Living happily with oxygen therapy

Patients can receive oxygen therapy both in the hospital and at home.

Are you familiar with what oxygen therapy is and why it is important? Individuals suffering from a variety of conditions and diseases may need oxygen therapy to assist their bodies in absorbing enough oxygen to properly function. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), different treatments can be performed depending on where a patient is receiving his or her care.1 There are some therapies that may only be done in hospitals, but patients can also find equipment that will provide them with treatment in the comfort of their own homes.

Those at risk
Some people need temporary treatment due to acute diseases and conditions, while others receive long-term home oxygen therapy as they fight against chronic health issues. Short-term causes can include severe pneumonia and asthma, both of which affect an individual's lung function. Some premature babies develop respiratory distress syndrome or bronchopneumonia dysplasia. In these cases, the preemies are given extra oxygen through a tube in the nose.

NIH explains that people who have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart failure, cystic fibrosis and sleep apnea are potential candidates for oxygen therapy. Depending on a patient's specific condition, there are different ways in which oxygen may be administered to the lungs using respiratory supplies and other equipment.

Home treatment
Patients who are going to take on home oxygen therapy treatment and their families may be intimidated or concerned by the adjustments. However, this is a great way to rid an individual of discomfort due to shortness of breath, which may cause strain on his or her heart.2 It is much encouraged for patients who are candidates for home treatment to do so, as it greatly improves quality of life. Many respiratory supplies may even be taken with patients who are on the go – so home therapy doesn't even limit them to their houses.

WebMD explains that there are several options patients can choose from if they are starting home therapy.3 These include oxygen concentrators, oxygen-gas cylinder and liquid-oxygen devices. Health care professionals will be able to help you decide which option is best for your current condition. Your doctor will and be able to inform you of any potential risks or other information that is specific to your treatment.

Further precautions
Anyone who is using or around a person using oxygen therapy should refrain from smoking, as an open flame or lit cigarette could cause a flame to erupt in the vicinity of the oxygen. Patients will also want to make sure that they are using treatment at all necessary times to avoid further complications. For instance, when exercising, it can be especially vital for a patient suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease to have access to their respiratory equipment. Not only will it likely boost the person's performance, he or she will also be able to prevent oxygen levels from dropping.

It's can also be important for an individual to have their equipment on hand during air travel. Some people may experience issues due to the increased elevation, which affects oxygen levels. In these instances, users will want to coordinate with the airline they are flying on prior to arriving at the airport. Although oxygen therapy does require some lifestyle adjustments, users can go on living their normal lives with the help of medical supplies from Medex Supply. Products categories include:

1 National Institutes of Health, "What is oxygen therapy?"
2 Livestrong.com, "What are the benefits of oxygen therapy?" May 11, 2011
3 WebMD, "Oxygen treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)" May 4, 2010

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  • Sara

    Great article