Oxygen therapy at home – what you should know

The main priority of our lungs is to use the oxygen we need from the ambient air and expel carbon dioxide. With the development of science and technology, people’s living standards continue to improve and thus the need for better health is gradually increasing. Oxygen therapy is now achieved with the help of an oxygen concentrator, proper nutrition, and continuous breathing practice.

oxygen concentrator for use during oxygen therapy

Oxygen concentrators are electrical devices that have the ability to separate oxygen from atmospheric air and deliver it to the patient. They are easy-to-use devices and can be used in places where frequent replacement of compressed or liquid oxygen is not easy. It is possible to provide a portable oxygen concentrator so that you can take it with you during travel as well.

The dose (flow) of oxygen (how many liters per minute) during oxygen therapy is determined based on the opinion given to you by your personal physician. It is important to know that sparks, any kind of fire, and smoking are prohibited in the area where the oxygen concentrator is used.

what to avoid and what to look out for during oxygen therapy
  • Avoid direct exposure to excessively cold air as it adversely affects lung function.
  • Staying in closed spaces with many people (eg cinemas, theatres, etc.) facilitates the transmission of viruses. That’s why you avoid such gatherings, especially during times of flu.
  • Extra pounds make it harder for you to breathe. It is recommended to keep your weight at normal levels.
  • The city’s polluted atmosphere (smog) takes a toll on your sensitive lungs. On days with high air pollution, it is advisable to stay at home. You will do the same on hot days.α.
  • Inhaling dust of any kind or even worse irritants or toxic substances (eg in workplaces) can be extremely harmful. Be sure to educate yourself responsibly and consult your pulmonologist about what to do.
  • Your physical activity should remain as good as possible, without excesses.
Eat better – breathe better

For oxygen therapy to be effective, it is directly related to the person’s diet. Good nutrition for patients with respiratory problems is very important.

Consult your doctor for a proper diet plan and don’t forget that maintaining your weight at normal levels is a very important part of your treatment. Excess weight means more work for the lungs and heart, restricts the movement of the diaphragm during breathing, and causes easy fatigue.

A very important detail is that it is better to eat small and frequent meals than three large meals a day and make sure your meals are at least 3 hours apart from bedtime.

  • Avoid foods such as sweets, candies, chips, and cookies which load the body with useless calories without enriching it with nutrients.
  • Don’t eat foods that produce gas and bloat the stomach, which then pushes the diaphragm up (thus making breathing difficult). Such foods are onions, cucumbers, beans, radishes, cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower, and cantaloupe, as well as carbonated beverages.
  • You should be careful with salt, as extra salt can cause you to retain fluids, especially if you are using cortisone. Avoid adding salt to your food and limit salty foods such as ham, sausages, and bacon.
Breathing practice

An additional aid that can be useful during oxygen therapy is a simple device called a breathing exerciser or lung exerciser, it is a simple and easy way to exercise the diaphragm, which is also the main breathing muscle. Exercising the diaphragm means better and easier breathing. You can easily and cheaply get this device and practice every day for 15-30 minutes an hour.

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