Some injuries or illness make it hard for oxygen to pass from your lungs to the blood. This means your body tissue does not get the oxygen it needs to work well. This will make you tire easily and cause shortness of breath. Low oxygen can also be harmful to busy organs like the brain.
Oxygen therapy increase the amount of oxygen in your lungs. This will increase the amount that makes it into your blood. Some common reasons that people need home oxygen therapy include:
A prescription for oxygen will be needed. The prescription will include:
How much oxygen is needed
How the oxygen will be given
When to use it
Description of the Procedure
Home oxygen therapy is most often given with a nasal cannula. A cannula is a tube that is put just under your nose. Two prongs will deliver oxygen up into your nose. A face mask may be needed to improve oxygen delivery. The mask covers your mouth and nose.
Home oxygen may be delivered through 1 of 3 systems:
Concentrators—electrical device that collects oxygen from the air
Compressed gas systems—stored in steel or aluminum tanks (smaller tanks can be carried)
Liquid systems—stored in a large tank in the house (smaller tanks can be used out of the house)