Supplemental oxygen therapy, or simply oxygen therapy, is a treatment that has been around since the late 1800s. It was primarily used to treat the symptoms of pneumonia, but doctors were uncertain how much to administer, how long to keep patients on oxygen, and if there were any serious side-effects. It wasn’t until the late 1900s that there was a significant amount of research on the use of medical oxygen and doctors became more aware of how to use it.
Many people assume that the longer they live, the less capable they are of improving various aspects of their lives. For example, some people take for granted that you can’t learn a musical instrument as an adult. These people are often told throughout their lives by their parents or friends that if you want to learn something complex, you have to start when you’re younger. It’s also assumed that you’ll stop progressing very early on in your life.
With around 65 million patients worldwide, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is anything but uncommon. In fact, it’s one of the most prevalent lung conditions in the world behind asthma. However, despite these statistics, COPD is labeled an “invisible illness.” Many people suffer with this condition in silence, and society as a whole tends to stigmatize it by misunderstanding what its causes are and what life is like with this condition.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the diseases with the greatest financial burdens worldwide and within the United States. Studies have shown that the average annual COPD-related expenditure is around $4,147. And while 51% of these costs are covered by Medicare according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), that still leaves roughly $2,000 a year that COPD patients need to spend out-of-pocket. Combine this with the cost of aging and limited retirement funds and it’s not hard to see why COPD is such a major financial burden for so many people.