We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Oxygen Deficit?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

An oxygen deficit is a shortage of oxygen in an organism, caused by anything from exercise to pulmonary disease. Lack of oxygen is associated with a cascade of medical issues and can be very dangerous without treatment. Options for managing oxygen deficit vary, depending on why it is happening and the patient's general level of health. People like pulmonologists are involved in the process of diagnosing and treating patients with this problem.

The body requires oxygen to function. Gas exchange in the lungs provides a mechanism for getting oxygen into the blood so it can supply the tissues. An oxygen deficit may be the result of a problem with the lungs, like lung collapse or obstruction of the airways. People can also use more oxygen than they are able to take in, as seen when people exercise heavily, use up stored energy, and start to gasp for air because they cannot get enough oxygen to meet the needs of the body.

A lack of oxygen can lead to brain damage, muscle cramps, and organ failure. Levels low enough will kill the patient, as the brain will shut down and be unable to perform key functions necessary for survival. Oxygen deficits are a cause for concern, even if they are low level, as the damage can be subtle and cumulative. A doctor can determine if a patient is getting enough oxygen by testing the blood to see how much dissolved oxygen is present. When saturation levels are low, it indicates a problem with the patient's supply of oxygen.

In the case of oxygen deficit associated with exercise, resting and developing a moderate exercise regimen to build up strength and tolerance may resolve the issue. People with pulmonary diseases who want to exercise may need to take steps like using inhalers to open the airways, and engaging in modified exercise activities to protect their lungs and make sure they don't develop a dangerous oxygen deficit while exercising.

When disease is the cause, medical evaluation will determine the origins of the condition and provide information a doctor can use to develop a treatment plan. This may include medications, lifestyle modifications, and surgery, all with the goal of making sure the patient's body gets the oxygen it needs. Some patients may require supplemental oxygen, delivered though a face mask or nasal cannula, to increase the amount of oxygen reaching the lungs and boost the oxygenation of the blood.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.