Portable Oxygen Monitor for Older Adults With Respiratory Illness

Portable Oxygen Monitor for Older Adults With Respiratory Illness

There are many age-related changes in the pulmonary, immune, and respiratory systems. These changes include reduced lung volume, weakened cough strength, and more susceptibility to infections.

A Clinical Interventions in Aging study showed that chronic lower respiratory tract disease is the third primary cause of death in individuals aged 65 years and older.

The decline in respiratory health can increase the risks of rare lung-related conditions like mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is rare cancer that usually affects the lungs and is typically caused by asbestos exposure. The incidence rate of this condition is higher in older adults.

Mesothelioma symptoms vary depending on the condition’s progress. For example, this mesothelioma stages guide lists difficulty in breathing as an early symptom.

Suppose your senior loved one has a respiratory-related condition like mesothelioma. In that case, a portable oxygen monitor may help them manage their symptoms.

Other age-related changes in the lungs include:

  • Peak airflow (how fast one can exhale) and oxygen-carbon dioxide exchange rates decline
  • Weakening respiratory muscles
  • Decreases in lung function measures like vital capacity or the maximum amount of air that people can breathe out after a full inhalation
  • The lungs’ natural immunity is less effective

A portable oxygen monitor is a small device you can attach to your finger. This tool can monitor your heart rate and the amount of oxygen in your blood.

How can a portable oxygen monitor help older adults with respiratory illnesses? What is a portable oxygen monitor?

This article discusses the use and value of portable oxygen monitors for older adults with respiratory conditions.

The Benefits of a Portable Oxygen Monitor for Older Individuals With Respiratory Conditions

If you know an older adult or an individual at high risk for respiratory illnesses like coronavirus, a portable oxygen monitor or oximeter can help them monitor their oxygen levels.

Depending on a person’s health, oxygen saturation levels can vary greatly, but older individuals often have lower oxygen saturation levels.

The blood should have an oxygen level between 95% and 100%. However, hospitalized individuals due to coronavirus have oxygen saturation levels of 70% to 80%.

With an oxygen monitor, patients more susceptible to respiratory conditions like the coronavirus can be admitted to the hospital sooner and before their oxygen levels fall dangerously low.

A portable oxygen monitor is often helpful for individuals with illnesses that reduce oxygen saturation. For example, a sleep specialist can advise people with severe snoring or sleep apnea to use a pulse oximeter for monitoring oxygen saturation throughout the night.

At the same time, some medical professionals can suggest wearing an oximeter while exercising or using one to determine whether physical activity is safe for patients with respiratory conditions.

Moreover, some hospitals use pulse oximeters for vulnerable patients. For example, they might attach a pulse oximeter to an infant in a neonatal critical care unit to notify the medical staff of low oxygen saturation.

Furthermore, your doctor can use an oxygen monitor as a stress test.

Typically, you use a portable oxygen monitor by inserting your finger into the gadget. After a few seconds, the device will give you a complete measurement of your oxygen levels.

These smart gadgets assess blood oxygen levels using light.

A sensor analyzes the amounts of light wavelengths absorbed by hemoglobin with and without oxygen.

Then, a LED (light-emitting diode) sends the light waves from one side of the finger to the photodetector sensor on the other side of the finger.

The amount of oxygen in the blood affects how much light is absorbed.

Blood Oxygen Levels

“Blood oxygen level” means the amount of oxygen in your blood.

Low blood oxygen levels could indicate a lung or circulatory problem.

Portable oxygen monitors cannot diagnose conditions like coronavirus disease. Still, this device can help older individuals track their overall well-being and identify potential symptoms.

Here’s a list of things you can consider that may help you identify if your senior loved one is showing symptoms of a respiratory condition:

  • Your loved one is shaking or shivering.
  • If you use an oxygen monitor, your loved one’s blood oxygen level is 94% or 93% or continues to decline than their typical reading where their normal oxygen saturation is below 95%.
  • Your loved one is feeling breathless or having difficulty breathing, especially when moving or standing up.
  • Your loved one experiences severe muscle aches or tiredness.

You might have read or heard about oxygen monitors and how medical professionals use them to keep an eye on the well-being of people with coronavirus disease.

But hospitals typically use oxygen monitors to spot early signs of respiratory conditions.

Suppose you don’t have a portable oxygen monitor. In that case, you should order from providers that can deliver the device in a few weeks or months.

You may also ask a friend to lend you the device or request your doctor to check your senior loved one’s oxygen levels.


1. The aging lung


What Causes Sleep Apnea

What Causes Sleep Apnea

What causes sleep apnea?

Any factor can cause the narrowing of the airway, and the upper airway obstruction may cause nocturnal hypoxia during sleep, leading to sleep apnea syndrome. The main common causes are:

  • Aging:

The prevalence of OSA (obstructive sleep apnea) increases with age from young adulthood through the age of 60s and 70s, then appears to plateau.

  • Gender:

The OSA is two to three times more common in men than in women. But between men and the peri- and post-menopausal women, the gender difference in prevalence is not as great.

  • Obesity:

For both men and women, the prevalence of OSA increases with increasing BMI and some weight-related indicators such as neck circumference, waist-to-hip ratio. Studies have found that a 10% weight gain can increase the risk of developing OSA by 6 times.

  • Upper airway structure abnormalities:

The obstruction of the upper airway (oral cavity, nasal cavity, and pharynx) caused by various reasons, including nasal diseases/nasal congestion such as deviated or crooked nasal septum, turbinate hypertrophy, sinus polyps, etc., oral and pharyngeal factors such as tonsil and adenoid hypertrophy, an overly long or floppy soft palate, elongated uvula, swollen tongue, the back of the tongue base, etc., craniofacial abnormalities such as the smaller-than-normal lower jaw, and upper airway narrowing caused by other reasons such as infection, trauma or surgery, etc.

  • Drinking alcohol or using sedative-hypnotic drugs:

These substances can make the soft tissues of the upper airway more flaccid, which will obstruct the airflow, make breathing more difficult, cause sleep apnea, and prolong the duration of apnea.

  • Smoking:

Smoking may increase the risk of developing OSA, or at least worsen existing symptoms. In one study, current smokers were three times more likely to have OSA than those who had smoked in the past (but had quit) or who had never smoked.

  • Other diseases causing sleep apnea syndrome:

cerebrovascular disease, congestive heart failure, hypothyroidism, acromegaly, vocal fold paralysis, brain tumors, neuromuscular disorders, laryngopharyngeal reflux, gastroesophageal reflux, and airway compression due to mediastinal mass. These diseases mentioned above can cause or aggravate airway resistance, thus causing sleep apnea.

Other medical conditions that may have an increased association with OSA include obesity hypoventilation syndrome, hypertension (particularly resistant hypertension), cardiovascular disease, atrial fibrillation, pulmonary hypertension, end-stage kidney disease, chronic lung disease, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and idiopathic, pulmonary fibrosis; stroke and transient ischemic attacks, pregnancy ( gestational diabetes, pregnancy-induced hypertension), acromegaly, hypothyroidism, polycystic ovary syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, floppy eyelid syndrome.

Who is most affected by sleep apnea?

  • Sleep apnea syndrome is most common in people who are obese, especially those who are centripetally obese with thicker necks and larger hips.
  • Men are more likely to develop OSA than women.
  • People who are older are also more likely to have OSA.
  • In terms of facial appearance, people with small mouths and small lower jaws are more likely to develop OSA.
  • People who smoke or drink alcohol for a long time or take sedative drugs before bedtime are also at high risk for OSA.
  • In addition, there is a certain degree of familial aggregation of OSA, which may be related to genetic factors and common lifestyle habits. For example, genetic factors may make most of the family have small mouths and jaws, or common lifestyle habits make more overweight people in the family, etc.
  • Furthermore, the development of OSA is associated with the onset of certain specific medical conditions, such as women who are pregnant are more likely to develop OSA than women who are not pregnant; and menopausal women are at greater risk of developing OSA compared to premenopausal women.

What are the conditions that predispose to sleep apnea syndrome?

Sleeping in the supine position, drinking alcohol, or using sedative-hypnotic drugs before bedtime can significantly increase the risk of apnea during sleep that night, and worsen existing OSA symptoms.

Does Poor Sleep Cause High Blood Pressure

Does Poor Sleep Cause High Blood Pressure

Poor sleep may cause high blood pressure? Some researchers report that poor sleep has become a risk factor for hypertension in the group of young and middled-aged people.

1. Insufficient sleep or excessive sleep

There is a U-shape curve relationship between sleep duration and high blooe pressure, which means sleeping for not-enough time or too much will increase the risk of developing hypertension. It is suggested to sleep for 7 or 8 hours for adults.

Previous studies have showed that people aged 32 to 59 who averaged less than 6 hours of sleep were more than twice as likely to develop hypertension as those who have enough sleep time. Those who sleep less than 4.9 hours have 3.15 times of the risk of developing hypertension.

Why does lack of sleep affect our blood pressure?

When our sleep time is reduced, the waking time is relatively prolonged, the excitability on the heart influenced by the sympathetic nerve system is strengthened, which will activate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, promoting a series of hormones secretion, then resulting in increased blood pressure.

In addition, hypertension can also affect sleep, causing autonomic dysfunction, resulting in a significant decline in sleep quality. Eventually, there is a vicious cycle between sleep deprivation and high blood pressure.

2. Snoring

Mild snoring has little impact on health, but severe snoring with apnea, known medically as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), is a cause for alarm.

Studies have shown that about 50% – 92% of OSA patients have hypertension, and 30% – 50% of hypertension patients have OSA. Excluding the influence of obesity and age, OSA has become an independent risk factor for hypertension.

Why does snoring affect our hypertension?

OSA patients are prone to apnea during sleep, which leads to intermittent hypoxia. The transition from hypoxia to resuming breathing increases the activity of sympathetic nerves, causing peripheral vascular contraction.

In addition, the impaired endothelial function of resistence vessels will affect their diastolic function, resulting in vasoconstriction and increased blood pressure. Studies have shown that endothelium – dependent dilation of resistance vessels is impaired in OSA patients compared with healthy people.

Wellue’s Solution & Recommended Products

1. WiFi BP Monitor with ECG to meansure blood pressure and track ECG in daily life

The American Heart Association BP measurement guideline stated that 3 readings should be taken in succession, separated by at least 1 min. The average value of 3 bp measurements should be used as the more accurate and reliable blood pressure readings.

This wifi blood pressure monitor is perfect for you to continuously measure 3 times of blood pressure to prevent from giving you a false sense of security about your health.

In addition, this monitor can track ECG for 30s and the connected APP will offer AI Analysis to detect some ECG events. Data can be conveniently synced through both of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

wifi bp monitor with ecg function

2. Checkme O2 Max Wrist Oxygen Monitor to check sleep apnea or to ensure the effect of the treatment

According to the American Sleep Association, the repetitive breathing pauses caused by sleep apnea during the nights can occur several times per hour and last for over 10 seconds. Continuous trackers like Checkme™ O2 Max supports long hours monitoring during your sleep, can help detecting all the Apneic events and Hypopenic events in every 2 seconds.

checkme o2 max oxygen monitor

3. iBreeze APAP Machine

The iBreeze makes it easier than ever for new CPAP patients to adjust to therapy. The smart technology of the iBreeze also helps make humidification more dynamic, helps prevent leaks, and also captures critical sleep data for you and your doctor to have and review anytime.

This machine is the ideal choice for patients who have difficulty adjusting to CPAP machines.

apap machine
Wellue O2Ring Pulse Oxygen Monitor Review From Wacky Racky

Wellue O2Ring Pulse Oxygen Monitor Review From Wacky Racky

I really don’t even know where to start with this little gadget. Hands down this is the best pulse oxygen monitor on the market that I have found.


  • Alarms- Low Oxygen, High and Low Pulse
  • Reports
  • Bluetooth connected Phone App
  • Spot Check Rates While Active


  • Not Waterproof (probably not something easily done either)
  • Price (a little on the high side but well worth it)
  • Battery Life (approx 12 hours per charge)

Many consumer-grade pulse oximeters have a hard time getting a reading while you are active. Forget smartwatches, they require you to remain still while they check your oxygen saturation too. This is of no benefit to people with heart or lung disease that need to spot check while active and resting.

While the price tag may seem a little high at $165 let me tell you why it’s worth every penny. Especially with Christmas around the corner, this might be the perfect gift for someone you love who is chronically ill. Personally, if you have it in your budget to buy 2, I would highly recommend doing so especially if the person is on oxygen 24/7. Let me explain why.

Whenever I don’t wear my O2ring, I almost always regret it. The reason is, frankly, I am a dumbass that rarely listens to my body’s warning whistles until it’s to the point of no return. This little device has kept me from going past the point of no return many times since getting it.

Usually, I don’t realize there is something wrong with my oxygen until I have that horrible low oxygen headache. Which feels like someone took a blender to my brain. No alarm bells go off when I am getting more short of breath because I am always short of breath. Even as the headache is building, my internal alarm bells fail to sound the warning. This O2 ring can literally save you from all the headaches low oxygen saturation causes your body.

I live in a house with critters of all kinds. If it isn’t my husband or kids accidentally disconnecting my oxygen, it’s one of the four-legged kids. Or it’s a crack in the line that is making it so my oxygen flow is reduced. One time, this ring alerted me to my oxygen concentrator failing as the compressor was dying and my oxygen flow dropped.

Yes, this ring alerts you not only when your oxygen is dropping but heart rate increase and drop as well. It has several levels of vibration intensity that you can control. You can also custom set your thresholds for your oxygen and heart rate in the phone app.

Several weeks ago my oxygen kept falling and my heart rate kept rising. I couldn’t figure out why for the life of me. To top it off I wasn’t feeling well so I knew something was wrong. However, my line was connected and the tubing was new. So I just kept hitting the ignore.

Over the next few hours, I started feeling even worse and my alarms kept going off. This time I listened to the monitor and decided to check my flow rate was on my concentrator.  This is usually set to 4 LPM. My concentrator was barely registering 1 LPM. At first, I assumed a dog bumped into it and dropped my flow rate down. But when I tried turning it up nothing happened. The next thing I knew, the ear-piercing alarm from my concentrator was going off too. For several hours this little device was trying to tell me something was wrong, I just wasn’t listening.

Had I listened to my O2 Ring when it first started alerting me of the problems I would’ve gotten my concentrator to my supplier during normal business hours instead of relying on their emergency service?

Another time when moving from house to vehicle, from concentrator to tank, I forgot to connect the tubing to the tank or didn’t secure it tight enough. I turned the tank on but somehow the O2 line wasn’t connected. Within a mile down the road, my O2 ring was vibrating. My son immediately checked my tank and noted the detached tubing. I was able to thwart a severe headache because I was wearing this ring.

I decided to take this ring to our local hospital’s Cardio-Pulmonary Rehab to let them try it out for a few weeks. I wanted to get the opinion of respiratory therapists who could run this unit through testing along with their units. This also allowed other patients to try it out to get even more thoughts and opinions. Just like me, everyone loved it. The RTS gave it a 9/10!

If you need a pulse ox this is the best one I have found on the market. If cost is a concern they do make another similar unit. It just doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of this unit but you should check it out below.

Please note, there are no affiliate links. I do not write these reviews to make money on your clicks. I write to educate and help people make informed purchases.


https://getwellue.com/pages/wearo2-wearable-pulse-oximeter (I have not tested this unit). This just measures O2 according to the comparison chart. Although images and descriptions show it does both pulse and O2, this unit is also waterproof! It is also documented as lighter, has a longer battery life, and is $65.00 cheaper.

CPAP&APAP&BiPAP, what is the biggest difference?

CPAP&APAP&BiPAP, what is the biggest difference?

Usually, after apnea detection and examination, doctors prescribe treatment with CPAP/APAP or BiPAP machines.

Generally speaking, there are 3 types of PAP machines: CPAP, APAP, BiPAP machines.

A CPAP machine can deliver a fixed level of air pressure to the airway regardless of whether the user is inhaling or exhaling. 

CPAP is mainly used to treat OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea). 

It helps the user keep the airway open and prevent obstruction of the airway during sleep.

An APAP machine (auto CPAP machine) is far advanced than traditional CPAP machines.

It can auto-adjust to deliver a continuous stream of air to the user at an optimum pressure level. APAP is mainly used to treat OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea) in a very comfortable way.

It helps the user keep the airway open with minimum pressure levels and prevent obstruction of the airway with enough air pressure during sleep.

A BiPAP/BPAP machine can deliver 2 levels of pressure to the airway, one for inhalation, another for exhalation. 

BiPAP can be used to treat much more diseases, such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea), CSA (Central Sleep Apnea). 

It can not only help the user keep the airway open and prevent obstruction of the airway but also get the user more oxygen and reduce CO2 in his/her bloodstream.

What is CPAP?

 The standard treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is the use of a machine that provides support to keep your airway open while you are asleep. This can be accomplished with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP).

 In CPAP, a constant flow of pressurized room air is provided via a face mask.


How does CPAP work to treat sleep apnea and what pressure is needed? The pressure setting of this airflow is often determined by a doctor based on your needs.

This may be evaluated as part of a sleep study or can be estimated based on your risk factors, such as your anatomy and weight.

An effective pressure setting is meant to prevent both apnea and snoring and should reduce the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) below five, as well as improve the other symptoms associated with sleep apnea.

An associated type of therapy is AutoCPAP, or APAP, in which a range of pressures is provided by the device.

If resistance in the upper airway (at the level of the soft palate or base of the tongue in the throat) is detected, the pressure delivered will self-adjust within a prescribed range.

What is BiPAP or Bilevel Therapy?

Bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP) is a breathing treatment for sleep apnea and other health conditions that impact breathing.

This treatment is less common than continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP).

Much of a BiPAP machine is the same as the standard CPAP machine.

For example, it still requires a face mask and tubing connected to the device. But there are some differences between BiPAP and CPAP.

Besides, it can be more effective in select circumstances.

The “bilevel” component refers to the fact that there are in fact two pressures, which the machine is able to alternate between.

This allows you to breathe in with higher pressure and breathe out against a slightly lower pressure.

This may help those who are struggling to acclimate to CPAP.

It may improve air swallowing (called aerophagia).

It may also help with claustrophobia.

Bilevel may be required when pressures are higher to improve comfort, especially at PAP pressures that are 15 centimeters (cm) of water pressure or higher.

The pressurized air settings of the BiPAP include:

Inspiratory positive airway pressure (IPAP): This is the pressure the machine provides as you inhale. The BiPAP provides a higher IPAP than the CPAP. So, when you inhale, the BiPAP supports your breath as you take it in.

Expiratory positive airway pressure (EPAP): This is the pressure the machine provides when you exhale. The BiPAP offers a lower pressure that allows you to breathe out comfortably.

Beyond these standard settings, there are a few other available variations. They include:

Bilevel ST: This includes the timed delivery of a breath if the machine detects a pause in your breathing.

These pauses often occur in central sleep apnea.

How Can iBreeze™ BiPAP Machine Help

 S/T Mode (Spontaneous/Timed Mode) & BPM/BUR

 A BPM value (Breaths per Minute) can be set as a backup rate in S/T Mode. If the user’s spontaneous respiratory rate falls below that value, the device will add pressure to prompt him/her to breathe.

 With the BiPAP machine intervening in the breathing, it can help the user inhale and exhale more naturally and easily during challenging conditions. It can also get the user more oxygen and reduce CO2 in the user’s bloodstream.

 Auto Bi-Level Technology to Give Optimal Pressure Levels

 With the EVAPS (Efficient Volume Assured Pressure Support) option chosen, iBreeze auto-BPAP is able to intelligently analyze the changes in the user’s breathing patterns.

 It auto-adjusts the inspiratory positive airway pressure (IPAP) and expiratory positive airway pressure (EPAP) separately, giving the user optimal levels of air pressure on a breath by breath basis. Meanwhile, the auto-BPAP maintains a constant tidal volume the user needs.

Do I Need CPAP or BiPAP?

People with the most common form of obstructive sleep apnea usually start treatment with CPAP or AutoCPAP(APAP).

Bilevel, or BiPAP, is more often used to treat central sleep apnea, which is characterized by pauses in breathing without the obstruction of the airway.

Central sleep apnea is identified as part of a sleep study.

It may occur more often in people who have had heart failure, a stroke, or in those who chronically use narcotic pain medications.

It can sometimes be caused by CPAP itself, but this rarely persists beyond the first few months of use.

The BiPAP device may be set to compensate for these pauses in breathing by kicking in an extra breath as needed.

People with the most common form of obstructive sleep apnea usually start treatment with CPAP or AutoCPAP(APAP).

Bilevel, or BiPAP, is more often used to treat central sleep apnea, which is characterized by pauses in breathing without the obstruction of the airway.

Central sleep apnea is identified as part of a sleep study. It may occur more often in people who have had heart failure, a stroke, or in those who chronically use narcotic pain medications.

It can sometimes be caused by CPAP itself, but this rarely persists beyond the first few months of use.

The BiPAP device may be set to compensate for these pauses in breathing by kicking in an extra breath as needed.

Some BiPAP devices are quite sophisticated, varying the airflow that is delivered to compensate for respiratory and neuromuscular disorders that affect breathing as well.

These disorders include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and other conditions.

BPAP is ideal for treating patients with respiratory insufficiency and sleep apnea, like COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea), CSA (Central Sleep Apnea), OHS (Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome), etc.

In addition to treating the above diseases, BiPAP is also helpful in the following situations:

People who have trouble with CPAP: People who have difficulty breathing out against CPAP pressure may benefit from BiPAP. People more commonly have problems with CPAP when higher pressures are required to keep the airway open.

For example, at pressures higher than 15 centimeters of water pressure (CWP), BiPAP may help to improve compliance among those struggling with CPAP therapy.

People who are hospitalized: BiPAP is a non-invasive treatment for people who are in respiratory distress but who do not wish to be on a ventilator.

How Can iBreeze™ BiPAP Machine Help

More Therapy Modes & Ti-Control

iBreeze BiPAP system offers a wide range of therapy modes to treat different respiratory conditions, severe or mild. In a number of therapy modes, such as in S/T Mode, the BiPAP system allows the user to set the duration of inspiration time (Ti-Control) for spontaneous breathing.

If the duration of breathing in goes outside the set range, the machine can change the timing of IPAP/EPAP delivery to help the user breathe normally.

iBreeze BPAP machine comes with a powerful motor made of ultra-durable materials.

It can continuously provide pressurized air to a user with pressure up to 30 cmH2O (highest in the market).

So the BPAP is ideal for treating patients with respiratory insufficiency and sleep apnea, like COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea), CSA (Central Sleep Apnea), OHS (Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome), etc.



With lower expiratory pressure, iBreeze Bi-Level PAP can ensure maximum comfort during NIV (Non-Invasive Ventilation) therapy.

It also provides the patient with advanced ramp settings, expiratory pressure relief, and an integrated humidifier to better get rid of discomfort.

So the patient can become compliant more quickly and maintain long-term compliance.

How to choose a PAP that suits you?

If you wonder which PAP machine would be appropriate for you, start by speaking with your sleep doctor.

After they evaluate your risk factors and sleep study, they can recommend the proper treatment.

Of course, your prescription will clearly state which PAP machine you need.