COPD and the Benefits of Using Oxygen Therapy

If you have been diagnosed with COPD, part of your treatment plan could include oxygen therapy. Sticking with your treatment plan and using your oxygen concentrator as prescribed is very important. Many benefits accompany the use of oxygen therapy to treat conditions like COPD. Here’s a closer look:

Prolongs Your Life

When long term oxygen therapy (LTOT) is used for those with COPD for 15 or more hours each day, your survival can be increased. The average survival is twice as long for those using LTOT as opposed to those who don’t. If you’ve been prescribed supplemental oxygen, it is extremely important to follow the treatment plan your doctor has put in to place.

Reduce the Complications

There are many complications associated with COPD that can seriously impact your life, your health, and the way you live. These complications include pulmonary hypertension, heart failure, secondary polycythemia, among many others. Oxygen therapy can help reduce these complications immensely.

Lessen Your Symptoms

Oxygen therapy can decrease symptoms such as breathlessness. Feeling short of breath is one of the most common symptoms and probably the most troubling symptom, as it keeps you from doing the things you love to do and the things you need to do. By using supplemental oxygen, your COPD symptoms will be lessened. You will be able to do everyday tasks that once made you feel short of breath, like walking the dog, getting the mail, exercising, walking up the stairs, or even just relaxing.

Improve Overall Quality of Life

Using oxygen therapy helps increase mental alertness, stamina, and the ability to complete normal, day-to-day activities, which improves your overall quality of life.

Travel by Air

Patients with COPD often experience intense hypoxemia (low blood oxygen levels) when traveling by air. Using supplemental oxygen during the flight can significantly lower the risk of hypoxemia. It is important that, several weeks before your flight, you contact your airline to let them know that you require supplemental oxygen. You also need to make sure your portable oxygen concentrator equipment is FAA approved. Please note that oxygen tanks and liquid oxygen are prohibited on flights.

Start Exercising Again

COPD lowers exercise tolerance and the ability to perform just about any sort of physical activity. But did you know that exercising is one of the best things you can do to treat your COPD? Those that live with COPD and exercise have increased survival and improved quality of life. With the use of oxygen therapy, you can increase your exercise endurance and performance while decreasing the feeling of breathlessness. Supplemental oxygen lets you exercise longer and more intensely. Be sure to talk to your doctor before starting an exercise routine.

Take Control of Life

COPD can cause social isolation because you are not always able to leave your home — especially if you are using a home concentrator. By using a portable oxygen concentrator, you can take control of your life again. If you are able to use a portable concentrator, you can go about your normal life: running errands, traveling, exercising, and just about any other activities you want to do.