Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Oxygen Therapy

So, what is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease oxygen therapy?

People who suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) experience a variety of symptoms that make breathing difficult. If the condition warrants, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease oxygen therapy can help the body function as it should.

Oxygen therapy can make a big difference in the way a sufferer feels and improves their quality of life.

What is COPD?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is a lung disease that progresses over the course of time. This term can include several different conditions, including chronic bronchitis, refractory asthma, emphysema, and bronchiectasis. COPD prevents the sufferer from breathing as they normally would. Shortness of breath becomes a constant issue and seriously affects the quality of life.

In addition to the shortness of breath, individuals may also suffer from a tightness in their chest, wheezing, and frequent coughing. The onset of COPD is usually without symptoms and it is only later during the progression of the disease that people start to notice the symptoms.

What causes COPD?

There are a variety of factors that determine if a person will develop COPD, including environmental pollution, smoking, inhaling chemicals at work or in a major city, and even heredity. If a person is a smoker, they usually notice their symptoms start to develop after the age of 40. When it comes to genetics playing a factor in the development of COPD, Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency was the determining factor in developing what is referred to as emphysema2.

The fact that environmental pollutants can cause COPD is alarming for many who live in areas with high pollution levels. Even people who work in factories for prolonged periods are at risk of developing COPD. Although more attention focuses on the risk factors, many people are still exposed to elements that create COPD later in life.

Oxygen therapy for COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease oxygen therapy: One of the major complications that come with COPD is a lack of oxygen getting into the blood and to the major organs of the body. This causes the hallmark shortness of breath and fatigue that many suffer from. Oxygen therapy allows vital oxygen to get into the body and help relieve the symptoms.

There are a few ways to deliver oxygen to the patient. There is liquid oxygen, oxygen concentrators, and oxygen gas cylinders. These methods of delivering oxygen are portable so that patients aren't completely limited in their daily activities. Not only does the oxygen give the person more oxygen and energy, but it also helps prevent failure of the heart on the right side.

Overall, the use of oxygen therapy helps prolong the life of people who suffer from COPD, as well as improve their daily quality of life. If a person is using oxygen therapy, they should use the oxygen delivery system for at least a total of 15 hours out of the day. Ideally, patients should use the oxygen therapy system for 24 hours a day, but some people find that sticking to the oxygen for the entire day is inconvenient and sometimes impossible.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease oxygen therapy: can help a variety of systems in the body such as kidney function and can also help with brain function and clarity. A lack of oxygen to the body causes brain fog and confusion and is one of the many debilitating symptoms associated with the disease. Although oxygen therapy is incredibly beneficial to those suffering from COPD, it is important to follow the guidelines for treatment for safety.

The recommended saturation of oxygen is between 90% and 92% of the PaO2 and also flow between 60 and 65 mm Hg. If the oxygen increases to higher levels, it can pose a danger to the patient and those around them. Oxygen is a fire hazard and needs proper handling by the patient. Using oxygen near an open flame or cigarette smokers can also pose a serious danger of combustion.

Although chronic obstructive pulmonary disease can affect the quality of life for those who experience complications, there are treatments such as oxygen therapy that can help alleviate the symptoms of hypoxia and give the patient more energy and less shortness of breath.

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Last Reviewed:
August 01, 2017
Last Updated:
October 04, 2017