If you have a condition such as chronic obstructive respiratory disease or pulmonary fibrosis, it is possible that you will eventually require supplemental oxygen therapy as a main treatment method if you do not already.
The nature of these respiratory diseases is that the conditions tend to get worse overtime due to environmental stress and your body’s natural aging process. Among the 16.4 million people who have reported that they have been diagnosed with COPD, approximately 800,000 for those people also receive long-term oxygen therapy (LTOT).
Long term oxygen therapy is an essential part of many people’s daily lives, and if you are one of the 800,000 people utilizing oxygen therapy everyday, it is important to understand all of your options when it comes to oxygen devices. Having the best device for your lifestyle will help you reach your goals so you can live a long and happy life.
In this blog we want to explain to you all of the ways portable oxygen concentrators differ from traditional oxygen therapy methods like liquid and gas tanks. This will show you how important it is for your wellbeing to own an oxygen device that motivates you to do better rather than just helping you get by.
Long Term Oxygen Therapy Benefits
No matter what type of oxygen device you own it is important to first acknowledge the benefits of long-term oxygen therapy (LTOT). LTOT has been widely acknowledged by medical professionals and respiratory specialists as a tool or treatment to increase the life expectancy in patients with severe hypoxemia.
Out of all of the treatments necessary for managing and living with respiratory conditions such as COPD, oxygen therapy is one of the treatments that can actually add years to a respiratory patient’s life. Of course taking medication, eating a healthy diet, and taking pulmonary rehabilitation courses are all great steps towards living a healthy life with a chronic respiratory disease, but LTOT is the most important on par with quitting smoking.
If you have COPD and severe resting hypoxemia where your oxygen saturation levels are less than 88% you should be prescribed LTOT for at least 15 hours daily, and your doctor will need to prescribe you oxygen at a specified flow rate.
Your flow rate will correspond to the severity of your condition in certain situations, for example while you rest or exercise, and you will need to adhere to the oxygen prescription that your doctor wrote in order to take full advantage of your oxygen therapy.
These benefits include:
- Reduced shortness of breath
- Increased energy
- Helps improve quality of sleep
- Helps to improve exercise tolerance
- Fewer complications and hospitalizations
- Increases survival
- Ability to travel by air with a portable oxygen concentrator
Owning a Portable Oxygen Concentrator
On the surface, LTOT offers respiratory patients a number of health benefits, but owning a portable oxygen concentrator (POC) gives oxygen patients benefits on a much deeper and a much more human level. Rather than just giving you the oxygen you need to survive, a POC is a tool that gives oxygen patients the ability and confidence to reach their goals, whether that is to start walking more or traveling to see their family and everything in between.
Ability to Exercise
POCs like the Caire Freestyle Comfort and Inogen oxygen concentrators are very lightweight yet very powerful pulse flow portable oxygen concentrators. Because these devices are lightweight, it makes it easy for you to bring with you on walks, bike, ride, or to your pulmonary rehabilitation classes.
These devices also have great battery life, meaning you can stay out longer and exercise with your device without anxiety that you will run low on oxygen. The Freestyle Comfort and the Inogen one series all have the option to upgrade to a larger battery, one that lasts longer even if you have to increase your oxygen output while you are exercising.
Exercise is critical, even if it is just a walk a day, as a respiratory patient you are benefited greatly from improving your physical strength and your endurance. That being said, physical activity does not always come naturally, and finding the motivation can be difficult.
Having the right oxygen equipment that will help you to reach your goals makes it easier to find motivation to get up and do a little bit of exercise everyday. Rather than lugging around a heavy oxygen tank, a lightweight portable oxygen concentrator is the perfect accessory for the gym or a walk around the park!
Ability to Travel on an Airplane
Liquid and gas oxygen tanks are never permitted on any airplane, not in your carry on or checked baggage. Clearly this is limiting oxygen patients everywhere from experiencing the joys of vacation or traveling for their business or career.
If you have a POC you will be able to travel again with ease and comfort. Even in 2021, during the global pandemic, air travel has more risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19, but as a oxygen patient with a portable oxygen concentrator you will be able to travel again once it is safe with ease.
Click here to read Everything you Need to Know About Traveling with Oxygen Equipment in 2021
Having a chronic illness is expensive, no matter what type of insurance you have, there are a lot of costs associated with hospital and doctor visits, medical equipment, medication, therapy, exercise classes, and so much more. These costs add up over time, and the recurring payments will break the bank overtime.
Click here to read How to Budget and Afford a Portable Oxygen Concentrator
One of the most important aspects of owning a portable oxygen concentrator besides the health benefits, are the financial savings. Many people shy away at the first sight of the upfront costs associated with POCs. For example Inogen costs much more than the initiative costs of the most basic oxygen tanks, however, overtime the costs of refilling your oxygen tanks and renting oxygen while you travel will greatly outweigh the upfront cost of a portable oxygen concentrator.
Every Time you have to get your tank refilled with oxygen, you have to spend valuable time and money. With a POC, all you have to do is remember to recharge the battery, and you will have oxygen everywhere you go for free!
With a POC you are never wasting oxygen, even if you forget to turn off your device when you aren't using it. There are plenty of times where your oxygen tank will continue to emit oxygen even when it doesn't need to, and every time this happens you are wasting money.
Peace of Mind You Will Never Run Low on Oxygen
Beyond the health benefits and the financial savings, you are also giving yourself peace of mind when you have your own portable oxygen concentrators.
Devices like the SeQual Eclipse 5 are known for their durability and reliability. The SeQual Eclipse 5 was actually designed for the U.S. military, and it is one of the most popular continuous flow oxygen devices today.
When you purchase a new POC from LPT Medical, you will get a 3 year warranty, and even if you decide to buy a used device, you will still get a warranty! The warranty protects you from spending too much money on the rare malfunctions and other issues that may arise. This peace of mind alone gives you the freedom to enjoy life to the fullest and take advantage of all of the benefits oxygen therapy can provide you
Battery Life that Lasts
Battery life is one of the most important aspects of owning a portable oxygen concentrator, it is essential that you are looking into the battery life of the device you are interested in before you buy one.
If you need a high oxygen output, understand that the battery life will be affected by this, and it is probably a good idea for you to purchase a bigger battery for your device. For example, inogen systems all come with an inogen 8-cell battery but for an additional yet reasonable cost you can get the bigger Inogen 16-cell battery that will last longer.
Having two batteries and an external battery charger is the best option for oxygen patients who travel a lot, or simply enjoy being on the go for long periods of time. With the external charger, you can charge one battery while using the other, and switching your batteries is very easy.
Talk with your respiratory specialist about the battery life of all of the devices you are interested in, and also ask them about buying a larger battery if you are interested in going longer periods of time with your oxygen device.
Getting a bigger battery is not essential, remember that you can use your oxygen device while you are charging it, so if you like to rest in the middle of the day, this is a perfect opportunity to plug on your POC. Also device like the Caire Freestyle Comfort come equipped with UltraSense Breath Detection Technology, which is a breath detection feature that makes this oxygen unit one of the most efficient and effective on the market. Rather than providing you with a constant stream of oxygen, the Freestyle Comfort delivers oxygen only when a breath is detected. This “bolus” of oxygen is precisely synced with your breathing ensuring no oxygen is wasted.
This technology is perfect for while you rest in the middle of the day, because your oxygen device will not keep you up or wake you from a nap, it simply give you the oxygen you need and nothing more.
The benefits of long term oxygen therapy are undeniable, and the lifestyle improvements you gain from owning a POC compared to alternative oxygen devices are also very evident.
If you are still curious about the differences between owning a POC compared to an oxygen tank please take the time to read some of the blogs on our respiratory resource page, or simply call 1(800)-946-1201 to speak with a respiratory specialist.