When you are having trouble breathing at home, and you need to increase your oxygen levels, there are several ways to do it:
1. Increase Your Oxygen Flow
This step might sound obvious, but when you are experiencing shortness of breath, and your blood oxygen level is low, you might become confused or disoriented. It is important that everyone in your home, including yourself, understands how to increase the liter flow on your oxygen concentrator during an emergency.
When increasing flow, there are a few devices that you can use to achieve higher oxygen levels. Your nasal cannula is built to accept high liter flows, but you might experience discomfort and nasal dryness at and above 5 liters per minute (LPM). That being said, going up on your liter flow with your nasal cannula is the ideal first step.
However, if you need more oxygen and your nasal cannula is becoming uncomfortable, you can also use a device called a simple mask to get more oxygen. This device makes oxygen delivery more efficient because you can also breathe additional oxygen through your mouth. A simple mask can accept liter flows up to 10 LPM.
2. Breath Slowly and Deeply
When you are having trouble breathing, your body will naturally prompt you to breathe faster and shallower. Although this mechanism is meant to increase your blood oxygen levels, it hinders your ability to receive higher oxygen from a nasal cannula or simple mask. The more natural air you draw in, the more you dilute the oxygen coming from your concentrator. So if you experience shortness of breath at home, one of the best ways to increase your oxygen level is to remember to breathe slowly and deeply. If you are wearing a nasal cannula, you will want to breathe in slowly through your nose and exhale through your mouth.
3. Buy Oxygen-Enriching Indoor Plants
If you would like a more holistic approach to increase the oxygen in your home, indoor plants are an excellent way to enrich your home with natural oxygen. The Lung Institute recommends five particular plants
to achieve this: Areca Palms, Snake Plants, Money Plants, Gerbera Daisies, and Chinese Evergreens.