If you’re unable to take in enough oxygen naturally, an oxygen concentrator delivers the air you need to live more comfortably. No longer is it necessary to use cumbersome oxygen tanks—today home oxygen concentrators are convenient, easy to take from room to room or even with you when you want to leave the house and extremely efficient at providing long-term home oxygen therapy as you manage lung disease.
When your doctor prescribes home oxygen therapy, he or she will detail exactly what your home oxygen equipment needs are, based on your medical history and tests such as blood gas measurements and pulse oximetry, a measurement you can check at home with a fingertip device.
Unlike the old method that required patients to use cumbersome oxygen tanks that had to be refilled, an oxygen concentrator pulls oxygen from the air wherever you are, separating it from nitrogen and other elements in the environment. It delivers the oxygen from the unit to you through either a nose tube or a facemask; you may be able to choose the method you like best, though your needs could dictate the method. Either way, look for longer tubes so that you can maneuver better around the oxygen concentrator.
The most flexible home oxygen equipment is likely a portable oxygen concentrator that works on electric or battery power so that you’re not confined indoors when using it. Of course, an electric home oxygen concentrator can be easily moved from room to room as long as there’s an outlet and possibly plugged into your car’s A/C outlet during car travel. Though there is little maintenance needed, most units function with filters that need to be cleaned or replaced on a regular schedule. Make sure you understand the manufacturer’s guidelines and keep a set of replacement pats handy before you actually need them.