As humans, one of the most important things we value is our freedom. Whether we’re young or old; poor or rich; sick or healthy, we can’t put a price on our ability to get out and enjoy life on our own terms. But if you’re someone who suffers from a debilitating condition like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), you might think that your freedom is a thing of the past — fortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
COPD is characterized by chest pain, shortness of breath, and a chronic cough, all of which can keep someone immobile and homebound. In the past, COPD patients would be administered a standardized treatment plan that was limited to two different drugs: potassium iodide and ephedrine, neither of which offered significant relief for respiratory patients.
However, all of this changed in the last several decades after researchers learned the importance of corticosteroids, oxygen therapy, exercise, and a refined diet, many of which were seen as “counterproductive” throughout the 20th century. Nowadays, COPD patients have a lot more control over the outcome of their disease than they did in the past.
One simple way to improve your freedom with COPD is to upgrade your old outdated oxygen tank to a new state-of-the-art portable oxygen concentrator. In this post, we’ll show you how one of the newest portable oxygen concentrators on the market — The Caire FreeStyle Comfort — will offer you significantly more freedom than a standard oxygen tank. If you need help choosing an oxygen concentrator that’s best for you, contact our respiratory specialists at 1-888-416-3855 or fill out the form to the right in order to receive your free guide to portable oxygen concentrators.
Improved Mobility and Maneuverability
Your lungs play a key role in your ability to get around. Every time you breathe, carbon dioxide in your blood is replaced with fresh oxygen that’s then sent out to every organ in your body. When you get moving and exert more energy, your body needs more oxygen meaning your breathing and heart rate will increase. Oxygen devices ensure that people with lung impairments are always able to get the oxygen they need in order to stay healthy.
One of the problems with oxygen tanks, however, is that they are so heavy and bulky, they can cause you to become exhausted even after small tasks like going for a walk or doing chores around the house. Using a rolling cart can help mitigate this a bit, but if you encounter a set of stairs, a curb, or any other obstacle, you might be left in a difficult situation. And trying to maneuver through crowded areas can induce a lot of unnecessary stress.
The Caire FreeStyle Comfort is the exact opposite of oxygen tanks in terms of portability and maneuverability. The FreeStyle Comfort is one of the lightest portable oxygen devices ever made, so there’s no need to wheel it around on a cart. There are many options for carrying the FreeStyle Comfort, but most people prefer to simply sling it over their shoulder using the custom carrying case that comes with the device.
When you upgrade to a Caire FreeStyle Comfort from an oxygen tank, you’ll find that you have much more freedom in the way that you go about your daily routine. Instead of constantly checking on your oxygen device to make sure you’re not bumping into anything, your FreeStyle Comfort will rest under your arm throughout the whole day so you can stay focused on what you’re doing rather than worrying about getting the oxygen you need.
Safety and Durability
Safety is a valid concern when it comes to traditional oxygen therapy devices like oxygen tanks or liquid oxygen tanks. Portable oxygen tanks are usually stored at around 3,000 pounds per square inch (psi), so you have no option but to handle them with care. Under certain circumstances, oxygen tanks have been known to explode or cause bodily harm in other ways due to their hefty size and weight.
Another safety issue with oxygen tanks is that they have the potential to leak. Oxygen is what’s known as an “oxidizer,” so anything that comes into contact with it is more likely to catch fire. You could have an oxygen leak and not even realize it, or if you drop your nasal cannula while it’s still putting out oxygen, you could be putting yourself and everyone around you at risk.
The Caire FreeStyle Comfort doesn’t have these problems because it uses what’s called “pulse dose technology.” This closely monitors the patient’s breathing and only delivers oxygen when inhalation is detected. In other words, if you drop the nasal cannula, the device will stop putting out oxygen. There’s also no pressurized oxygen inside the FreeStyle Comfort so you won’t have to worry about walking around with a device filled with potential energy.
If safety wasn’t enough, you’ll be happy to know that the Caire FreeStyle Comfort is also very durable. In fact, it’s currently the only portable oxygen concentrator used by the military due to its outstanding reliability. While we don’t recommend trying to test its durability, you can rest assured that this device will be resistant to normal wear and tear, and in the rare chance that your device has a defect, you’ll have a 3-year warranty to fall back on.
More Customization to Suit Your Lifestyle
You can’t have freedom without options, and you can be sure that the Caire FreeStyle Comfort offers plenty of that! This portable oxygen concentrator was released alongside a whole host of oxygen accessories that help you customize your supplemental oxygen and make the most of it. First, let’s take a look at the accessories that come with the purchase of a new Caire FreeStyle Comfort.
Lithium-ion batteries are some of the most state-of-the-art power supplies currently available on the market. They’re known for being extremely durable and being able to hold a charge longer than other types of batteries. The 8-cell battery that comes with the FreeStyle Comfort offers up to 8 hours of battery life on one charge using a flow setting of 1.
One of the biggest downsides of oxygen tanks is how much of a hassle it is to get them refilled constantly. Fortunately, since the Caire FreeStyle Comfort is an electronic device, you simply need to have access to some type of outlet. The AC charger will charge your device in a wall outlet and the DC charger will charge it in a car outlet.
The custom carrying case is simple but effective. Just slip it over the Caire FreeStyle Comfort and it will protect it from wear and tear. Use the shoulder strap that comes with it to sling it over your shoulder as you walk. You’ll have easy access to the device’s control panel wherever you go.
There are several additional accessories for that Caire FreeStyle Comfort that can be purchased separately including the 16-cell lithium-ion battery and the external battery charger. The battery is the same as the one that comes with the machine but it offers twice the battery life. And the external battery charger allows you to charge one battery independently from the FreeStyle Comfort.
Easy to Use On-the-Go
There’s very little use in having a lightweight portable oxygen concentrator if it’s complicated and difficult to use. There’s nothing worse than being away from the home on vacation or doing errands and running into an issue with your oxygen device. This means you’ll have to drop whatever you’re doing and run home to try and fix the issue.
Luckily, the Caire FreeStyle Comfort was specifically designed to be easy to use and reliable. Even compared to other pulse dose portable oxygen concentrators like the Inogen One G5 and the Inogen One G4, the FreeStyle Comfort takes the cake when it comes to simplicity. There are only three buttons on the top of the unit: one to turn the power on or off and two to change the flow rate up or down. That’s it! There are no other complicated functions you need to learn about.
Cleaning the particle filters is also very easy to do with the Caire FreeStyle Comfort. There are two of them located on either side of the unit and all you need to do is pop them off, wash and dry them, then replace them as soon as you’re done. The battery is attached to the bottom of the unit and all you’ll need to do is press the blue tab on the side to get it off. Remember that you’ll need to have the battery attached to the concentrator in order to charge it.
“Telemedicine” is a pretty new concept in the grand scheme of things, but it’s quickly changing the way that we see healthcare. Essentially what this implies is that medical professionals are able to provide medical services over long distances, rather than patients having to schedule an appointment and visit their office. One example of this would be a doctor and his/her patient discussing symptoms over the phone or through a video call.
Believe it or not, the Caire FreeStyle Comfort is one of the first portable oxygen concentrators to benefit from telehealth technology. A program called CaireVIEW comes equipped with every device that can be synced with your computer, phone, or tablet. It will upload data about your oxygen usage and can even send it off to your doctor or oxygen provider so they can provide you feedback. Don’t worry though, this is all done over a secure network so it won’t share any personal information.
CaireVIEW offers a lot of additional freedom and peace of mind to oxygen users. Rather than going about your day not knowing where your oxygen needs are being met, this program will track all of your usage so that you can know exactly what to fix if something is wrong. At the end of the day, this means you can focus more on enjoying your life and achieving your full potential rather than your health needs.
Approved by the FAA
Traveling has always been difficult as a respiratory patient. If you needed 24/7 oxygen, you were just about out of luck if you wanted to travel outside of the country or even long distances within the country. This is mainly due to the fact that oxygen tanks are strictly prohibited on all commercial aircraft. So, you were often limited to driving which is not always practical.
Portable oxygen concentrators like the Caire FreeStyle Comfort, on the other hand, are approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for use on commercial flights as long as you have access to 1.5 times the duration of the flight in battery life. This is to account for departure or arrival delays.
Make sure that you speak directly to your airline 48 hours prior to your flight to let them know you’re bringing oxygen, and it doesn’t hurt to remind them before you get on the plane as well so that there are no complications. The Caire FreeStyle Comfort is so small that you’ll be able to store it under a seat and walk through aisles on the plane without bumping into anyone and disturbing them.
There’s no understating the amount of freedom this provides oxygen patients. In the past, it was unimaginable that oxygen users would be able to travel out of the country. Taking a cruise was possible, but this is not a practical solution, and it’s a very expensive way to travel. Being able to fly with oxygen means that COPD patients have al the same freedoms as anyone else. Just make sure you have a charging adapter and you’ll be able to charge your Caire FreeStyle Comfort anywhere in the world!
Little Maintenance Required
Oxygen devices are like a car in that, if they ever stop working, you really have no choice but to fix them if you want to get on with your life. COPD patients depend on medical-grade oxygen in order to feel normal and reduce the risk of experiencing life-threatening exacerbations and hospital visits. Much like with a car, it’s a pain having an oxygen device that needs to be repaired or tuned up regularly.
The Caire FreeStyle Comfort needs very little maintenance in order to work properly. You’ll want to wash off the particle filters regularly and clean the outside of the unit, but aside from that, the only real long-term maintenance will be replacing the sieve beds. These are special filters inside the device that remove nitrogen, argon, and other gases from the air so that you can receive pure medical-grade oxygen. Typically these should be replaced after a year or two, but be sure to consult the manual and your respiratory specialist for more information.
Everyone values their freedom and independence because it means being able to do what you want when you want. If you have COPD or another chronic respiratory disease, you may already be convinced that you’ll never have the freedom you once had, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Getting rid of your bulky outdated oxygen tank should be your first priority if you feel like you’re being held back from achieving your full potential. The Caire FreeStyle Comfort is our recommendation for the best pulse dose portable oxygen concentrator because it’s lightweight, small, very easy to use, and has a high oxygen output to keep your lungs saturated no matter where you are in the world.
There are many other ways to improve your freedom as a COPD patient. For example, you can join a pulmonary rehabilitation program that’s designed to improve the endurance and strength of your lungs. A healthy diet filled with valuable vitamins and minerals is also the foundation of an active life as a COPD patient. Before making any changes to your routine, be sure to consult your doctor.