Living with Oxygen

Read up on wellness and lifestyle advice for patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Stay up to date on new medications, easy-to-follow special nutrition advice, and upcoming events. We want to help you be the healthiest you possible while living with COPD.
  • Skiing and Hitting the Slopes with a Portable Oxygen Concentrator

    You shouldn't have to pass on going skiing with your friends if you need to use oxygen therapy. In fact, portable oxygen for skiers happens to be a great idea, even for those who don't have a chronic lung disease. Being at high altitudes can make it harder to breathe, and can cause what is known as "acute mountain sickness".

    If you have a chronic lung condition, you should consult your doctor before taking part in this physical activity, whether or not you use oxygen therapy. If your doctor gives you the okay, he or she might advise that you use a portable oxygen concentrator while doing so, even if you don't usually need one.

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  • Changes in Medicare Coverage and Treatments in 2016

    The last few years have seen quite a bit of change in Medicare costs, due in part to Obamacare, as well as other economic factors. It's important and necessary to keep up on changes in Medicare, if you or a loved one is receiving benefits.

    Whether these changes will benefit you or not, it's good to stay informed so that you can make the right decisions. You don't want to suddenly realize that you have to pay a lot more for your medication after the start of the new year.

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  • Portable Oxygen for Patients With Weak Bones

    If you have a bone disorder that makes your bones weak, you know that you need to be careful to not put too much stress on yourself on a daily basis. There are also many chronic diseases that can lead to bone density loss, such as diabetes, or medications that you have to take that lead to bone loss, such as steroids taken to treat lupus.

    Whether you have rheumatoid arthritis, osteopenia or celiac disease, you won't want to use a portable oxygen concentrator that is very heavy. If you need a higher oxygen dosage, you might need to use a stationary oxygen concentrator. If a lower dosage is what you need (4 LPM or less) you can still use a fairly lightweight portable oxygen concentrator.

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  • Tips for Bathing While Using an Oxygen Concentrator

    If you need to use your oxygen concentrator for many hours each day, you might find that you'll need to be able to take a shower or bathe yourself while using it. Even though your oxygen concentrator cannot get wet or be around a lot of moisture in the air, you can still enjoy a nice shower or bath while getting your oxygen therapy.

    Here are some tips for taking a shower safely while using your oxygen concentrator, as well as somethings you will need to have in your bathroom to make it much easier.

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  • Staying Safe in the Summer Heat with Respiratory Problems

    Summer can be a wonderful time of year, with family barbeques and outdoor fun, but it can also be dangerous if you have a chronic lung disease, like COPD or asthma. Just like the extreme cold can trigger an exacerbation of your lung disease, so can extreme heat and humidity during the warm months of the year.

    If you know what triggers a flare-up for you, you know what to watch out for, and what to do if you start to have trouble breathing. You don't need to let them ruin your summer, though! With a few precautions, you can stay safe and still have fun doing all the things you like to do during the lovely summer months.

    Just as a reminder for the hottest days coming up, here is a list of things that are known to be dangerous for people with chronic lung diseases, and what you can do to stay safe.

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  • How Oxygen Therapy Helped People Heal

    Hyperbaric oxygen therapy isn't a well known or widely accepted form of wound care, but it might become so in the near future. The process is being perfected, and the following success stories are proof of that. These stories might sound like miracles, but the process of HBOT healing doesn't happen overnight.

    HBOT is originally invented to recompress divers and describes the process of exposing the whole body to a much higher level of oxygen in a chamber. We all need oxygen to live, as well as heal and generate new healthy cells in all parts of our bodies.

    The studies from Johns Hopkins Medicine shows that even coming in contact with purer oxygen on the outside, not just breathing it in, has huge benefits for the human body. The body has the ability to heal much faster when coming in contact with high levels of oxygen.

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  • The Monthly Costs of Portable Oxygen and How to Save

    The exact monthly cost of using portable oxygen therapy will vary, depending on what type of equipment you are using, as well as the model and brand. How much you will have to pay per month depends on your insurance company, or if any special payment arrangements have been made between you are your medical supplier.

    If you have medicare, or a medical insurance company that works in much the same way, they will cover refills, the delivery of equipment, setting up the equipment, as well as maintenance. Accessories and other necessary supplies you will need will also be covered, patient education to instruct you on operating the equipment and more. These costs cover your equipment as a rental.

    As of 2006, Medicare allows $7,215 for 36 months to cover oxygen concentrators that cost an average of $587 sale price. Every 4 months, suppliers do maintenance checks on concentrators and other oxygen therapy equipment. This is usually covered by the insurance company, and will definitely be mostly covered by medicare. If you are covered by medicare, you will still need to cover 20% of the cost.

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  • Can Oxygen Therapy Help Treat Severe Headaches?

    Here, we have a question from one of our readers about using oxygen therapy to treat migraines.

    Reader Question:

    "I get migraines once in a while. Someone I know suggested that I look into using oxygen therapy to treat them. If I buy a supplemental oxygen concentrator online, will I be able to use it to get rid of my migraines if I use it on a regular basis?"

    It's true that oxygen therapy has been known to be able to treat and prevent migraines and cluster headaches. Talk to your doctor about whether or not he or she thinks this might be a good route for you to take, since it takes a very high concentration of medical grade oxygen to effectively prevent migraines.

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  • Tips for Keeping Your Asthma and Allergies in Check

    Having asthma can be scary and dangerous when it's not kept in check, and having allergies can just be plain annoying. Having them both can cause some serious problems, and they often go hand-in-hand. Many people who have asthma can have a more difficult time during allergy season, which occurs mostly during the spring and late summer.

    The pollen count across the country has been high, and you can see when it is the highest by keeping an eye on the weather forecast. Pollen is a very unavoidable allergen. It's outside coming off of the trees and the grass, and the tiny pollen spores fly through the air. They can get on your clothes, your hair, and on your pets while they're outside.

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  • Questions Answered – Oxygen Concentrators and Your Electric Bill

    Depending on your model, how long you us it, and the setting you use for your oxygen therapy, your oxygen concentrator will use a certain amount of electricity. There are some things you might be able to do to get help paying your electric bill, since there will be some extra usage reflected on your bill, from using your oxygen concentrator.

    Even if you use your oxygen concentrator all day every day, this increase in usage cost shouldn't be outrageously high. However, since it is caused by a piece of medical machinery that is required for your well-being and survival, here are some things you can do to get help, as well as some methods to reduce your usage.

    Q: Will Medicare help pay for the electricity used by my oxygen concentrator, if they cover my oxygen concentrator and other equipment?

    A: Medicare will not help you pay for electricity used by your oxygen concentrator, even if they do cover the equipment itself, your accessories for the concentrator, as well as repairs.

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