Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an inflammatory lung disease that causes chronic airflow blockage, preventing air from freely moving in and out of the lungs. Since it is a progressive disease, breathing become more and more difficult for patients over time, severely affecting their quality of life. COPD includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, affects over 16 million Americans, and probably a lot more never received a correct diagnosis. COPD is caused by progressive damage to the lung tissue that reduces the pull on the airways, and it is often accompanied by mucus blocking the airways. As the airway lining becomes swollen and inflamed, breathing becomes harder. Symptoms of COPD include:
- Abundant phlegm
- Shortness of breath
Oxygen Therapy and COPD
Although COPD cannot be cured for good, treatment is available to ease the symptoms and improve the quality of life of patients affected. Oxygen therapy is often prescribed by doctors to improve the symptoms of lung disease, after a simple blood test. For some people, oxygen therapy is needed only after strenuous activities are performed, while for others oxygen is recommended only at night. Specialists such as pneumologists can advise patients on the quantity of oxygens that need to be consumed, and when they should be administered.
Oxygen therapy can be administered in various ways, such as via liquid oxygen, oxygen breathing machines and oxygen concentrators. Oxygen breathing machines are a great solution to treat COPD and provide relief from the damage caused to the lungs, effectively allowing patients to breathe better and more freely. However, oxygen therapy must be followed rigorously, and compressed oxygen tanks or large machines are often unsuitable for patients who need to travel or move away from their home for many hours a day.
The Advantages of Oxygen Concentrators
Even if smaller oxygen tanks that can be transported are available, portable tanks are often too small and it’s easy to run out of oxygen if the patient needs to stay away from a recharge station for a prolonged amount of time. Oxygen concentrators are a modern, portable solution that works by puryfing the surrounding air, and concentrating oxygen from it. They are particularly appreciated by COPD patients since they can provide an endless supply of oxygen that could be stored for easier breathing with no need for refills or bulky canisters. These machines are, in fact, very small and lightweight, and only need a source of power to be recharged from time to time.
Besides being an extremely convenient way to provide independence to COPD patients, oxygen concentrators are also great for people who need to travel, since they are usually permitted by most (if not all) commercial airlines.
COPD patients will certainly benefit from oxygen therapy, both in terms of improved quality of life and reduced progression of the disease. However, it is often complicated to worry about large canisters and constant refills. Oxygen concentrators and home oxygen machins are a great solution that is now available to ease the life of people who need to deal with COPD.