With the numbers of coronavirus cases in the UK rising daily, your likelihood of catching the virus is unfortunately high this January. Fear not, however, because there's a simple step you can take to keep yourself safe at home if you're battling COVID-19.
DISCOVER: 7 royals who tested positive for coronavirus and what they said about it
Amazon is selling pulse oximeters for as little as £25, allowing you to monitor the oxygen level in your blood. The NHS recommended gadget is easy to use – and could be vital to your recovery.
Amy, 31, was struck down with the virus over Christmas and forced to self-isolate alone in her London flat. When she collapsed at the bottom of the stairs, unsure whether calling an ambulance would waste overstretched paramedics' time, her pulse oximeter proved invaluable.
She explains: "I found it so reassuring, especially in the moments when I felt really breathless and scared. I think being able to monitor my oxygen and knowing at what point I would need to call a doctor made me feel more in control of the situation and more able to relax."
Feeling breathless at home? A pulse oximeter can put your mind at ease
How does a pulse oximeter work?
Shortness of breath is one of the most common – and worrying – COVID-19 symptoms. But even if you do not feel breathless, your oxygen levels may be low.
Finger pulse oximeters can pick up on the smallest changes in how efficiently oxygen is being carried throughout the body. The normal blood oxygen level for most people is between 95 and 100 – but if it starts dropping below 94, it's best to seek urgent medical assistance.
READ MORE: Essential lockdown supermarket rules to know: Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda and more
How do you read a pulse oximeter?
Oximeters are easy to use. The small, clip-like device attaches to the tip of your finger, providing you with an instant reading. The painless procedure will show you both your Blood Oxygen Saturation (SpO2) and your Pulse Rate – the number of times your heart beats per minute.
RELATED: The loneliness of being a COVID mum: one first-time parent shares her moving story
What is the best pulse oximeter?
Amazon is selling oximeters for as little as £12.99. One of the very best-rated, however, is this £24.99 pulse oximeter. Suitable for both adults and children, it comes with batteries included and requires simple one-button operation.
U-Kiss Pulse Oximeter, £24.99, Amazon
Amy says: "My doctor recommended I buy an oximeter to monitor my bloody oxygen levels at home and this one was super easy to use and had five-star reviews. I would suggest anyone who feels nervous about getting coronavirus should have one handy at home - it really put my mind at ease."
We don't know about you, but we're adding one to our online basket ASAP. For more information, visit the NHS website.
HELLO!'s selection is editorial and independently chosen – we only feature items our editors love and approve of. HELLO! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. To find out more visit our FAQ page.