Have you ever been working on something only to have your mind start to wonder about something completely unrelated to what you’re trying to accomplish? In today’s world, we’re completely surrounded by stimulants and unnecessary noise which can all lead to us feeling anxious or distracted. While it’s tempting to go off into a forest somewhere and live in a cabin away from everything, this isn’t exactly a realistic option for most people. Rather, it’s often easier to find ways to cope with all these distractions and clear our minds of unproductive thoughts.
If you’re someone who suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or a related lung condition, you know exactly what it’s like to have wandering thoughts that can distract from and sometimes even completely drain the joy from things that you used to enjoy. According to Healthline, difficulty breathing can send alarm signals to your brain causing you to feel panic and anxiety. These feelings of anxiousness can also be exacerbated by the variety of medications that are used to treat COPD.
One of the best ways to learn to cope with these problems is to attend cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This is a type of therapy that’s focused on pinpointing and correcting negative thinking patterns, then implementing long-term solutions that will help you combat these feelings in the future. If you’d like to learn more about how CBT for COPD works, please feel free to read this post.
Believe it or not, you can also reduce feelings of anxiety and worry by changing up your treatment plan. Supplemental oxygen therapy, the most important treatment therapy for COPD, can also be the cause of much anxiety. Outdated oxygen devices like oxygen tanks are bulky and cumbersome, causing people to feel insecure and unable to get where they need to go. In this post, we’re going to talk about an alternative to traditional oxygen tanks called “portable oxygen concentrators,” and how they can help you experience peace of mind in your life.
They Provide Consistent and Reliable Oxygen
Long-term oxygen therapy is a medical practice that’s been around since the 1980s. The basic premise is that, since people with COPD and other chronic respiratory conditions have impaired lung function, they aren’t able to get enough oxygen in their blood to be healthy. When your blood oxygen levels are low (hypoxemia), this puts you at a much higher risk of experiencing shortness of breath, headaches, coughing, and even permanent damage to your organs. On the contrary, when your blood oxygen levels are normal, you will experience more stable lung conditions resulting in fewer exacerbations.
The vast majority of patients who are prescribed supplemental oxygen therapy need to use it for several hours a day or more meaning they need an oxygen device that’s both consistent and reliable. Portable oxygen concentrators like the Caire FreeStyle Comfort are designed to work 24/7 for years on end without encountering any issues. They also need very minimal maintenance which could prevent you from adhering to your treatment plan. Unfortunately, many people who use oxygen tanks do not use them for the allotted period of time that their doctor advised. This is likely due to them wanting to conserve oxygen or they simply feel that their tanks are inconvenient or difficult to use.
They’re the Safest Oxygen Therapy Machine
It’s bad enough being told that you need to be connected to an oxygen device 24/7, but it’s even worse when you’re told how dangerous oxygen tanks can be. First and foremost, oxygen tanks compress oxygen at around 2,000 to 3,000 pressure per square inch (psi). Even liquid oxygen tanks, which are known for being far less dangerous are kept at pressures of around 350 psi. So, it’s not hard to see why medical professionals advise caution before you start using them.
Another reason oxygen tanks are so dangerous is because of the way they regulate oxygen. Oxygen tanks are continuous flow meaning they put out a constant stream of oxygen, similar to a drinking fountain. Since oxygen is an oxidizer, it increases the flammability of anything it comes into contact with. In other words, if you accidentally drop your nasal cannula or there’s a leak in your oxygen tank, you’re unknowingly creating a fire hazard.
Portable oxygen concentrators don’t have this problem because they use something called “pulse dose technology” which closely tracks your breathing and delivers oxygen only when you inhale. If no breath is detected, the device will not deliver oxygen. What’s more, if a portable oxygen concentrator like the Inogen One G5 stops delivering oxygen, it will make a noise so that you know that you are no longer receiving oxygen. There is no safety feature like this on an oxygen tank or liquid oxygen tank.
Last but certainly not least, portable oxygen concentrators are much lighter and less difficult to maneuver than your average oxygen tank. The Inogen One G3 portable oxygen concentrator, for example, weighs in at just 4.8 pounds making it light enough to sling over your shoulder and carry throughout the day with little effort. While there are portable oxygen tanks that get as light as 2 pounds, you have to remember that the lighter the tank, the less oxygen you will have access to.
They’re Easy to Use
If one thing’s certain about our lives nowadays it’s that our lives are much more complicated than they once were. It seems like every day we wake up there’s a new electronic device or type of technology that we need to learn about in order to be “in the loop.” If you have a smartphone, you know exactly what this feels like. Right as you feel like you get a grip on how to use your phone, they put out an update that completely changes how the device works.
While portable oxygen concentrators are another piece of technology, they’re designed to be as easy to use as possible. Rather than having to spend hours figuring out how to use it, you’ll just need a few moments. Portable oxygen concentrators like the Respironics SimplyGo only have a few buttons that you’ll need to know — one to turn the device on; two to adjust the flow setting; and one to turn alarms on and off. It’s also very easy to replace the battery while you’re on the go. Since the battery port is on the top of the unit, you won’t need to worry about removing the POC from its case to do so.
The same cannot be said for oxygen tanks and other archaic forms of oxygen therapy. Oxygen tanks, for example, have a valve that you have to learn to operate along with a gauge that will tell you how much oxygen you’re receiving. What’s more, if you want to refill your own oxygen tanks, you’ll need to learn how to operate a homefill station which is similar to a stationary oxygen concentrator but more complicated to operate.
They Allow You to Feel More Confident
Confidence is key to feeling comfortable with yourself and your condition. Unfortunately, there is a stigma attached to traditional forms of oxygen therapy that make oxygen feel less capable, even when that is not the case. This is likely due to the fact that oxygen tanks are bulky and difficult to maneuver, especially in crowded areas. On the contrary, you won’t have any of these problems while using a portable oxygen concentrator. In turn, you will feel more confident and experience more peace of mind.
All the portable oxygen generators that we’ve mentioned in this post thus far are small enough and light enough to carry under your shoulder as you walk making them out of sight and out of mind. Many people who use a POC for the first time report that they often forget they’re carrying one and it becomes so natural carrying one that they don’t feel uncomfortable or self-conscious about it like they would with an oxygen tank. What this means is that your attention will be available for more important things like communicating with your friends and family.
At the end of the day, oxygen tanks are not only outdated in their technology and in terms of what they can offer oxygen patients, but they look outdated as well. Most oxygen tanks, even the portable ones have a drab greenish color to them and they don’t vary too much in appearance. They’re also oblong making them very hard to conceal if you feel self-conscious about it. Getting rid of this old device and upgrading to something newer looking and feeling will help you maintain your peace of mind.
They’re More “Connected” Than Ever Before
Nowadays, we often use the term “connected” to describe something that keeps us linked to the outside world. For example, your smartphone keeps you connected via mobile applications, the internet, phone calls, and text messages. Until recently, there was no such thing as an oxygen device that kept you “connected.” The Oxlife Independence continuous flow portable oxygen concentrator was the first true “smart” portable oxygen concentrator.
The Oxlife Independence uses something called DNA Technology which connects you to your oxygen supplier through a secure network hosted by Verizon. This allows oxygen professionals to track your usage to ensure you’re making the most of it. A similar technology has been implemented into oxygen concentrators offered by Caire Inc. Devices like the Caire FreeStyle Comfort use something called CaireVIEW telehealth technology which is one of the most advanced oxygen tracking software ever created.
These features give you peace of mind knowing that you’re always using your oxygen concentrator correctly and exactly how it was prescribed by your doctor. The best part of all is that it doesn’t add anything additional that you need to worry about or learn how to do. However, if you’re interested, you can always download the mobile application for the FreeStyle Comfort and track your own oxygen usage.
They Allow You to Go More Places
The last thing you want to have on your mind this time of year is the thought of not being able to visit friends and loved ones for Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is the time of year that families should be together, celebrating everything they’re thankful for this year. Unfortunately, oxygen patients don’t just have to worry about COVID-19, they need to worry about whether their oxygen demands will be met wherever they end up traveling.
On the plus side, portable oxygen concentrators are the best option if you want to ensure you always have access to oxygen and have the freedom to participate in all of this year’s festivities. POCs can be used on all commercial airlines in the United States meaning you will be able to visit family across the country if you need to. Since they’re battery powered, you won’t need to go out of your way to find an oxygen supplier and you can instead focus on spending quality time with people that you care about.
Portable oxygen concentrators are the lightest, smallest, and most technologically advanced supplemental oxygen therapy devices on the market. At the same time, however, they are both easy to use and stylish making them great for traveling or just getting out of the house to go to the store or go for a walk. There are many different POCs on the market that are manufactured by many different companies, so you’ll need to know what your oxygen needs are before you start looking.
Here at LPT Medical, we offer products from reputable brands such as Inogen, Caire, Respironics, and AirSep. We have a wide range of oxygen products including pulse dose portable oxygen concentrators, continuous flow portable oxygen concentrators, stationary oxygen concentrators, oxygen accessories, and CPAP/BiPAP machines. It’s important to us that you get the medical oxygen device for your needs so be sure to speak with your doctor, then reach out to our respiratory specialists so we can answer your questions.
Because portable oxygen concentrators are so advanced, they will provide you with more freedom than you’d experience with an oxygen tank. We recommend either the Caire FreeStyle Comfort or the Inogen One G5 for most oxygen patients because they have a high oxygen flow setting, they weigh under 5 pounds, and they’re approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for in-flight use meaning you can fly all over the country or world if you want to.