If you are receiving oxygen therapy as a treatment option for breathing difficulties and related illnesses, it is essential you know the ins and outs of caring for yourself especially if you are to receive oxygen therapy at home.
What is Oxygen Therapy?
Oxygen therapy is the treatment you will receive by supplying oxygen to your body as prescribed by your doctor to combat the effects of breathing issues or lack of oxygen supply. At hospitals, you will often find that the supplemental oxygen you will receive is under pressure in tanks.
Types of Oxygen
Liquid Oxygen is said to be the ideal type of oxygen to use for your oxygen therapy, as it can be moved easily, takes less space compared to oxygen tanks, and not to mention it is the easiest to transfer to a smaller tank when you need to travel.
However, you should be aware that liquid oxygen supplies could deplete in the tank itself even when not being utilised. That is why modern technology has come through in terms of the development of machines called Oxygen Concentrators. Utilising the air in the environment, the oxygen concentrators ensure that your oxygen supplies do not deplete and do not need to be refilled. However, as it requires electricity to work, often a backup battery is advised and is a must with portable oxygen concentrators.
Breathing in Your Oxygen
There are few ways in which you can breathe in oxygen for therapy, but the most widely used equipment includes the nasal cannula –it’s a plastic tubing that comes with two-prongs to be inserted into your nostrils with the tube wrapped behind your ears.
Taking care of your equipment such as the cannula and tubing is important. You are required to wash the tubing once or twice a week with soap and water and rinse well to remove residue. You should also replace your nasal cannula every fortnight or month. In the event you are sick (with a cold or the flu), make sure to change your nasal cannula when you are better to avoid a relapse.
Another way you are able to receive oxygen therapy is via an oxygen mask that fits over your mouth and nose. It’s the option used when you are required to take in more oxygen or when the nasal cannula irritates your nostrils. This mask should also be replaced every fortnight or month, and changed when recovering from an illness.
Receiving oxygen therapy via an oxygen concentrator or otherwise, can cause your lips, mouth and nose to dry up therefore keep a water based lubricant or aloe-vera close. Make sure that it is not oil-based. Also, some patients will attempt to place gauze around the tubing resting on the ear to avoid pressure sores.
Day-to-Day for Oxygen Therapy Patients
If you are receiving oxygen therapy, it is vital that you let your family, friends and neighbours know. This is so that in the event of an emergency, they are able to help. Also, make sure to let your utility companies know that you an oxygen therapy recipient, as they may send help sooner to assist you in the event of a fire or power outage.