Can you have pneumonia with 98% oxygen saturation?

Posted by mkqq @mkqq, Apr 9 11:55am

Hi all,

My first post on this forum. I am suffering from bad health anxiety these days just like many others.

I'm wondering if it's possible to have pneumonia (let's say mild) with a normal oxygen saturation of 98%?

It all started with a fever 6 weeks ago. The fever itself only lasted 2 days but since then I've had a wet cough (not that bad), fatigue, anxiety, feel like I'm short of breath doing light exercises.

I've been sleeping very poorly with many sleepless nights at the start. Now I can manage around 6 hours of interrupted sleep per night with the help of Valerian and Melatonin. The poor sleep certainly isn't helping my recovery. It's only now that the wet cough seems to be going away.

The past 3-4 weeks or so I struggle to sleep more than 2-3 hours at a time. Quite often I would wake up breathing quite heavily or faster than usual.

I'm was concerned that I might have a mild form of pneumonia. Doctor advised me to buy a pulse oximeter which I did today. I tested myself and my SpO2 level is average 98%, reading between 97-99%.

So basically my current symptoms are fatigue, lack of sleep, minor throat irritation with little mucus, and breathing issues. The breathing issues is partly psychological but I'm concerned that there is something wrong with my lungs.

Thanks for any input.

Stay safe!

The fact that you don not have a fever (or chills), in my opinion, does not rule out your have pneumonia. The safe option (outside of a hospital setting- there are other safer options- is to have a chest x ray or a scan. The dangers of giving up social distance are well worth considering. I've had COP for several years, and except when it flairs up, I have no fever, but do cough up phlegm with little or no color (except when it flairs up). Mine is controlled with prednisone, not the best thing in the world since it suppresses my immune system. Lot's of other thoughts, but enough for now.
Good luck.

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@mkqq– Hello and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I bet you're nervous about having some of the symptoms of COVID-19. I gather that your doctor didn't suggest getting tested. When I had pneumonia I did not have supplemental oxygen. With pneumonia, you are pretty sick. Perhaps you had bronchitis? They feel the same, to me at least. Did your fever actually disappear or stay in the 99 range?
Both bronchitis and pneumonia can last a long time. Not sleeping can be a form of anxiety or depression, and who isn't these days? I suffer from both and they are the pits. What have you done in the past that has worked in helping you get through difficult times?
Be careful with Melatonin. Take the least that you can. We take 1/4 of 3mg. The lower the dose the better it works. But I'm glad that you're sleeping better. Can you speak with your doctor and tell him of your concerns about your lungs? Did you by any have a slight cold before this? I get a fever with colds and fatigue is normal to recovery and especially with depression and anxiety. Did you have a pneumonia shot?
Here is some information on pneumonia:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pneumonia/symptoms-causes/syc-20354204
https://www.europeanlung.org/en/news-and-events/media-centre/press-releases/four-simple-tests-could-help-gps-spot-pneumonia-and-reduce-unnecessary-antibiotics
https://www.ausmed.com/cpd/articles/pneumonia

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@merpreb

@mkqq– Hello and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I bet you're nervous about having some of the symptoms of COVID-19. I gather that your doctor didn't suggest getting tested. When I had pneumonia I did not have supplemental oxygen. With pneumonia, you are pretty sick. Perhaps you had bronchitis? They feel the same, to me at least. Did your fever actually disappear or stay in the 99 range?
Both bronchitis and pneumonia can last a long time. Not sleeping can be a form of anxiety or depression, and who isn't these days? I suffer from both and they are the pits. What have you done in the past that has worked in helping you get through difficult times?
Be careful with Melatonin. Take the least that you can. We take 1/4 of 3mg. The lower the dose the better it works. But I'm glad that you're sleeping better. Can you speak with your doctor and tell him of your concerns about your lungs? Did you by any have a slight cold before this? I get a fever with colds and fatigue is normal to recovery and especially with depression and anxiety. Did you have a pneumonia shot?
Here is some information on pneumonia:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pneumonia/symptoms-causes/syc-20354204
https://www.europeanlung.org/en/news-and-events/media-centre/press-releases/four-simple-tests-could-help-gps-spot-pneumonia-and-reduce-unnecessary-antibiotics
https://www.ausmed.com/cpd/articles/pneumonia

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Good general advice.
I wouldn't change any dosages. I've been taking 3 mg melatonin for a number of years (the prednisone would not let me sleep, and i refused other options. What "pretty sick" means is beyond me! I have been part way out the door (DNR and all & palliative care) .
When it the COP is under control I. suffering from mainly fatigue. It is not "walking pneumonia. My guess is that her doctor is limiting his choices as to not expose her unnecessarily. I try not to over respond to everything.Too much info is not helpful. I would hope that MKQQ would ask each specific question/symptom to her doctor to remove all possible uncertainty, and not raise angst.

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@spudmato

The fact that you don not have a fever (or chills), in my opinion, does not rule out your have pneumonia. The safe option (outside of a hospital setting- there are other safer options- is to have a chest x ray or a scan. The dangers of giving up social distance are well worth considering. I've had COP for several years, and except when it flairs up, I have no fever, but do cough up phlegm with little or no color (except when it flairs up). Mine is controlled with prednisone, not the best thing in the world since it suppresses my immune system. Lot's of other thoughts, but enough for now.
Good luck.

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@spudmato– Do you have shortness of breath, SOB? I don't know what COP is.

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@merpreb

@mkqq– Hello and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I bet you're nervous about having some of the symptoms of COVID-19. I gather that your doctor didn't suggest getting tested. When I had pneumonia I did not have supplemental oxygen. With pneumonia, you are pretty sick. Perhaps you had bronchitis? They feel the same, to me at least. Did your fever actually disappear or stay in the 99 range?
Both bronchitis and pneumonia can last a long time. Not sleeping can be a form of anxiety or depression, and who isn't these days? I suffer from both and they are the pits. What have you done in the past that has worked in helping you get through difficult times?
Be careful with Melatonin. Take the least that you can. We take 1/4 of 3mg. The lower the dose the better it works. But I'm glad that you're sleeping better. Can you speak with your doctor and tell him of your concerns about your lungs? Did you by any have a slight cold before this? I get a fever with colds and fatigue is normal to recovery and especially with depression and anxiety. Did you have a pneumonia shot?
Here is some information on pneumonia:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pneumonia/symptoms-causes/syc-20354204
https://www.europeanlung.org/en/news-and-events/media-centre/press-releases/four-simple-tests-could-help-gps-spot-pneumonia-and-reduce-unnecessary-antibiotics
https://www.ausmed.com/cpd/articles/pneumonia

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The doctor himself doesn't see any major concerns but said that if I wanted I could get checked at an isolation clinic. These days with the COVID-19 situation the GP cannot check you out themselves.

It is possible that I have/had bronchitis. Everyday I feel like I have a little more energy but nowhere near the level I used to have.

The fever only lasted for 2 days. For the past 5-6 weeks my temperature has been normal, 97-98 range.

My nose had been partially blocked for a while, little worse at night, that I guess is my only cold symptom. I did not have any cold symptoms before I got sick.

But I can feel that my body energy is very low these days. I hope it's due to a combination of fighting an infection for many weeks, not sleeping well, and anxiety. During the day I sometimes get cold hands and generally feel need to put on more layers than usual.

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@mkqq

The doctor himself doesn't see any major concerns but said that if I wanted I could get checked at an isolation clinic. These days with the COVID-19 situation the GP cannot check you out themselves.

It is possible that I have/had bronchitis. Everyday I feel like I have a little more energy but nowhere near the level I used to have.

The fever only lasted for 2 days. For the past 5-6 weeks my temperature has been normal, 97-98 range.

My nose had been partially blocked for a while, little worse at night, that I guess is my only cold symptom. I did not have any cold symptoms before I got sick.

But I can feel that my body energy is very low these days. I hope it's due to a combination of fighting an infection for many weeks, not sleeping well, and anxiety. During the day I sometimes get cold hands and generally feel need to put on more layers than usual.

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@mkqq– It still sounds as if you are healing and your body is working hard to do just that. So you will feel tired. If you are feeling better a little every day than I than that is good news! I'd worry if you were feeling worse. I hope that you are eating cleanly and drinking lots of liquids to keep your mucous thin.

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@merpreb

@mkqq– It still sounds as if you are healing and your body is working hard to do just that. So you will feel tired. If you are feeling better a little every day than I than that is good news! I'd worry if you were feeling worse. I hope that you are eating cleanly and drinking lots of liquids to keep your mucous thin.

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Haha my appetite is the only thing I'm still happy about. Other than first week I've been eating just as much as I was before, or perhaps even more as I'm working from home and constantly nibbling.

Also I try to stay somewhat active. In the morning I do some simple exercise (a few sets of sit-ups, pushups etc…), and a short walk. In the afternoon I normally go for a relaxed bike ride about 10km or so. After the bike ride I actually feel better both physically and mentally. Although I must say during the exercise I'm definitely breathing harder than before when I'm healthy. It's only in the last 2 weeks or so I've found this energy.

I'm a 32 year old who has already been highly energetic and active, and almost never get sick. So as you can imagine this is not something I'm used to!

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@merpreb

@spudmato– Do you have shortness of breath, SOB? I don't know what COP is.

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Merry,
COP is cryogenic organizing pneumonia.It is a form off idopathic interstital pneumonia characterized lung inflammation and scarring that obstructs the small airways and air sacs of the lungs. Symptoms may include flu-like: cough, fever,malaise, fatigue and weight loss. Non-curable. A rare disease. The treatment of manage COP is generally Prednisone, suppresses the immune system. Oh well.

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Sorry one more question from me.

What is the normal SpO2 level during sleep?

I'm asking because these days I keep waking up every hour or two breathing faster and heavier than usual. Couple of times I woke up and my heart was beating really fast. I'm concerned that there is something wrong with my lungs that causing me to not breathe properly during sleep.

So if/when I wake up again tonight and feel like I'm breathing fast, I'll check my SpO2 and make sure it's within range.

Liked by Chloe Liu

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@mkqq

Sorry one more question from me.

What is the normal SpO2 level during sleep?

I'm asking because these days I keep waking up every hour or two breathing faster and heavier than usual. Couple of times I woke up and my heart was beating really fast. I'm concerned that there is something wrong with my lungs that causing me to not breathe properly during sleep.

So if/when I wake up again tonight and feel like I'm breathing fast, I'll check my SpO2 and make sure it's within range.

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Hi @mkqq, I found an article that details a study on normal oxyhemoglobin saturation during sleep – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8989066. They found that for healthy patients, the median saturation was 96.5% +/- 1.5%.

I hope that the study gives you some relief, and that you are continuing to feel better. Do you still feel like your body is having more energy as the days go by, and have you been breathing better for the past few days?

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@chloeliucw

Hi @mkqq, I found an article that details a study on normal oxyhemoglobin saturation during sleep – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8989066. They found that for healthy patients, the median saturation was 96.5% +/- 1.5%.

I hope that the study gives you some relief, and that you are continuing to feel better. Do you still feel like your body is having more energy as the days go by, and have you been breathing better for the past few days?

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Yes I do feel like I have slight more energy each day. Although today I was a bit tired and I think it's due to not sleeping well last night.

Breathing seems to be better, although at night in bed I'm still very focused on it which I think is making it worse.

I went to a clinic today and they again did some tests. The doctor checked my lungs with a stethoscope and couldn't find anything wrong. She said it is quite possible that I did have the Coronavirus and now I'm feeling the after effects.

They did a CRP test and it showed no trace of any viral or bacterial infection which means whatever viral infection I've had is gone now. At least that's a bit of good news.

Liked by Chloe Liu

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@mkqq

Yes I do feel like I have slight more energy each day. Although today I was a bit tired and I think it's due to not sleeping well last night.

Breathing seems to be better, although at night in bed I'm still very focused on it which I think is making it worse.

I went to a clinic today and they again did some tests. The doctor checked my lungs with a stethoscope and couldn't find anything wrong. She said it is quite possible that I did have the Coronavirus and now I'm feeling the after effects.

They did a CRP test and it showed no trace of any viral or bacterial infection which means whatever viral infection I've had is gone now. At least that's a bit of good news.

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Hi @mkqq, I am so glad to hear that you are doing better! Thank you for sharing the good news with us – it must be such a relief to know that your viral infection is gone.

If you are still having trouble sleeping, you may be interested in joining this discussion group:
– Sleeping Well During Anxious Times – https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/sleeping-well-during-anxious-times/

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It may be interesting to note that many Covid-19 patients are unaware of their pneumonia although their oxygen level may be as low as 50% (normal is generally considered to be between 95% to 100%). The virus, in many cases, does not initially stiffen the lungs an allows deep and fast breathing to "make up" for the impaired lung function and the deficiency of oxygen. It might be wise for those feeling concern to have their oxygenation checked; this would allow their medical team to take preemptive action, and avoid a ventilator.

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