Oxygen therapy, also known as O2 therapy, is a form of medical intervention that provides supplemental oxygen for people who are suffering from sudden or long-term health conditions. Although oxygen is one of the most abundant gasses in the world and is essential to keeping our bodies healthy, there is a myriad of issues that can cause a person to become oxygen-deprived. Fortunately, people who suffer from oxygen deprivation have the option of turning to oxygen treatments to help improve their oxygen intake.
If oxygen is readily available, then why do some people require oxygen therapy? While the amount of oxygen on earth is sustainable for people with healthy, functioning lungs and airways, it is not enough for people with lung predicaments such as COPD whose lungs do not process air effectively. O2 therapy becomes necessary if you’re unable to inhale adequate amounts of air, or if your lungs aren’t processing air properly.
What Is Oxygen Therapy?
Oxygen therapy can be delivered through compressed oxygen gas, liquid oxygen, or different types of oxygen concentrators, depending on the needs of a patient. Regardless of the method chosen to deliver oxygen, the goal is to improve the absorption of oxygen into your bloodstream and body.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Oxygen Therapy?
It’s not enough for you to just decide that you need oxygen therapy, as a doctor will have to determine that for you. People with lung disease, COPD, asthma, pneumonia, sleep apnea, heart failure, cystic fibrosis, and other chronic lung conditions or respiratory trauma are usually the ones who are prescribed oxygen therapy. This type of therapy might only be needed for a short period of time to improve a temporary drop in oxygen levels. In some instances, oxygen therapy is required for a long period of time to treat ongoing symptoms of low oxygen and breathlessness.
Many people mistakenly believe that shortness of breath is a qualifier for supplemental oxygen, but there are other additional criteria that must be met before a doctor can prescribe oxygen treatment to their patients. Doctors will ask their patients about a number of different symptoms such as rapid breathing, wheezing, coughing, increased heart rate, sweating, changes in mood, skin color, and behavior. If you are experiencing several of these symptoms, this is a good indicator that you may not be receiving enough oxygen, which means you might qualify for oxygen therapy. Before being selected for oxygen therapy, your doctor will order an arterial blood gas study and conduct a pulse oximetry test to measure the quantity of oxygen in your bloodstream. Medical oxygen will be required if your oxygen saturation levels are 88% or lower.
If you’ve recently been diagnosed with a chronic lung condition and your doctor says you must use an oxygen concentrator, O2 Assist offers a broad selection of medical oxygen machines. From home oxygen concentrators to portable oxygen concentrators, O2 Assist will help you take back control of your life. Contact us today to learn more about our oxygen therapy options.