Oxygen therapy and its benefits
Q. What is oxygen therapy?
Oxygen is necessary for human life. When people with breathing disorders can’t get enough oxygen naturally, they may need supplemental oxygen, or oxygen therapy. People who receive oxygen therapy often see improved energy levels, sleep better, and experience a better quality of life.
Q. Who requires oxygen therapy?
People who experience the following may require oxygen therapy
- Chronic bronchitis
- Congestive heart failure
- COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
- Cystic fibrosis
- Lung cancer
- Pulmonary fibrosis
- Sleep apnea
Q. What are the symptoms of low oxygen levels?
- rapid breathing
- shortness of breath
- fast heart rate
- coughing or wheezing
- changes in the color of your skin
Q. What are the different kinds of oxygen therapies?
Oxygen therapy can be administered in the following forms
Oxygen gas can be stored in portable tanks called compressed gas systems. A larger stationary concentrator is used within the home, and a smaller oxygen tank can be taken to use outdoors. The smaller tanks might be used along with oxygen-conserving devices so that the oxygen supply lasts longer. The oxygen is delivered in pulses, and not continuously.
Liquid oxygen also can be stored in a portable tank. Liquid oxygen is highly concentrated, so more oxygen can fit in a smaller tank. However, this mode of storing makes the gas prone to evaporating if not used properly. This is helpful for people who are very active. Both liquid oxygen and oxygen gas are available for home delivery in many locations.
Oxygen concentrators are less portable than the other options. An oxygen concentrator is a device that takes oxygen from the room, concentrates it for therapeutic use, and removes other naturally occurring gases. The benefits of concentrators are that they are less expensive and don’t require storing in tanks. While portable versions are also available, most models are too large to be truly portable.
In a portable concentrator, the oxygen is distributed from the tank through a tube. It enters the lungs through nasal tubes, a face mask, or a tube inserted directly into the person’s windpipe.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is unlike the other methods of oxygen therapy. People breathe in pure oxygen in a pressurised room or hyperbaric chamber where air pressure is increased to three or four times the normal air pressure levels. This increases the amount of oxygen delivered to the body’s tissue. This type of oxygen delivery is often used to treat wounds, serious infections, or bubbles of air in blood vessels. Hyperbaric therapy should be carried out carefully so that blood oxygen levels don’t become too high.
Exercise with oxygen therapy (EWOT)
Exercising with oxygen therapy is a scientifically proven phenomenon that’s said to restore our natural health to a youthful state. This is called EWOT (exercise with oxygen therapy; pronounced e-watt), and it’s benefitting the lives of many people.
It’s true that anyone can benefit from restoring his or her circulatory function and blood flow, but exercise with oxygen therapy is meant to increase oxygen circulation at a rapid pace.
Q. How do I know which therapy is right for me?
A specialist can help with this choice, based on your conditions and it is best to consult one, since oxygen is great for us but just like anything else, an excess can be dangerous.
Q. What are the safety considerations for oxygen therapy?
- Do not smoke or have open flames in the room where a person is using oxygen.
- Place more fire alarms throughout the home to help prevent serious complications.
- When cooking, keep oxygen away from the stove, oven, and any grease.
- To avoid tripping over the oxygen tank or tubing, tape the tube to the back of your shirt.
- Only store oxygen in an area where air moves freely around the tank. Do not store it in a trunk or a small closet.
Imagine all of the pipes in your house have become narrow and can’t get enough water. Everything will eventually come to a screeching halt! That’s exactly what happens when our micro-vessels begin to narrow — the body isn’t able to get oxygen, blood, and nutrients to the organ systems. This restriction causes pain and disease. With technology comes the blessing of ‘oxygen therapy’ and for all those facing an issue can avail of this fabulous therapy.