3 Things to Know About Home Oxygen Therapy
Our bodies can’t survive without the oxygen that we take in from the air we breathe. However, for people who suffer from diseases of the lungs or other types of medical conditions that affect the lungs, it can be difficult to get enough of that oxygen. Not getting enough can leave you feeling short of breath while also causing issues with your brain, heart, and other body parts.
Oxygen is a prescription and you’ll need that and the correct oxygen therapy equipment in order to use it, but it can be a tremendous help. It’s a method of getting a bit of additional oxygen as you’re breathing. Let’s take a closer look.
How Much Is Necessary?
Even though you’ll need a bit of equipment in order to use oxygen, you can use it at home with proper self-care. The prescription given to you by your doctor will let you know exactly how much you’ll need each minute. He’ll also let you know exactly when it’s needed. Some people will need it around the clock while others might only need it while sleeping or exercising.
For those suffering from COPD or other lung conditions and who might be wondering how much they will need, the doctor you see will determine this by checking your normal O2 saturation levels. This is done by using a device that can clip to your finger, earlobe, or toe, or by doing a blood test.
Oxygen is a gas, but it’s relatively safe – even for those who use it because of lung cancer. That being said, it can make other things burn more easily, brighter, and hotter. Because of this, there are a few safety tips that should be followed.
- One of them is to not smoke cigars or cigarettes and don’t allow other people to smoke around you. You should avoid open flames, like burning tobacco, cigarette lighters, and matches.
- You should also try to keep a distance of at least five feet between yourself and sources of heat. This includes things like gas or electric heaters, lit fireplaces, candles, and gas stoves.
- Additionally, try to avoid using products that are flammable. Things of this nature include aerosol sprays, paint thinners, and cleaning fluids.
- You always need to ensure that your oxygen containers are upright. Some people will even attach them to other, immovable, objects so that they’ll not topple over.
- Stay away from things that contain petroleum, grease, or oil. This includes ointments and creams that contain petroleum – such as Vaseline. Especially keep them away from your chest and head.
- Keep a fire extinguisher close to you. You should also let firefighters know that there is oxygen in the home. Some fire stations will offer stickers to put in your windows to this effect.
- You should also let your energy company know that there’s an oxygen concentrator in your house so that in the event of a power failure, you’ll get priority.
There are a few different ways to get oxygen. The method you’ll use will be determined by your doctor, who’ll look at factors such as your lifestyle, the amount you need, and other things.
Some people will need an oxygen concentrator. This type of machine uses a motor and electricity. Some of them utilize batteries though. The machine will take regular air in and then filter out all of the additional gases so that you’re left with oxygen. It’s rather bulky at around 50 pounds, but it has wheels so you can pull it around your home.
Being on oxygen isn’t always easy, but with the proper use and care, it can at least be safe and keep you going.