From managing short- and long-term goals to exercising, eating right, and making it to doctor’s appointments, living with COPD is not easy by any means. Whether you are still working or you’ve already retired, being diagnosed with COPD means taking on a whole new set of responsibilities — some of which can be overwhelming at times.
Sometimes, it’s a good idea to take a step back and try to figure out some ways to simplify your daily routine. This will help you experience more peace of mind and provide you with some reassurance that you’re taking the steps necessary to treat your condition effectively. It can also make it much easier to cope with the mental and emotional aspects of COPD such as anxiety management.
If you’re in the market for a supplemental oxygen device such as an oxygen tank, liquid oxygen tank, or oxygen concentrator, read on, because we’re going to be taking a look at how the Caire FreeStyle Comfort, one of the most popular portable oxygen devices on the market, will simplify your life with COPD. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section below and we’ll get back to you.
What is the Caire FreeStyle Comfort?
The Caire FreeStyle Comfort is a portable oxygen concentrator. What this means is that, instead of storing oxygen like an oxygen or liquid oxygen tank would, it draws in ambient air, removing any impurities, and puts out medical-grade oxygen. This is defined as a type of controlled gas, over 90% purity, that’s used to treat respiratory illnesses. While oxygen concentrators are much safer than oxygen tanks, you will still need a prescription from your doctor in order to purchase one.
Another difference between the Caire FreeStyle Comfort and oxygen tanks is that the former is battery operated whereas the latter is not. In other words, by using an oxygen tank, you are restricted by how much oxygen can be compressed into one container — the more oxygen you need, the bigger the tank you’ll need to use. With the FreeStyle Comfort, you simply need to replace the battery.
The FreeStyle Comfort is one of the latest portable oxygen concentrators released, and objectively speaking, it’s one of the best. It has relatively little competition when it comes to its weight, size, oxygen output, and general reliability. The only comparable portable oxygen concentrator in terms of specifications is the Inogen One G5. And while this device surpasses the FreeStyle Comfort in terms of oxygen output, the battery is less powerful, which leads many people to prefer the former.
Another thing to note about the Caire FreeStyle Comfort is that it uses pulse dose technology rather than continuous flow. What this means is that it closely monitors your breathing rate and only delivers oxygen when you’re inhaling. This is what enables manufacturers to make their oxygen devices so small and yet still provide you with hours upon hours of medical-grade oxygen on one battery charge.
Continuous flow portable oxygen concentrators, on the other hand, tend to be much bulkier and they have batteries that won’t last you more than a couple of hours. This is problematic if you’re someone who wants to be able to stay out of the house for extended periods of time without having to run home and charge your device.
1.) You’ll Have a Hassle-Free Oxygen Device
Quite possibly the most common complaint about oxygen tanks is how much of a hassle they can be. Oxygen tanks need to be refilled constantly meaning you need to have an oxygen company deliver them to your home or you can drive to an oxygen company and have them refilled. This is incredibly inconvenient if you don’t live near a company that is able to refill your tanks and it can also be very expensive to pay someone to deliver your oxygen. What’s more, you’re likely going to want to have backup oxygen tanks meaning you’ll have to find a place to store them.
To counteract this issue, many oxygen patients choose to buy something called a homefill oxygen station. This is similar to an oxygen concentrator but it’s designed to refill your oxygen tanks. This can be extremely costly, though, and it requires you to know how to use it. If you’re going this route, you might as well just purchase a home oxygen concentrator and you’ll never have to worry about refilling oxygen tanks ever again. Home oxygen concentrators are also much more compact and easy to maneuver around your home than oxygen tanks are.
Alternatively, you could use the Caire FreeStyle Comfort which is one of the most hassle-free oxygen devices money can buy. When you’re at home, simply plug your FreeStyle Comfort into the wall and you’ll have access to an infinite supply of oxygen. Once you’re ready to go, simply unplug it and the device will begin to run off the powerful lithium-ion battery. There’s no need to constantly be in touch with oxygen companies because the device does all the work for you.
2.) You Can Exercise With Ease
If you have COPD, you know how important it is to maintain a consistent exercise routine. Exercise is what keeps your lungs and body strong so that you can reduce symptoms of breathlessness, fatigue, and chronic pain. But how can you exercise effectively if you’re lugging around a heavy and bulky oxygen device? Fortunately, the Caire FreeStyle Comfort weighs in at just 5 pounds and it’s small and compact enough to sling over your shoulder as you exercise. If you want, you can even use accessories like the FreeStyle Comfort backpack to spread the weight between your shoulders as you work out.
One unique feature of the FreeStyle Comfort is its ergonomic design. Unlike oxygen concentrators in the past which tend to be box-shaped, the FreeStyle Comfort has a curved design that prevents the unit from wobbling around too much as you’re walking and exercising. While this is only a minor difference, it just goes to show how far Caire has gone to make a portable oxygen concentrator that meets everyone’s needs.
3.) You Can Plan Trips More Easily
Before portable oxygen concentrators were invented there was no way for supplemental oxygen patients to take a flight. Oxygen tanks and liquid oxygen tanks are banned on all commercial airlines because they’re an explosive hazard. Instead, people who needed medical-grade oxygen were relegated to road trips. And while there’s nothing wrong with road trips, it takes a lot longer to get where you’re trying to go. And even if you were in the mood to drive somewhere, you would need to make sure you had enough backup tanks to last you the duration of the trip.
Traveling with a portable oxygen concentrator like the Caire FreeStyle Comfort, however, is incredibly simple because it’s approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for use on all commercial airlines in the United States. All you need to do is check in with your airline 48 hours before your flight and be sure to bring 1.5 times the duration of your flight in battery life. This will help to account for any potential delays during the flight. You might also consider investing in other accessories like the external battery charger so that you can charge batteries more quickly while you’re on vacation.
Unsurprisingly, using other modes of transportation also become much easier when you’re using a Caire FreeStyle Comfort. This machine comes with a DC charging cable that allows you to charge your device in any car outlet. In other words, if you’re taking a long road trip, you’ll never have to worry about stopping to charge your POC or carrying tons of extra batteries. You can even continue using your POC while it’s charging in the car.
4.) You’ll Save Money Over Time
Many people are surprised to find that portable oxygen concentrators are actually one of the most affordable options for oxygen therapy. While POCs do have a higher upfront cost, the longer you have them, the more they pay for themselves. And since the Caire FreeStyle Comfort is built to be reliable and durable, you won’t need to worry about having to send it in to get repaired or maintained. Aside from replacing the columns, there aren’t any major repairs that you will need for many years to come.
This is in stark contrast to oxygen tanks which have significant recurring costs associated with them. While you might only spend a couple of hundred dollars on a tank, you’ll need to pay to refill them on a weekly or biweekly basis which can add up really quickly. And realistically, you’ll want to have multiple tanks as a backup. On the other hand, if you want to rent tanks and have someone deliver full tanks when you run out, this can be even more expensive.
If you choose to refill your own tanks, you’ll need to purchase an oxygen refill station. These devices alone will run you several thousand dollars and they’re largely unsupported by most oxygen manufacturers so you will likely need to pay exorbitant prices to fix one if anything goes wrong. At this point, it would make a lot more sense to invest upfront in a portable oxygen concentrator rather than dealing with the recurring costs and hassle of owning oxygen tanks.
5.) You’ll be More Independent
Maintaining your independence as you get older is very important. According to Vantage Aging, independence in older adults helps them find a sense of purpose and fulfillment and even have physical benefits like improved strength, balance, and memory skills. Unfortunately, it can feel downright impossible to maintain your independence when you’re using a heavy, bulky oxygen tank. Even if you’re making every effort possible to do things on your own, you may find yourself relying on others to help you manage your oxygen tank.
One example of this is going up a flight of stairs. It would be unreasonable to expect anyone to carry oxygen concentrators up a flight of stairs by themselves because it’s dangerous and can cause you to overexert yourself. However, the Caire FreeStyle Comfort portable oxygen concentrator is very lightweight and small. What’s more, it comes with accessories that make it safer and more convenient to carry. The FreeStyle Comfort backpack which we mentioned earlier keeps the unit close to your back as you walk so that there’s no added stress on your body, even when you’re going up a flight of stairs.
6.) You’ll Experience More Restful Sleep
If your doctor has prescribed you with 24 hours of oxygen, you’re going to need to use your oxygen device while you sleep. While this may sound like a huge pain, it’s actually made very easy by pulse dose portable oxygen concentrators. Like other oxygen devices, the FreeStyle Comfort is capable of detecting even the faintest breaths. This is important because when you’re sleeping, your breathing rate changes significantly, so you want to ensure that you’re inhaling the correct amount of oxygen despite this.
The Caire FreeStyle Comfort has a built-in UltraSense® technology that ensures optimal oxygen delivery throughout the day and night. Unlike oxygen tanks which can run out while you sleep, you can keep your FreeStyle Comfort plugged into the wall outlet all night long so that you never run out of oxygen supply. Caire understands that many of their patients use oxygen 24/7 so they built this device with these people front of mind.
7.) You’ll Keep Your Symptoms in Check
Last but certainly not least, using a Caire FreeStyle Comfort will help you manage your symptoms and keep your thoughts off of your disability and instead focus them on what you’re trying to accomplish. Far too many people have trouble living in the moment with COPD. Instead of focusing on what they’re trying to accomplish, many people are overcome with regrets about the past or anxiety about the future.
Most people find that when they make the switch to a POC, they’re much less self-conscious about using an oxygen device. Some people even say they forget they’re using a medical oxygen device making them feel much more confident in their own abilities. Since the FreeStyle Comfort adjusts to your needs there aren’t too many things for you to be concerned about.
No matter what your age is or what stage of life you’re in, simplifying your lifestyle is an invaluable skill to have. If you have COPD, making the switch from an oxygen tank or liquid oxygen tank to a portable oxygen concentrator like the Caire FreeStyle Comfort can make a world of difference, especially when it comes to managing your disease effectively.
Here at LPT Medical, it’s our goal to get a portable oxygen concentrator into the hands of anyone who wants and needs one. However, it’s also important to us that you get a device that aligns with the prescription that your doctor created for you. Reach out to us either by phone or email and you’ll be connected with a respiratory specialist who can answer all of your questions and get you the best deal possible on a new, used, or refurbished portable oxygen concentrator.