Supplemental Oxygen is the way our body can get more oxygen when our lungs just cannot produce enough. There are tanks of oxygen (like those used by scuba divers) and also concentrators, which take the nitrogen out of room air and give users more oxygen when they breathe. Both methods are widely available and can be prescribed by your healthcare provider if your lungs need a bit of help. Here’s a recent GoodRx article about supplemental oxygen.
A helpful resource is on the American Thoracic Society (a professional organization for lung doctors and researchers). The American Association of Respiratory Care (a professional organization for respiratory therapists) also has excellent information. Great information about the various different portable oxygen concentrators is RunningOnAir. There is even a handy chart that compares the different portable oxygen concentrators, with information about each of the device on the market. Be sure to be evaluated with a high quality pulse oximeter on whatever system you will be using to supply your oxygen to be sure it will meet your needs–while resting, active (including lifting loads), sleeping, and at altitude such as flying (if you may travel). It’s best to get a system that can provide a bit more than you need, so you have reserve in case you become ill, get worse due to aging, or have a “bad breathing day.” If you are prescribed oxygen, ask what oxygen saturation range you should try stay in and use your personal oximeter to stay there.
Another useful resource is OxyTalk, which meets monthly for an hour–free and open to the public. oxytalk Community Events | COPD Foundation, 2nd Wednesday of each month via zoom. There are guest speakers, oxygen users, caregivers, providers and interested public. All are welcome to share. October 2, 2023 will be World O2 day–more information to follow! Check the calendar for more information and the OxyTalk link. Remember, as living creatures, we are ALL addicted to oxygen!