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    What To Look For In A Portable Concentrator

    What To Look For In A Portable Oxygen Concentrator

    Purchasing a portable oxygen concentrator is a big decision. This is something that will be with you a significant amount of time. Your POC is a piece of medical equipment that will greatly impact you, the decision should not be taken lightly.

    Before purchasing, take into account how this concentrator will meet your needs and fit into your life. Doing your research and ensuring you get the features you require will certainly pay off.

    Weight and Size

    There isn’t much point in having a portable concentrator if it isn’t very portable, right? Test out the weight and size of the concentrator you’re looking into purchasing. Is it comfortable for your to carrying around? Does it fit well into your lifestyle? Be sure that it is a comfortable weight and size for your before you commit.

    Durability

    ’s important to take care of your concentrator, but sometimes things just happen. You may drop it, it may get banged up, sometimes it’s inevitable. When this happens, you’ll be thankful that you have a durable machine that won’t fall apart so easily. It should be able to stand up to a little wear and tear. Make sure the casing is tough and durable.

    Oxygen Delivery

    Concentrators come in a variety of options for oxygen delivery levels. Since the purpose of your concentrator is to provide oxygen for you, it’s important that you ensure that the model you choose can provide the amount of oxygen you require. Consult with your doctor to determine your supplement oxygen needs before purchasing a concentrator. Certain concentrators also admit oxygen differently. There is the continuous flow or pulse dosing. Some concentrators will offer both options. These flow options are not usually just a matter of preference but a matter of medical need.

    Filters

    Most all concentrators come with a filter—but not all filters are created equal. There are antibacterial filters or other special filters for patients with weakened immune systems or allergies. If you have special requirements for your concentrator, take that into account as you shop around. No matter the concentrator you end up with, you will need to clean and change the filter regularly.

    Warranty

    Does the model you are considering come with a warranty? The warranty on your concentrator may make it more valuable and save you from needing to repurchase. Some warranties will last longer or cover different things. Do your research!

    Battery Life

    Depending on your lifestyle, you may want a longer battery life. A portable concentrator should give you the freedom to live your life without being tethered to a wall. Batteries typically last two to four hours. You can also purchase extra portable batteries or portable car changes to ultimately prolong your battery life.

    Noise

    Some concentrators will emit more sounds than others. The volume can range quite a bit. If you spend time in noise sensitive areas or will be bothered by the buzz of a concentrator, you may want to look for a quieter model.

    Treatment Options for COPD

    Treatment Options for COPD

    Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD is a chronical lung disease. COPD is not curable, but it can be treated. The symptoms of COPD include a persistent cough with mucus, shortness of breath, and trouble breathing. The severity of COPD can differ, but once lung damage occurs it is not reservable.

    However, the symptoms can be relieved, and the progression of your COPD can be slowed with certain treatments. Living with COPD can be very uncomfortable, learn what you can do to improve your quality of life and improve your health.


    1. Quit Smoking

    COPD is most commonly caused by smoking. If you haven’t already, quit smoking immediately. Smoking will speed up the progression of your COPD, flare up symptoms, and decrease overall lung function. Whether or not your COPD is far along, stop smoking immediately to keep the problem from only getting worse.  


    2. Lifestyle Changes

    Changing your lifestyle can help to strengthen your lungs. Though your COPD will not go away, its progression will be slowed down when your lungs are healthier, and you improve your overall health. Staying active, participating in breathing exercises, and following good nutritional practice. Staying away from anything that could further your lung damage is also a good idea.

    Meaning avoids any smoke, second-hand smoke, and anywhere with poor air quality. Being in these situations could flare up your COPD and cause more lung damage. Slow the decline of your lung function when you give your lungs a little more ability to fight back. Do what you can strength the undamaged parts of your lungs to combat the diseased parts of your lungs.


    3. Medications

    There are no medications that can reverse the damage of COPD but they can help to open airways, reduce inflammation, and fight bacterial infections—making your COPD a little more manageable.

    Among the medications that can treat COPD, there are bronchodilators. These medications could help to make breathing a little easier and lessen the number of episodes that are common in COPD patients.

    There is also corticosteroids— this medication can bring down the inflammation in your airways. Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotics to treat any possible bacterial infection in your system.


    4. Oxygen Treatment

    With severe COPD, patients often suffer from low levels of oxygen in their blood. Low levels of oxygen in the bloodstream means that your body isn’t getting enough oxygen overall.

    Oxygen treatment means you will have an oxygen tank that will help you to receive the oxygen you need. A portable oxygen concentrator or POC can give you oxygen through a flexible nasal tube or face mask. Many POCs come in compact sizes to allow you flexibility in living your life with an oxygen tank.


    5. Surgery

    Patients with significant lung damage and severe COPD may be eligible for surgery. This surgery can be risky and is usually only considered in the worst cases. There is a surgery called lung volume reduction surgery that removes sections of damaged lung tissue. A lung transplant can also be done to replace a diseased lung with a healthy lung.

    If you have any questions concerning your treatment options, please don't hesitate to contact us!

    Portable Oxygen Concentrator: Benefits, Information and Care Tips

    Portable Oxygen Concentrator: Benefits, Information and Care Tips

    A portable oxygen concentrator or POC is a portable device that provides a flow of oxygen. This compact machine takes in the surrounding air, compressed it, and releases oxygen through a tube to the user. Portable oxygen concentrators are usually used as an alternative to oxygen tanks. They are a great alternative because of the freedom they offer, but they are also often a safer option. Because they take air from the surrounding atmosphere, the supply is unlimited. They also have fewer leaks than oxygen tanks. The cost of a POC is often more than an oxygen tank, but that price is mostly paid upfront. There is a very little cost after the purchase is made. In contrast, oxygen tanks have costs that increase over time as they require the purchase of new tanks periodically.


    They Give You Mobility

    The biggest draw for POCs is their flexibility. With a portable oxygen concentrator, your life doesn’t have to change too much. You can still exercise, move around, leave the house for extended periods of time, all of it! POCs are often compact and made for easy travel. They use the air around them, so there is no worry of running out of oxygen. The battery life tends to be long, so no need to stress over your device dying on short notice.


    There are Different POCs

    You should discuss with a doctor which concentrator will best suit your needs and lifestyle. Each POC device is different. Learn about yours by studying the user manual. They will have different battery life lengths, come in different weights and size, and have different oxygen flow options. Your doctor will instruct you as to the amount of oxygen you will need from your concentrator, adjust accordingly. Preset your controls to the amount of oxygen flow you’ll need and let it be. Knowing how to control your device will make it easier to deal with.  


    POCs Require Some Care and Cleaning

    Because POCs are inhaling, filtering, and exhaling oxygen into your body, it’s very important that they are kept clean. A different model may require different care, but overall you should be wiping down your machine daily. You may need to deconstruct some parts to rinse them regularly. Changing your filter regularly is also a good idea, as filters can get clogged or catch debris that you don’t want to get into your oxygen. The tube that pumps your oxygen will also need to be cleaned regularly. Be sure to keep your POC clean to keep it running as well as possible and stop any possible infection from reaching your lungs.


    You Can Use a Humidifier with Your POC

    With oxygen flowing into your system regularly, you may experience some dryness in your nasal passages. This common because of the excess flow, but it’s nothing to worry about. If this is the case, you can get a humidifier to use with your POC. You can even get a small portable humidifier and connect it to your POC.

    What are the Primary Causes of COPD?

    What are the Primary Causes of COPD?

    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, otherwise known as COPD, is a progressive disease that causes difficulty breathing. To understand COPD, you need to understand a bit about your lungs. The tubes that allow air to travel to your lungs are called bronchial tubes. These airways branch many times into thousands of smaller, thinner tubes called bronchioles. The tiny tubes then end in a bunch of tiny round air sacs. When you breathe in, each air sac fills up with air and inflates. Breathing out allows the air sacs to deflate. COPD occurs when airways and air sacs lose their elasticity, air sacs become damaged, airways are swollen or inflamed, or when airways make more mucus than usual and become clogged. These damages result in the lungs struggling to get needed oxygen.

    Though COPD is a progressive disease, meaning it gets worse over time, it is possible to live with. Oxygen therapy is a great option for living with COPD. An oxygen tank can help you to keep living your life while still being able to breathe in and out healthily. Portable oxygen tanks allow you to be mobile while still receiving needed oxygen.


    Smoking

    Most COPD patients (about 85-90%) suffer as a result of cigarette smoke. The harmful chemicals found in cigarettes weaken your lungs defense against infections. Passages in your lungs can narrow, air tube swell, and destroy air sacs, which leads to COPD. Injured lungs have trouble moving enough air in and out, making it hard to get the oxygen you need.

    Besides causing COPD, smoking can also trigger flare-ups in COPD patients. When your lungs are already damaged, it’s very dangerous to expose them to more potential damage.


    Exposure to Lung Irritants

    Though smoking is the most common cause of COPD, it is certainly not the only cause. Non-smokers are also at risk. Any exposure to lung irritants can cause permanent damage to your lungs. Being in any sort of environment that unhealthy air quality could lead damage your air sacs and leading to difficulty breathing. The most common culprits of lung irritants are second-hand smoke and environmental stresses. Whenever possible, avoid breathing in any smoke, chemicals, dust, or anything that could harm your airways. If your air quality is bad, stay inside until it improves. Make places where you send a majority of your time, smoke-free. Spend time in the fresh air and keep your lungs healthy.


    Alpha-1 Deficiency

    It’s rare but there is a genetic condition that can lead to COPD. This deficiency affects the body’s ability to produce protein or Alpha-1 that protects the lungs. Without needed protect, the lungs are left exposed to harmful irritants. When your lungs are damaged, you are likely to develop COPD. Alpha-1 deficiency can lead to serious lung disease and even liver disease. If you have any knowledge of this deficiency in your family line, you can get tested to see if you are at risk. Early diagnosis could help you to avoid disease down the road.

    What are Hyperinflated Lungs?

    What are Hyperinflated Lungs?

    What does it mean?
    A hyperinflated lung is a lung that has air trapped inside. This trapped air can lead to overinflation—which can produce significant and detrimental lung damage. Hyperinflated lungs are common in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Patients with COPD have some degree of hyperinflation of the lungs. Other lung-related problems can also lead to hyperinflated lungs as well, such as asthma or cystic fibrosis.
    When damaged lung tissue results in lu7ngs that become less elastic. Lungs lose their elasticity; the expulsion of air becomes difficult and it can get trapped inside the lungs. It can happen when patients begin to inhale before they’ve fully exhaled. Consequently, air gets trapped within the lungs with each successive breath causing them to overinflate.  


    Static vs. Dynamic Hyperinflation
    There are two distinct types of hyperinflation—static and dynamic. Static is due to a decrease in the elasticity of the lungs. When lung tissue is damaged it can result in the lungs becoming less elastic. The expulsion of air then becomes difficult, leaving air trapped in the lungs.
    Dynamic is the more common form of hyperinflation and is usually found in those afflicted with COPD. This happens when someone begins to inhale before they’ve fully exhaled. Consequently, air gets trapped in the lungs with each breath and leads to over inflation.


    What are the symptoms?
    Keep in mind that the symptoms of hyperinflated lungs may be worsened by other lung related issues. If you notice any of these symptoms, consult with your doctor. Chest x-rays may reveal what you’re dealing with. See your doctor if you experience reoccurring symptoms like:

    • Shortness of breath
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Chronic cough (especially during exercise)
    • Frequent bouts of sickness (often bronchitis)
    • Exercise intolerance
    • Impaired muscle function
    • Heart dysfunction
    • Reduced physical activity levels

    What causes it?
    Hyperinflation lungs, or air getting trapped in the lungs, usually means there is some blockage or lung damage. A blockage in air passages or air sacs that are losing elasticity can interfere with the expulsion of the air from the lungs. A healthy lung should be able to breathe in and out easily. Other afflictions can also cause the symptoms of hyperinflated lungs to worsen. If you suffer from asthma or other breathing related diseases, your symptoms may intensify. Stress can also aggravate hyperinflated lungs.


    What to do.
    Facing hyperinflated lungs? There are a few things you can do to help:

    • Pursed lip breathing—this will reduce the inflation and improve your exercise tolerance. It will also help to regulate your oxygen saturation levels, especially during exercise.
    • Exercise training—working out your body as well as your lungs can reduce lung hyperinflation and improve your exercise tolerance.
    • Oxygen therapy—studies have shown that oxygen therapy has consistently reduced the risk of lung hyperinflation during exercise.
    • Bronchodilators—proven to reduce lung hyperinflation both at rest and during exercise.
    • Lung volume reduction surgery—this is a very dramatic method. The operation removes the worst affected areas of your lungs. It can help relieve breathlessness, increase the ability to exercise and improve quality of life. To qualify for this surgery, you must meet very strict criteria.