Oxygen therapy is designed to deliver oxygen to your lungs so you can breathe better. As a form of medical gas, this therapy is for folks who have trouble breathing due to medical illnesses or ailments. This includes asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), emphysema, and other breathing problems. Oxygen therapy is even for those that difficulty breathing due to blockages in the nose like a deviated septum. The latter makes it hard for oxygen to reach the brain and causes snoring and other issues.
How is oxygen therapy delivered?
Oxygen therapy can be delivered in several ways. The most common way is with a tank that delivers the oxygen from tubes that go inside your nose. There is also a face mask, along with a tube placed in your trachea/windpipe for immediate oxygen flow. This therapy is a form of breathing treatment which increases the oxygen your lungs receive. It also delivers oxygen to your blood if your levels are too low. Low blood oxygen is known to cause shortness of breath, fatigue, and mental confusion. It can also damage your body over time if no treatments are administered. To check if you need extra flows of oxygen to your system, speak with your primary care physician or a pulmonologist.
Do I have to be in a hospital to get oxygen treatments?
No. While oxygen therapy is given at a hospital for short or long periods of time, you do not need to be sick to receive this treatment. In fact, most people have oxygen tanks (that they order) at home for daily and nightly oxygen flow. This helps them breathe better from tanks that store oxygen as liquids or gas. These tanks can be delivered to your home and contain oxygen levels that will later require refills.
Another option is to use an oxygen concentrator which grabs oxygen out of the air for fast breathing. These units do not need refills and never run out of available oxygen. Portable oxygen tanks are ideal for folks that need oxygen while on the go. These units allow you to receive sufficient oxygen while at work, home, or even spending time outdoors with loved ones or friends.
Are there any risks of oxygen therapy involved?
As with any form of oxygen (liquid or gas), there is a risk of fire. With this in mind, never smoke or use flammable materials near oxygen flow tanks or units. There are also side effects of oxygen treatments like dry or bloody noses. You may experience tiredness, fatigue, and headaches in the morning as well. Aside from these side effects and risks, oxygen therapy is relatively safe. Whether dealing with COPD, asthma, or bronchial issues, oxygen treatments are available for short-term and long-term use. It all depends on your health and what your doctor prescribes to increase oxygen levels in the system.
If you can, try to give up smoking and excessive alcohol use. These are notorious for causing medical problems and illnesses of all types and categories. Similarly, try to avoid smoked foods which may cause cancer and affect your body as a whole. Another habit to completely avoid is vaping since it does cause significant damages to the lungs and oxygen levels. Vaping is not a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes as well.