Types of Oxygen Therapy, Benefits, and Everything You Need to Know


by Adam Torkildson

Did you know that more than 1.5 million Americans use oxygen therapy?

Oxygen therapy is a life-saving tool that's used in individuals that have an impaired lung function. This type of therapy is the best way to increase the overall amount of oxygen found in the body. 

However, there are different types of oxygen therapy that are prescribed to treat various medical conditions. If you're wondering about how oxygen therapy can benefit you, as well as the different types of oxygen therapy available, who created a complete guide to help you better understand. Keep reading to learn more!

What Is Oxygen Therapy?

Oxygen is a gas that's found in the air that we breathe, which we need to survive. In individuals with a breathing disorder, they struggle to get enough oxygen to support vital functions.

Some lung conditions prevent the lungs from adequately absorbing oxygen. Some of the medical conditions that oxygen therapy is commonly used to treat are:

  • Asthma
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Heart failure
  • Pneumonia
  • Sleep apnea
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia
  • Lung disease
  • Any type of trauma to the respiratory system

For your doctor to understand if you would benefit from oxygen therapy, they have to test the oxygen levels found in your arterial blood. They also may check the level of oxygen in your blood using a pulse oximeter, which measures the saturation of oxygen without having to use a blood sample. 

Depending on the health condition of an individual, some people may depend on oxygen therapy continuously. Other people may only need supplemental oxygen therapy during certain situations, such as sleeping.

Some types of oxygen therapy can be completed at a doctor's office, or other people have a portable oxygen system with them. 

What Are the Different Types of Oxygen Therapy? 

Depending on the health addition, there's a variety of oxygen therapies that can be used to help treat a medical problem. These different types of oxygen therapies are: 

Liquid Oxygen

This type of oxygen is stored in a portable tank. Liquid oxygen is best for people who live a very active lifestyle and are interested in caring around tanks that can be refilled. Since this type of oxygen is highly concentrated, a larger amount of oxygen can be fitted into a smaller tank.

Oxygen Gas

Oxygen gas can also be stored in a portable tank, like liquid oxygen. Using a compressed gas system, a small oxygen gas tank can be carried around on an individual for them to use at all times.

This type of gas tank also delivers the oxygen in pulses instead of a continuous stream.  

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is unique to any other type of oxygen therapy. This type of therapy is completed with an individual breathing in pure oxygen while inside a pressurized chamber.

Hyperbaric chambers have air pressure that's elevated at four times the average air pressure level is. By increasing the air pressure in a hyperbaric oxygen therapy room, there's a larger amount of oxygen that the body can absorb.

This type of oxygen therapy is only used for people who have deadly wounds, are struggling to fight against an infection, or have bubbles of air in their blood vessels.

Oxygen Concentrators

This type of oxygen therapy isn't as portable as liquid and gas oxygen tanks are. This device is responsible for taking oxygen that's surrounding an individual, concentrating, and removing any other type of natural gas found in the air.

Where they lack import ability, the less expensive and don't require the need to be refilled. The oxygen from an oxygen concentrator is delivered through nasal tubes or a facemask.

Are you interested in learning more about oxygen concentrators? Click here to view these oxygen concentrators

The Benefits of Oxygen Therapy

Supplemental oxygen therapy offers a large variety of benefits. Studies have shown that supplemental oxygen therapy has increased the survival rate and individuals who use oxygen for more than 15 hours a day.

The American Lung Association has stated that oxygen therapy helps to improve mental alertness, sleep, stamina, mood, and increase the capabilities of individuals to perform everyday functions.

If you found that struggling to breathe has prevented you from going out and socializing, using supplemental oxygen from a portable oxygen concentrator can help you to gain independence and enjoy life.

Here's a closer insight into the benefits that oxygen therapy have to offer:

Safer Traveling While Flying 

In individuals with COPD, many experience hypoxemia when flying. Even if you don't normally use oxygen therapy to manage your COPD, supplemental oxygen therapy can prevent severe hypoxemia, Giving you the freedom to travel. 

Plus, the United States Department of Transportation now allows portable oxygen concentrator devices on all US domestic flights. However, your oxygen concentrator has to be approved by the federal aviation administration.

Increased Tolerance to Exercise 

If your breathing difficulties have decreased your exercise tolerance, a portable oxygen therapy device can improve your exercise endurance and reduce the feeling of breathlessness you get. Not only will it help to make it easier for you to breathe while you're exercising, but it can increase your chances of survival by managing any other chronic health conditions that you have. 

Taking Control of Your Health

Learning about the different types of oxygen therapy and discussing these options with your doctor can help you to take back control of your health. Depending on the health condition that you're struggling to manage, one of the above-listed types of oxygen therapy may prove to be more beneficial than others.

Are you interested in learning more about how to improve the overall quality of your life? Check out our blog for more.

 




Adam Torkildson
Adam Torkildson

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