Do You Need Oxygen Therapy?

If you struggle to breathe at night, after you exercise, or when you walk up a small flight of stairs, ask a doctor about oxygen therapy. Some people require extra oxygen, or air, during the day, night, or both. Oxygen therapy provides the air you need to comfortably get through the day or night. Learn more about oxygen therapy and why you may need it below.

What's Oxygen Therapy?

Every cell, organ, and tissue in your body needs oxygen to function. You should receive all of the oxygen your body needs from the air around you. However, some people can't obtain all of the oxygen they need. The individual's lung capacity may be too weak to inhale and hold air properly, or their nasal passages may be too narrow or constricted to allow air to pass through them properly. Individuals generally need treatments like oxygen therapy to breathe properly.

Oxygen therapy, or supplemental oxygen, refers to treatments that increase airflow through the respiratory system. Doctors use several methods to administer oxygen to their patients, including oxygen concentrators and portable oxygen tanks. 

Oxygen concentrators and portable oxygen tanks generally contain air in liquid or gas form. The machines come with a thin nasal tube called a cannula. The cannula allows you to receive air directly from the machines. 

Oxygen therapy treats many types of conditions, including asthma, COPD, pneumonia, and sleep apnea. The conditions may block the passageways that transport air directly to the lungs and respiratory system. Some conditions reduce the lungs' functions by damaging or infecting them. 

If you suffer from an illness or condition that limits your oxygen intake, see a doctor soon..

How Do You Know If You Need Oxygen Therapy?

A doctor will need to perform a lung capacity test on you before they place you on oxygen therapy. The device you use to administer your oxygen must be able to hold and release the proper amount of air into your lungs. If you use a machine that's too strong, it may push too much oxygen into your lungs. If you use a device that's too weak, you may not receive enough oxygen into your lungs. Your device should be equipped to meet your oxygen needs properly during the day or night.

A doctor will also check your lung capacity regularly during your treatment. If you experience any changes in your lung capacity or health, a doctor can increase or decrease the oxygen levels in your machine to accommodate the changes.

Learn more about oxygen therapy by contacting a doctor today.