Your body needs oxygen to function and live, something that oxygen therapy relies on. Supplemental oxygen helps deliver that much-needed oxygen to your body when you can't get enough on your own. And although many people associate oxygen therapy with things like respiratory arrest, there are other reasons why you may need to use it.
Here are two conditions that may require the use of supplemental oxygen.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
COPD is a progressive lung condition that makes breathing difficult. The lungs are slowly damaged over time, and this damage is often irreversible.
The most common cause of COPD is smoking, but it can also be caused by exposure to secondhand smoke, air pollution, or dust. In some cases, COPD may be caused by a genetic condition.
Symptoms of COPD include shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing. Supplemental oxygen can help ease these symptoms and improve the quality of life and breathing capacity. It can also help to reduce the risk of complications from the disease.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with COPD, your doctor will work to determine how much oxygen you need and how often you need it.
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder that affects the lungs, digestive system, and other organs in the body. It is caused by a mutation in a gene that determines how salt and water move in and out of cells.
The cells that produce mucus and sweat become abnormally thick and sticky. This results in the production of thick, sticky mucus buildup in the lungs that clogs the airways and makes it difficult to breathe. The mucus also traps bacteria, leading to repeated lung infections.
The main symptom is persistent coughing, which can lead to difficulty breathing. Cystic fibrosis can also cause problems with digestion because the mucus buildup prevents enzymes from breaking down food properly. As a result, people with cystic fibrosis often need to take supplemental enzymes to help them digest their food.
In addition, they may need to take supplemental oxygen to help them breathe. This supplemental oxygen can be delivered through a nasal cannula or face mask. A patient might need supplemental oxygen only during certain activities or times of day, or even around the clock.
In conclusion, supplemental oxygen can be a lifesaving treatment for people with these medical conditions. While there is no cure for either of them, supplemental can help manage the symptoms and improve quality of life.
Talk to your doctor to learn more about supplemental oxygen.