Oxygen is the most essential property of life, yet many people don't even have the ability to utilize oxygen properly due to chronic conditions such as Chronic Pulmonary Respiratory Disease (COPD). COPD is an illness that obstructs your airways either due to excess mucus clogging your airways, or your airways becoming swollen, or a mixture of both of these conditions.
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.
Supplemental oxygen therapy, or simply “oxygen therapy,” is the use of medical-grade oxygen to treat a variety of conditions. In hospitals, short-term oxygen therapy is used to help patients recover from surgery or acute conditions, but oxygen can also be administered for long-term in-home use in people with chronic lung diseases like COPD and cystic fibrosis.