Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is used to describe a group of lung diseases that block airflow and make it more difficult for you to breathe. The most common conditions included in the COPD group are emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Damage to the lungs from COPD is irreversible, and it’s important that you find ways to deal with the many symptoms of COPD so that you can continue to live a healthy, happy, fulfilling life. Oxygen therapy is just one treatment option that can significantly improve your COPD symptoms, particularly in regards to shortness of breath. Keep reading to learn 6 reasons that you should give it a try.
Improved Life Expectancy
In patients with severe resting hypoxemia (severely low blood oxygen levels) can not only live a better life, but can live a longer life when using supplemental oxygen at least 15 hours a day. In fact, in COPD patients who used long-term oxygen therapy for at least 18 hours a day, average survival was double that of those who didn’t use supplemental oxygen at all. If you want to live a longer life—as well as a more fulfilling one—oxygen therapy could be the first step in making that happen.
Difficulty breathing is by far the most common and most disruptive symptom of COPD. When you struggle to breathe, it’s nearly impossible to enjoy the same activities that you once did. Oxygen therapy has been found to reduce feelings of breathlessness in patients with COPD. You’ll even find yourself breathing more easily during exercise. If you’re tired of feeling breathless with even the simplest of tasks, oxygen therapy will help you to breathe easier day in and day out.
Low oxygen levels impact every aspect of your life. Not only does it make it difficult to perform normal activities and engage with those around you, but it can also make it more difficult to sleep and leave you feeling moody and irritable. When your body is getting the oxygen it needs, you simply feel better. You’ll feel more energized, more capable of participating in the things going on around you, more mentally alert, and you’ll be in a better mood because of it.
Prevent Heart Failure
For patients with severe lung disease, supplemental oxygen therapy can reduce the risk of heart failure. If you have severe lung disease, your doctor has likely already prescribed oxygen as part of your treatment program. It’s extremely important that you follow your doctor’s orders and use your oxygen therapy to help avoid debilitating or even deadly cardiac episodes.
Difficulty breathing can seriously impede your ability to exercise—and ironically, exercising is one of the primary ways of treating COPD. Regular exercise has been linked to an increased survival rate in those with COPD, as well as improved quality of life, whether you suffer from a lung disease or not. Exercise improve not only your physical health, but your mental health as well, so it’s important that you’re able to engage in regular physical activity to reap these benefits.
Supplemental oxygen during exercise increases your endurance, improves your performance, and decreases feelings of breathlessness. With oxygen therapy, you can work out at a higher intensity for a longer period of time, so that you can reap more of the benefits—including reducing your symptoms of COPD over time.
Fly with Confidence
For those with COPD, flying can actually be a severe health risk. It’s not uncommon for people with this condition to experience severe hypoxemia when traveling by airplane. Even if you don’t use regular oxygen therapy, you may want to consider in-flight oxygen therapy if you’re planning a trip in the near future. This can make it safer for you to fly, so that you can travel by plane with total confidence and comfort. If you don’t already have a prescription for supplemental oxygen, speak to your doctor to see if you can qualify for in-flight oxygen therapy.
Today’s oxygen therapy equipment is often lightweight and portable, so you can take it with you wherever you go—whether it’s out with friends, on a plan, to the gym, or in your own home. You can reap the benefits of supplemental oxygen without isolating yourself to your home, so you can live a more active, more fulfilling, and potentially longer life. Contact Elixair Medical to learn more about what oxygen therapy equipment we have available, and be sure to speak to your doctor about how supplemental oxygen may be able to benefit you.