If you have certain respiratory issues, breathing can be difficult. Western medicine is amazing, and some forms of therapy can greatly assist you in staying happy and healthy.
Oxygen therapy is perfect for the task, and it’s certain to improve your quality of life. So how important is oxygen therapy for people who struggle with various respiratory conditions? Read on to find out.
What is oxygen therapy?
Oxygen therapy is a treatment that gives extra air to people with respiratory issues so that they can breathe normally. Also called “supplemental oxygen,” it’s typically available only through a prescription from your health-care provider, so you’ll want to consult a doctor if you have respiratory issues.
Oxygen therapy typically uses an oxygen mask to supply the extra air, and the oxygen tanks come in various sizes. Some are portable, and some are meant to be stationary. The amount of time you may need to use this therapy varies.
Is it for you?
If you have any of the following health conditions or know someone who does, oxygen therapy can be a useful supplement. However, one of the most important things to know about oxygen therapy is that you should never use it in place of traditional care. It can be a useful supplement, but it’s typically not a cure.
Sleep apnea can cause restriction in the throat by narrowing the upper airway during sleep. It’s often responsible for sleeplessness, hypoxemia (a low concentration of oxygen in the blood), and high blood pressure. Supplemental oxygen effectively improves the respiratory disturbance index, or the number of abnormal breathing events that occur per hour of sleep, and oxygen desaturation during apneic episodes.
Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lungs. Typical treatments include antibiotics, rest, fluids, and extensive home care. Oxygen supplementation can also help, as people with pneumonia sometimes have trouble breathing independently.
Pulmonary fibrosis is the scarring of the lungs. Most patients with this condition need extra oxygen all day, although some need it only at night when symptoms worsen. You’ll want to check with your doctor to determine if you need supplemental oxygen. You’ll typically need oxygen around Stage 4 of the condition, though it pays to get treatment sooner.
How can it help?
If you need extra oxygen, even doing simple tasks such as household chores can be difficult. However, oxygen therapy helps you feel less short of breath, and it can also make you feel less tired overall. It circulates more oxygen into your bloodstream, improving energy levels. If you have one of the above disorders, these improvements can be life changing.