Thursday, January 5, 2012

What Is An Oxygen Concentrator?

Oxygen concentrators are often used by people with chronic lung conditions or other disorders that cause them to have a lower than normal level of it in their blood. Although they aren't needed to ease symptoms of all lung conditions, they are particularly helpful in treating the symptoms of low blood oxygen levels.

The air around us generally contains 21 percent o2, which is the perfect amount to enable people without lung disorders to maintain a good blood oxygen level. Anyone with a condition that causes a lower than normal concentration of oxygen in the blood may be advised to use an oxygen concentrator.

Oxygen concentrators supply a much higher amount of oxygen per breath than what is available in the atmosphere, helping to increase the blood oxygen level of the patient. There is no need to carry around heavy gas cylinders, because portable oxygen concentrators extract oxygen from atmospheric air, and they are light enough to be carried around, giving you the freedom to go wherever you please.

Breathlessness can be eased with o2 therapy if it is caused by low blood oxygen levels, and there are several tests that can determine whether or not this is the cause of your breathlessness. An oximetry is a device that clips onto the end of your finger and measures your blood oxygen level, but in some cases a blood test may be ordered to assess the level of oxygen in your blood.

Once a low level has been diagnosed, your doctor will attempt to find the cause of it and treat the condition accordingly. If the condition can be treated, the low blood oxygen level may right itself meaning that you will no longer require a portable oxygen concentrator. More chronic conditions, however, may require long-term oxygen therapy. Your specialist will tell you how long to use your oxygen supplying equipment for each day.

If you have already been diagnosed with low blood oxygen levels, your specialist may prescribe oxygen therapy to ease your symptoms and make you more comfortable. Once oxygen therapy has been prescribed, the specialist will work out the oxygen system that would be best to meet your needs and arrange the delivery of equipment.

Portable oxygen concentrators give patients the ability to carry on with everyday activities that may have become impossible for them to do in the past. They can ease the feelings of tiredness and breathlessness associated with low blood oxygen levels, allowing patients to stay active for longer. There are some safety precautions to consider when using oxygen concentrators, however. It is important to stay away from naked flames, sparks or flammable materials, as higher concentrations of oxygen can be explosive. You will be strongly advised against smoking when using your oxygen concentrator, because as well as being dangerous it will limit the effectiveness of your oxygen therapy.

If you follow the advice of your specialist and the safety rules given to you by your equipment provider, you will be able to make the most out of your oxygen concentrator and improve your quality of life.

4 comments:

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