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.
  • Tips for Quitting Smoking

    It's true that quitting smoking is the best thing you can do for yourself, no matter how you old you are, or whether or not you have already been diagnosed with chronic bronchitis or emphysema, the two diseases that are classified under the term Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD. If you've been smoking for years or even decades, if you quit smoking, you will see a quick change in your breathing and in how well you feel overall.

    If you have been diagnosed with COPD, one of the first things your doctor will tell you is you need to quit smoking if you haven't already. Some people might feel that since they've been smoking for so long, quitting smoking won't have make any difference. They might need to use oxygen therapy every day, but once they are done using their oxygen concentrator, they light up another cigarette. The notion that quitting smoking will not have any effect on their current condition isn't true. Even after diagnosis, quitting smoking will slow and even stop the progression of the disease.

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  • Things That Oxygen Therapy Can Help

    You breathe without thinking about it, but this is a bodily function that is extremely important. When you take a breath, the tiny alveoli in inside your lungs absorb the oxygen. When you exhale, carbon dioxide is breathed out. Tiny blood vessels then absorb the oxygen from the alveoli so it can be distributed throughout the rest of your body. Every bit of your body needs oxygen to live and function properly.

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  • Using Oxygen Concentrators at High Altitudes

    The higher you go above sea level, the thinner the air gets and less oxygen is available for you to breathe. Mountain climbers know this, and will take oxygen equipment with them when they are climbing to altitudes near 10,000 feet, which is where the lack of oxygen starts to get dangerous. When we aren't getting enough oxygen, especially when our bodies are being pushed to the limit (like during mountain or rock climbing), we can become very ill.

    Fish need a certain amount of oxygen in the water to breathe. In a fish tank, they depend on the air pump to bring in the oxygen, since they are living in a small space and not the open water. If the air pump breaks, the amount of oxygen in the tank depletes quickly, and the fish will become sick and die. When you are climbing higher and higher up a mountain, the level of oxygen around you is decreasing, and you are like the fish losing oxygen. Unless you do something to make up for that lack of this life-giving gas, you could be in trouble.

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  • March is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Month – How Oxygen Therapy Can Help

    Having Chronic Fatigue syndrome means being excessively tired for more than 6 months at a time, and having to deal with pain such as joint pains and headaches. Imagine not being able to get through a whole day of work or school because you simple can't keep your eyes open, not matter how much sleep you get each night. It's like having a severe case of the flu that never ends, or never getting any sleep for two or three nights in a row.

    If you have been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, you don't have to imagine this, but you are looking for a way to get through a regular day. Besides the medications that you might have to take, you can most likely benefit from one hour of oxygen therapy each day. Talk to your doctor to see if he or she thinks you should give oxygen therapy a try.

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  • All About Spring Allergies and Ways to Prevent Them

    With spring on its way and cold and flu season on its way out, you might still have plenty to deal with in preventing breathing problems. The Food and Drug Administration estimates that 36 million people in the United States suffer with hay fever – AKA allergic rhinitis – which can put a major damper on the onset of nice weather. We might be looking forward to more sun and the blooming of the trees and flowers, but must we suffer along with it?

    If you have COPD or another chronic lung condition, allergy season can actually be dangerous for you if you them. The symptoms of allergies can send you into an exacerbation, caused by drainage from your sinuses down into your lungs. Extra mucus and inflammation occurs, and your doctor may find it necessary to increase the dosage on your medication or prescribed oxygen.

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  • How Oxygen Can Repair Brain Damage

    We already know how important oxygen is to your whole body, but just how important is it? It's a fact that your brain only accounts for 3% of your body mass, but it uses about 20% of the oxygen you bring through your bloodstream. It needs to be able to do many things, so naturally, it needs plenty of oxygen. It's very appropriate to call oxygen “brain fuel”.

    When you are focusing on something, such as work or activities like reading or driving, your brain uses even more oxygen at one time. It makes you want to breathe much deeper – maybe it will help you figure out your budget for the coming month?

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  • Healthy Ways to Make Your House Smell Good Without Pollutants

    Maybe you've just gone to the store for something to freshen up the air in your home. Keeping windows closed over the winter can make a house start to smell a little musty or stale, so naturally you want to make it smell better for guests, as well as your own pleasure.

    You may have picked up some scented candles, which are perfectly safe as long as you keep them away from flammable materials, right? Unfortunately, most candles aren't as safe as you think. Scented sprays contain chemicals that can irritate your lungs and even cause exacerbations in people with COPD or other chronic lung diseases.

    People who do not have chronic lung diseases shouldn't be breathing the things in most home air fresheners, and they aren't good for the environment in general. Luckily, there are other things you can use as healthy alternatives to common home air fresheners.

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  • Things to Start During National Heart Month

    February is National Heart Month, and as you know, whatever happens to your lungs has a long term and short term effect on your ticker. All of the systems in your body work together (the endocrine system, immune system, nervous system, etc.) and all depend on each other to keep your body working and balanced, but your heart depends on your lungs to bring in the oxygen – a very important job. If your lungs aren't doing their job, everything else starts to suffer very quickly.

    During National Heart Month, the American Heart Association works to raise awareness about heart disease, which is the number one killer of women. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it's the leading cause of death or all types of cancer.

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  • Why Your Beauty Routine Might be Hurting Your Lungs

    You want to look good, of course. When you're happy with your appearance, it can boost your mood and make you feel good in general. As we know, things that seem good sometimes have hidden dangers and pit falls. Sometimes these problems don't outweigh the good effects, and it's just a matter of how much we want to subject ourselves to.

    If you have sensitive lungs, allergies or a chronic lung disease, however, there are a few things that you probably wouldn't want to use at all. If you still want to use them, there are some things you can do to limit your exposure, and some alternatives to your favorite products.

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  • Why Does My Doctor Say I Need Oxygen Therapy?

    Like any other prescription from your doctor, oxygen has been deemed necessary and is considered a medicine that you need to be taking to keep your body healthy. Your doctor has found out that the oxygen levels in your blood are much lower than they should be, either when you are at rest or moving and doing things.

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