When breathing becomes more difficult your doctor may discuss the possibility of prescribing oxygen therapy. If you and your doctor are thinking about incorporating oxygen therapy into your daily routine, read on for tips and helpful information to better educate you on this topic.
Oxygen therapy treatment provides you with extra oxygen when your lungs can’t absorb enough oxygen from the air.
The supplemental oxygen will normally flow from the oxygen device (see descriptions below) through tubing to an interface, such as a nasal cannula or mask, which allows you to breathe the oxygen into your lungs
There are some conditions and disorders that may progress to a level that the lungs are not able to effectively absorb enough oxygen from the air. If this happens, the amount of oxygen in the blood falls below the normal level. This condition is called “hypoxemia.” If your blood oxygen level falls too low you may feel short of breath, especially when you are active. As a result your doctor may prescribe oxygen therapy to return the oxygen level in your blood back to a normal range. If you have a low oxygen level, home oxygen therapy may help you regain your mobility and breathe better. Here are five conditions and diseases that may require oxygen therapy to help you feel better and breathe easier:
This refers to chronic inflammation and swelling of the inside of the airways and is one of the diseases considered a Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD. Chronic bronchitis can lead to narrowing and obstruction of the airways and is generally associated with increased mucus and a daily cough. Chronic bronchitis is often caused by smoking or other pollutants. If the disease has progressed and is causing hypoxemia, home oxygen therapy may help you get your independence back by allowing you to be mobile again.
Emphysema is a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) caused by damage to the alveoli, the tiny air sacs in the lung where exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes place. Smoking is the primary cause of emphysema. As emphysema progresses and larger portions of the lung develop damaged air sacks, the lungs often become unable to deliver enough oxygen to the blood to keep it within the normal range and hypoxemia occurs. Here too home oxygen therapy may help you regain your mobility.
When you have lung cancer, the abnormal cells may form a tumor in or around the lung tissue, which can interfere with your lung function, making it harder to breathe and potentially lowering the oxygen level in the blood (hypoxemia). Home oxygen therapy may help improve the low oxygen levels and make breathing more comfortable.
Pulmonary fibrosis is a disease marked by scarring in the lungs. Tissue deep in the lungs becomes thick, stiff and scarred. The scarring is called fibrosis. As the lung tissue becomes scarred, it interferes with a person’s ability to breathe and lowers the level of oxygen in the blood (hypoxemia). Home oxygen therapy may be used to help those with pulmonary fibrosis improve their blood oxygen levels and be more physically active.
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disease that affects glands that secrete, including the ones that produce sweat and mucus. Cystic fibrosis causes the lungs to produce thick mucus that can block the airways and allow bacteria to grow. If hypoxemia develops, oxygen therapy can help improve blood oxygen levels and may make breathing more comfortable. Other diseases and conditions that may progress and require oxygen therapy include:
There are many benefits you can receive from oxygen therapy that can help make your life easier. They include:
Oxygen is essential for life, so it can be said that we are all addicted. Supplemental oxygen simply returns the body’s oxygen level to normal. Stopping the use of supplemental oxygen does not cause any withdrawal symptoms, other than the possible return of the symptoms that lead to the oxygen being prescribed in the first place.
There are several different types of oxygen therapy that may be suitable to your needs, below.