Oxygen is necessary for human life. Oxygen therapy can be done in a hospital via a chamber or at home through means of supplemental oxygen, depending on what the physician prescribes.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a form of oxygen therapy issued within a hospital chamber. It is a treatment plan that promotes healing by delivering a high concentration of oxygen into the body. How does hyperbaric oxygen therapy work? The patient is enclosed in a chamber where the atmospheric pressure is increased to the prescribed level, which is usually 21 percent oxygen. Once the atmospheric pressure reaches the prescribed level, the patient is given pure oxygen through a hood, to breathe for a set amount of time. The patient takes breaks to breath regular air in between treatments.
14 conditions are licensed to be treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy according to the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society and it should only be used to treat these conditions.
Oxygen Therapy for COPD
Over the years, oxygen therapy has been developed to treat a wide variety of breathing conditions, particularly chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). One study found that oxygen therapy is the most beneficial to COPD patients and can increase survival rates.
Currently, not all at-home oxygen therapy units are as efficient as others. With the growing amount of COPD patients and knowledge that oxygen therapy can increase survival rates of those with COPD, we will likely see more growth in technology, particularly more oxygen therapy devices that are smaller and lighter, have increased battery life, and are more portable. This technology exists but is not available to everyone.
Oxygen Therapy at Home
At-home oxygen therapy has been around for over 30 years and the availability of at-home oxygen therapy equipment (especially long term oxygen therapy) has increased over the past decades. Some of the at-home devices available for oxygen therapy are:
- Liquid Oxygen Systems
They are considered the best because they can be moved easily, they take up little space than regular oxygen tanks and are the easiest to transfer to smaller tanks.
- Oxygen Concentrators
Make sure your oxygen doesn’t run out, never has to be refilled, and it needs electricity to work.
- Intermittent-Flow Regulators
Deliver the same volume of oxygen per breath, no matter the breath rate.
- Oxygen Monitoring
It is a relatively new device used to monitor a patient’s oxygen levels?
- Portable Oxygen Concentrators
Are versatile and can be easily used outside of the home.
Portable oxygen concentrators have especially come a long way and will continue to increase in the market due to demand to treat at home and out in the community.
The Bottom Line
Oxygen therapy can save lives and increase the quality of life. With the development of portable oxygen concentrators, more and more people can treat at home. People with diseases like COPD are also living longer. More research is needed to see where this technology can take us.