When you buy an oxygen concentrator, you might be focused on the machine and how it fits your lifestyle. Frequent far-away travelers need a portable oxygen concentrator that is ideal for air travel, while those who require higher oxygen flow rates are better served by stationary oxygen concentrators that can be comfortably used at home.
Regardless of the type you end up purchasing, there are additional accessories that can make using your oxygen concentrator at home or on the go more convenient and more comfortable.
Portable oxygen concentrators operate on battery power, and often have two versions: the standard single battery and an extended double battery. Oxygen concentrators come with a single battery and power supplies to charge it. After about 300 charges, however, the battery will have to be replaced. It’s important not to wait until the battery completely loses its ability to hold a charge, as it’s what keeps the machine running, so it’s a good idea to have at least one battery to replace the one you are currently using.
If you are fairly active and often like to spend hours out of the house or traveling, it is often helpful to purchase an extended, or double, battery. These batteries double the length of time you can use the machine, allowing you to spend more time outside and less time fiddling with your machine. Double batteries are larger than standard batteries and add some weight to the unit, but portable units have become so lightweight that the added bulk of a battery may make little difference.
Carrying Cases and Carts
Portable oxygen concentrators are meant to be transported, but without a carrying case, you’re stuck holding it or setting it down on a surface. Most portable oxygen concentrators come with a carrying case or cart, but there are often other models and versions available. For those who prefer not to carry their oxygen concentrators at their side, there are carrying cases modeled like a backpack that keeps the unit secure but free up both hands. Depending on where you’re going and what you’re doing, it’s often best to have more than one carrying case or cart to suit each activity.
Most oxygen concentrators will come with a nasal cannula, but you cannot use the same pair forever. In fact, it is recommended that patients who use an oxygen concentrator more than a few hours a day change their nasal cannulas once a month and tubing at least every two to six months. Patients who use their concentrators for fewer hours each day can change the cannula every three to six months. Having extra nasal cannulas on hand saves you the hassle of purchasing them last minute, especially if you’ve been sick — bacteria or viruses can still be hiding inside, and they should be changed immediately.
Using oxygen therapy, especially in conjunction with a cannula, can sometimes lead to irritated nasal passages and in some cases, unpleasant nosebleeds. To prevent this from occurring, many oxygen users will attach a humidifier bottle to the concentrator itself. The humidifier bottle forces the oxygen to pass through water first, moistening it before you breathe it in. Humidifier bottles do not come standard with oxygen concentrators, but they are often among the least expensive accessories.
Finding the right accessories for portable oxygen concentrators can improve the experience of your therapy. When looking for accessories for an oxygen concentrator, keep in mind that the accessory must be compatible with your machine — and don’t hesitate in contact us for advice and guidance in choosing the right oxygen concentrator accessory for your lifestyle.