.com/lung/how-we-breathe


RE: SPO2 drops to 89% when lying down.. - jerry1967 - 11-14-2017

thanks