Oxygen therapy is the use of oxygen as a form of medical treatment for both chronic and acute conditions. Oxygen is essential for all normal bodily functions, so when a condition prevents the body from converting air that is breathed into usable oxygen in the blood, oxygen therapy must be administered per a doctor"s orders to ensure the patient receives all the oxygen they need.
Oxygen therapy can be administered multiple ways depending on the patient"s condition using different types of oxygen therapy equipment. Oxygen therapy equipment technology has advanced to the point where most patients can receive oxygen therapy at home without having to disrupt their lifestyle.
Oxygen Concentrators and COPD
Oxygen concentrators are the most common piece of oxygen therapy equipment and have essentially replaced oxygen tanks. Available in home or portable models for travel, oxygen concentrators such as the Invacare Perfecto2 5-Liter Oxygen Concentrator and the Respironics EverGo Portable Oxygen Concentrator offer users the ability to free themselves from oxygen tank delivery and lead more normal lives. Portable oxygen concentrators like the Invacare SOLO2, which offers oxygen delivery in both pulse and continuous flow modes, have made it possible for those on oxygen therapy to travel with ease, and have even been FAA approved for use on passenger aircraft.
Patients who suffer from COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, rely on oxygen tanks and concentrators to deliver a more pure form of oxygen so that they get the right amount to their blood cells. COPD is a disease in the lungs that causes the airways to become narrow, limiting the amount of oxygen that gets to the blood. The limitation of air gets worse over time and while it is typically not reversible, it can be treated with the use of oxygen therapy devices such as oxygen concentrators.
CPAP Machines and Sleep Apnea
When most people think of oxygen therapy, they rarely think of CPAP machines, yet these devices are some of the most commonly used type of oxygen therapy equipment. When a patient is diagnosed with sleep apnea via a sleep study, their doctor will often prescribe use of a CPAP machine at night. Sleep apnea is a disorder in which the person sleeping pauses in breathing long enough to have skipped one or more breaths. This difficulty breathing while sleeping results in less oxygen delivered to the blood stream and leaves the patient with daytime sleepiness and fatigue. With oxygen therapy through the use of CPAP machines, patients are able to get a good night"s sleep and wake up feeling rested and refreshed.
CPAP machines are available with a variety of features designed to fit the user"s individual need. The RemRest Tier 3 CPAP Machine by Evo Medical gives users the convenience of a smaller machine that can be placed anywhere along with an optional battery power supply making it great for air travel. While the most common complaint about CPAP machines has been how uncomfortable wearing the mask can be, the DreamFit Interface CPAP Mask and Contour CPAP Multi-Mask Sleep Aid Pillow provide far more comfortable options for users to pick from.
Measuring the Effectiveness of Oxygen Therapy with Pulse Oximeters
When an oxygen therapy patient requires an oxygen concentrator, doctors will often recommend they also buy a pulse oximeter to make sure their blood oxygen levels are at sufficient levels. Pulse oximeters measure blood oxygen saturation without actually taking a blood sample; instead, it passes light through a translucent part of the oxygen therapy patient"s body (typically a fingertip). Fingertip pulse oximeters are most commonly used by oxygen therapy patients as they are easy to operate and give fast readings. The Respironics GO1 Fingertip Pulse Oximeter is affordable, easy to use, and is compact enough to fit in a purse or oxygen concentrator accessory bag.
Oxygen therapy is an incredibly important and life-changing type of therapy when a doctor deems it necessary. But with the right oxygen therapy equipment, patients can lead normal lives and continue to be as active as they were before. Click the categories above to view our great selection of oxygen therapy devices or click the articles below for more information.
Portable Oxygen Concentrator Comparison Chart