Chronic lung disease can suddenly present you with a life challenge you've never experienced before. And while certain lifestyle changes will help you make the transition, oxygen therapy is a treatment option that can provide relief from your condition. Read on to gain a better understanding of how oxygen therapy can help you live a more independent life with chronic lung disease.
Who should use oxygen therapy?
According to Everyday Health, people with chronic lung disease can benefit from oxygen therapy by using it according to a doctor’s advice. For example, patients with very severe, or stage IV, COPD should use oxygen all day every day. Stage IV COPD is determined by blood oxygen levels and the presence of other health concerns, such as congestive heart failure or pulmonary hypertension. Then again, even if you’re not in the severe stages of lung disease, your doctor may prescribe oxygen therapy for use during exercise, eating, sleeping and while you’re out and about. Your doctor will instruct you on how much oxygen you need and precisely when to use it.
What are the benefits of oxygen therapy?
Everyday Health points out that oxygen:
- Raises the oxygen level in your blood, giving you more energy
- Makes physical activity easier
- Improves your quality of sleep
- Boosts mental function
How is oxygen delivered?
To enjoy the benefits of oxygen therapy, you must have an oxygen source, such as an oxygen tank, cylinder or concentrator. From that source, oxygen's delivered directly to your lungs through a flexible cord that ends in nose prongs, known as a nasal cannula. You may also choose to use a mask while sleeping to ensure oxygen delivery if you breathe through your mouth.
According to Dr. Norman Edelman, chief medical officer of the American Lung Association and a professor of medicine at Stony Brook University, an oxygen concentrator is the easiest device to use. For portable solutions, learn more here. You can even opt for a variety of convenient carrying options, such as backpacks or belts, which let you leave your home without restriction.
For more information about portable oxygen solutions, click here for a list of published articles.