Oxygen Therapy for COPD
Have your COPD symptoms progressed to the point where you need oxygen therapy?
Shortness of breath, fatigue, prolonged coughing…these are all common symptoms that are well-known to sufferers of COPD, or chronic pulmonary obstructive disease. Whether you have emphysema, chronic bronchitis, or a combination of both conditions, oxygen therapy may become necessary for you as your COPD symptoms progress or worsen.
How Oxygen Therapy Works
Oxygen therapy increases the amount of oxygen that is inhaled into your lungs and released into your bloodstream. For many patients who have advanced COPD with extreme difficulty breathing, getting more oxygen through oxygen therapy can help them to breathe easier and even live longer with the disease. Oxygen does not have to be delivered only in a hospital setting or at home; there are many types of portable oxygen systems that can give you the extra oxygen you need as you go about your daily activities.
Best Uses of Oxygen Therapy
By increasing the level of oxygen in your bloodstream, oxygen therapy can help you to breathe easier and have more energy, in addition to improving the function of all of your vital organs. While the most benefits can be found from using oxygen 24 hours a day, doctors have shown that COPD patients who use oxygen at least 15 hours per day gain significant benefits. For many patients, oxygen may only be necessary at certain times, such as:
- During exercise: Using oxygen as you exercise will help to give you more energy and reduce your shortness of breath.
- During sleep: Blood oxygen levels naturally drop during sleep as your breathing slows. Because many patients with COPD have significantly lower blood oxygen levels as they sleep, using oxygen therapy at night can help to keep oxygen flow balanced.
- During air travel: Even in pressurized cabins, the oxygen levels on airplanes are much lower than you will find on land. Using oxygen while on an airplane will help you travel more comfortably and ease your COPD symptoms.
The right amount of oxygen therapy for you can best be determined by you and your doctor. If you are considering oxygen therapy for COPD or have additional questions about its benefits, please contact Royal Medical Group today. We look forward to helping you breathe easier!