If you've recently been told by your doctor to begin home oxygen therapy as a result of lung disease, asthma, or congestive heart failure, you may be feeling a bit intimidated by the equipment and process. However, the treatment should help you lead a more comfortable and productive life. Here are some basic terms to get you familiarized with your home oxygen therapy.
Liquid oxygen - Oxygen is more effectively transported in liquid form. However, the containers are large and heavy. Often, you'll have a storage of liquid oxygen in your home, and then transport that into a portable oxygen gas tank for your therapy. Liquid oxygen is often more expensive, but can be more convenient and needs to be restocked much less frequently.
Compressed gas - This compressed gas form is what you will use for your oxygen therapy. It's equipped with a valve to regulate the flow. That oxygen gas then flows through tubing which is inserted directly into your nostrils.
Regulator - The regulator is important because it calibrates the amount of oxygen released from the tank, and keeps it at a constant pressure. It also can function to preserve your oxygen, only releasing the gas when you breathe in, and turning it off when you're exhaling.
Oxygen concentrator - The concentrator is an option if you want to create your own oxygen supply. It will take the oxygen out of existing air, concentrate and store it.
Portable hyperbaric chamber - Some medical issues require hyperbaric chamber therapy, which can now be done at home with portable equipment. The chamber produces a higher air pressure which helps with air bubbles in blood, toxicity in tissue, and red and white blood cells.
Oxygen therapy equipment is commonly used in many hospitals, elderly care facilities and in residential homes. This includes hyperbaric chambers used to treat decompression sickness, portable oxygen concentrators used for breathing and respiratory machines. Essentially this type of equipment helps people to breath better, and it also provides clean air. Some individuals who are afflicted with health conditions like asthma, emphysema or other respiratory problems, require certain oxygen tanks and regulators. Sleep apnea is one of these conditions, and some people affected by it must wear an oxygen therapy mask while they sleep. This is to ensure proper breathing for safety reasons.
There are all sorts of oxygen therapy equipment available, and some of these devices are personal oxygen concentrators that aid with airflow delivery into the lungs, hyperbaric tanks and medical grade respiratory machines that are used in hospitals. While some tanks are filled with liquid oxygen, and can be used in the home, other small oxygen systems are portable, and supply individuals with sufficient air, even when they are out in public. Typically these cylinder shaped tanks and systems have regulators that manage the amount of oxygen they disperse.
An easy way to learn more about oxygen therapy equipment, regulator machines and respiratory equipment, is to do some online research. On the internet, there is plenty of information pertaining to oxygen masks, asthma supplies and personal oxygen concentrators that provide pure air to individuals with breathing and problems. There is also some data regarding how to refill these portable tanks and machines.