Life is all about choices — We choose what time we want to get up in the morning, what we do for a living, and what we do in our spare time.
For better or worse, our choices are what define us; they determine our quality of life and the way others see us.
But when you’re bound by a debilitating medical condition like COPD, choices become few and far between and often end with the disease making decisions about your life rather than the other way around.
COPD is characterized by breathlessness, chest pain, and exacerbations — a sudden flare-up of respiratory symptoms. All of these effects can leave you bed-ridden, hospital-bound, or in too much pain to pursue your goals and aspirations.
Fortunately, there are options for COPD patients who want to regain their freedom and independence. Pulmonary rehabilitation, smoking cessation, and a refined diet can all help to alleviate COPD symptoms and allow you to live life on your own terms.
Another way to regain your freedom is to invest in an innovative pulse dose portable oxygen machine like the Inogen One G5. As opposed to older types of portable oxygen such as continuous flow oxygen concentrators or portable oxygen tanks, the G5 was designed with your independence in mind.
Let’s take a look at 11 ways the Inogen One G5 portable oxygen concentrator will help you regain your freedom and independence.
1.) Maintaining Your Oxygen Saturation Levels
The main purpose of supplemental oxygen is to increase your oxygen saturation level. Oxygen saturation is the amount of oxygen-saturated hemoglobin in the blood in relation to the total amount of hemoglobin in the blood. Increasing your oxygen saturation level is fundamental to managing COPD because it is the primary underlying cause of COPD symptoms.
The Inogen One G5 puts out an astounding 1260 ml/min of 90% (+6%/-3%) oxygen meaning it’s more than enough for the majority of COPD patients to experience a healthy oxygen saturation level. What’s more, it also uses something called Intelligent Delivery Technology which ensures that you receive an adequate amount of oxygen with each breath, regardless of how shallow or deep it is.
Unlike patients who use other forms of oxygen therapy for seniors, or none at all, you won’t have to constantly stop to check your blood oxygen levels while using the Inogen One G5. As long as you have a charged battery and you’re using the correct flow setting on your medical oxygen machine, you’ll have nothing to worry about. This will afford you the freedom to go about your daily business without ever having to worry about whether you’re getting enough oxygen or not.
One of the most important reasons to use medical oxygen in COPD patients is because it prevents hypoxia. This is a condition where the body’s tissues aren’t receiving enough oxygen. Short-term hypoxia can lead to body aches like headaches or chest pain, but chronic hypoxia can do serious damage to the tissues throughout your body.
2.) Keeping Your Symptoms in Check
Another way the Inogen One G5 will improve your freedom and independence is by keeping all of your symptoms in check. Unfortunately, COPD is associated with a number of symptoms including breathlessness, chest pain, chest tightness, coughing, wheezing, and more. It can get really exhausting and time-consuming trying to come up with new ways to alleviate these symptoms, but with the G5, it will become second nature.
Many COPD patients suffer from something called transient nocturnal desaturation. This is a condition that causes a drop in blood oxygen levels at night. And while it doesn’t cause any immediate symptoms, it can lead to heart or brain damage if it’s left untreated. Sleep apnea is also a known comorbidity of COPD which can further exacerbate these issues.
The bottom line is that portable supplemental oxygen machines like the Inogen One G5 will reduce symptoms like these allowing you to get a more restful night’s sleep, and in turn, accomplish much more during the day. Having normal oxygen saturation levels in your body will ensure that you always have the energy to go about your daily life.
3.) Preventing Exacerbations
Exacerbations are technically a symptom of COPD, but they’re important enough that they should be mentioned separately. An exacerbation is a period of time when COPD symptoms suddenly become worse, and at times, can even be life-threatening.
The most common cause of COPD exacerbations is airborne irritants like cigarette smoke, car exhaust, dust, and pollen. They can also be caused by viral infections, primarily acute respiratory infections that lead to increased inflammation in the lungs and increased mucus production in the airways.
One of the most effective treatment options for a COPD exacerbation is an inhaler or nebulizer because they can be used to administer fast-acting bronchodilators and corticosteroids. However, if you’re experiencing an exacerbation, it’s also important to have supplemental oxygen with you. Even patients who don’t use medical oxygen are usually prescribed oxygen after experiencing an exacerbation for a short period of time.
The Inogen One G5 is so light that you’ll be able to take it wherever you go in case of an exacerbation. And if you should experience an exacerbation, your Inogen One G5 will provide you with a steady supply of oxygen that can help you recover more quickly and get to a hospital.
4.) Improving Exercise Tolerance
Exercise is one of the key components of pulmonary rehabilitation, a program used to improve the lung strength and capacity of COPD patients. Unfortunately, many COPD patients become out of breath too quickly to perform any type of strenuous exercise, but with the help of a powerful and lightweight portable oxygen concentrator like the Inogen One G5, respiratory patients can accomplish more during their workouts.
Pulse flow oxygen concentrators like the G5 are far lighter and much smaller than their continuous flow counterparts. To put this into perspective, the Inogen One G5 weighs 4.7 pounds, while the lightest continuous flow portable oxygen concentrator for seniors, the Respironics SimplyGo weighs in at 10 pounds — that’s less than half its weight!
Another great thing about the Inogen One G5 when it comes to exercise is that you don’t need to wheel it behind you on a cart. Instead, you can sling it over your shoulder using the custom carrying case or any other accessory you’d like to use. In fact, it’s so light that many patients forget it’s even there!
5.) Reducing Chronic Pain
Chronic pain can be one of the most debilitating aspects of COPD. While you may experience acute symptoms like chest pain and back pain, chronic pain is the kind that lasts for months or years, and can even be permanent. Chronic pain in COPD is usually associated with hyperinflation, dyspnea, depression and reduced physical activity.
In patients with COPD, hypoxemia (low oxygen saturation levels in the arteries) and hypoxia (low oxygen saturation in tissues) are common. Both of these conditions can lead to chronic pain like headaches and much worse in severe situations.
Unfortunately, you can’t just go out and buy any oxygen concentrator and expect it to meet your oxygen demands. A concentrator that provides too little oxygen could lead to you experiencing hypoxemia or hypoxia, while a concentrator that’s delivering too much oxygen will cause something called hyperoxia (too much oxygen in the body).
The Inogen One G5 offers the highest oxygen output of any pulse dose oxygen concentrator on the market. However, if you need to use a lower setting, you can easily do so by using the arrow buttons on the oxygen concentrator control panel. There’s no understating how much freedom and independence this offers you, especially when you’re out and about and don’t want to have to mess with your concentrator.
6.) Reducing Your Dependence on Loved Ones
Whether you rely on your daughter, son, sister, or brother to help you make it to doctor’s visits or anything else related to COPD, most people would do anything to reduce their dependence on their loved ones. While you can show them as much appreciation as possible, sometimes it’s best to just be able to do things on your own again.
The problem with other types of oxygen therapy devices like continuous flow concentrators and oxygen tanks is that they’re very heavy and difficult to carry. Many people who use these instead of pulse flow units need to use a wheelchair or wheel their medical oxygen behind them on a cart. Oftentimes, this is not feasible for oxygen patients so they need the help of a loved one.
On the other hand, the Inogen One G5 weighs only 4.7 pounds and can be slung over your shoulder with the G5 custom carrying case or worn on your back using the G5 backpack. These Inogen One G5 accessories are specifically designed for your convenience and have adjustable straps to make them more comfortable to carry.
Another way the G5 will reduce your dependence on loved ones is because it doesn’t need a lot of maintenance or cleaning. It’s recommended that you remove the particle filters every week or two in order to wash them and you should wipe down your whole device occasionally to prevent spreading bacteria, however, these things are very easy to do. If you’d like to learn more about cleaning your Inogen One G5, read this post.
7.) Preventing Hospital Visits
Nobody likes going to the hospital, especially when it means being stuck in a patient recovery room for days or weeks on end. COPD patients are usually admitted to hospitals for exacerbations due to lung infections or airborne irritants, however, it’s not uncommon for someone to find themself in a hospital bed due to hypoxia or hypoxemia either.
The Inogen One G5 will help prevent the need for hospital visits by providing you with a reliable source of oxygen wherever you go. And if you do get admitted to a hospital, you may get released earlier if the doctor knows that you have a reliable source of oxygen that you can use.
8.) Keeping You Out of the House Longer
One of the main problems that people have with COPD is that it keeps them house-bound and oftentimes, bed-ridden. What this means is that you won’t be able to get outside and do all the things you love to do like visiting family members, taking a walk through the park, or going out for dinner.
Most portable oxygen concentrators on the market don’t offer you the freedom to stay out of the house for extended periods of time because they have very short battery lives. Oxygen tanks don’t offer very much oxygen either and if you ever run out, you’ll need to either have a backup tank or go to visit a refill station before continuing on with your day.
The Inogen One G5, on the other hand, gets an incredible 13.5 hours of battery life with the double battery on the lowest flow setting and up to 6.5 hours with the single battery. That’s more than enough to last you through the day but if you want more, the G5 is light enough that you should have no problems carrying an extra battery or two in your purse or backpack. Swapping the batteries out is as easy as pulling the tab on the side of the device and pushing the new battery on until it clicks into place.
9.) Allowing You to Go More Places
While staying out for longer is certainly important, it doesn’t mean much unless you can actually go to the places that you want to go to. For many years, oxygen therapy machines have been bulky devices that could only be transported with a carrying cart or wheelchair. What this meant is that there were certain places that were off-limits for oxygen patients.
For example, it was difficult or impossible for oxygen patients to ride the bus or the subway because that would mean having to lift the oxygen tank or bring it into a crowded area where it doesn’t fit. There’s also a chance that the device could become damaged. For example, the regulator on oxygen tanks is fragile and could break or cause injury if you’re not careful.
The great part about the Inogen One G5 is that it has such a small form factor, you won’t have a problem taking it wherever you go. It’s not bulky and it doesn’t have to be wheeled around so you won’t have to worry about having to strain your back to lift it over a curb or into a bus or car.
Another way it allows you to go more places is because it’s approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for in-flight use. The FAA is an organization that oversees the safety, efficiency, and affordability of the commercial aviation industry in the United States. Other oxygen therapy devices like oxygen tanks and continuous flow portable oxygen concentrators are not approved by them because they are too bulky to store safely and oxygen tanks are a major fire hazard.
The Inogen One G5 is FAA approved because it is small, light, and doesn’t have any compressed oxygen like an oxygen tank does. You’ll be able to store it under the seat in front of you while the plane is taking off and landing, and if you need to go to the bathroom, you’ll be able to take your oxygen concentrator without disturbing other people on the plane.
10.) Saving You Money
Money is tight in this day and age so any little bit that you can save will go a long way. Saving money on an oxygen concentrator like the G5 will allow you more freedom to spend money on other things that you want or need like groceries or a new phone.
Despite being one of the most advanced portable oxygen machines available, it has a pretty low price point compared to most other pulse flow and continuous flow concentrators. Since it’s the newest concentrator by Inogen, it’s fully supported and replacement parts are widely available.
Each Inogen One G5 device comes with a 3-year warranty, so if it ever has any issues, you’ll be able to send it in to the manufacturer and have it repaired at no cost to you. However, it’s unlikely you’ll ever need to do this because Inogen is known for their high-quality devices with extremely low failure rates.
The Inogen One G5 is much cheaper than oxygen tanks because it has an infinite supply of oxygen. Oxygen tanks need to be refilled every day or two which can be very costly. If you don’t want to go to an oxygen supply store, you can purchase your own home concentrator to fill your tanks, but this is just another cost and it can be time-consuming as well.
11.) Improving Your Happiness and Well-being
At the end of the day, your happiness and well-being are the two most important things. When you’re happy and positive about your life, you’re going to feel more free and independent. And when you feel more independent and free, your happiness will in turn increase. It’s a two-way road, and the Inogen One G5 complements this lifestyle perfectly.
It feels so much better to use an oxygen machine that’s lightweight, small, and easy to use because you know that it’s one of the best products offered in the industry. While you could suffer with a bulky continuous flow unit or oxygen tank just to save a few bucks up front, in the long run, you will actually be losing more money and you’ll have to live with regret knowing that you could’ve bought a better unit.
The Inogen One G5 is a top-rated portable oxygen concentrator. Out of all the great machines on the market like the Respironics SimplyGo, the AirSep Focus, and the SeQual Equinox, the G5 remains one of the best units that money can buy. While the G5 isn’t necessarily the best unit for everyone, it is the best unit for the greatest number of people.
Freedom and independence are two major selling points for Inogen units. When Inogen came into the portable oxygen scene in the early 2000s, there weren’t very many options in the way of lightweight, reliable, and cost-effective machines. Since then, however, they’ve continued to set the standard for portable oxygen concentrators with each unit that they release. If you need more help choosing a POC, read our post titled, “The Best Portable Oxygen Concentrators of 2020.”