Your body can’t live without the oxygen you breathe in from the air. But if you have lung disease or other medical conditions, you may not get enough of it. That can leave you short of breath and cause problems with your heart, brain, and other parts of your body.
Do I Need It?
Home oxygen therapy can help with many conditions, including:
How Much Will I Need?
Your doctor will give you a prescription that spells out how much oxygen you need per minute and when you need to get it. Some people may need oxygen therapy only when they exercise or sleep. Others may need it all day long.
Your doctor will figure out how much extra oxygen you need after they check your usual levels, either with a blood test or through the skin using a device that clips to your finger, toe, or earlobe.
You can get oxygen in several ways. The best choice for you depends on how much you need, your lifestyle, and other things.
Standard oxygen concentrator. This machine has a motor and runs on electricity or sometimes batteries. It takes in regular air and filters out other gases to get the oxygen. It weighs about 50 pounds and usually has wheels so you can move about while you’re hooked up to it. If you have the plug-in kind, you’ll need a backup source of oxygen in case the power goes out.
Portable oxygen concentrator. This is a good choice for when you run errands or go to work. It weighs 3-20 pounds so you can carry it. You can plug some models into your car or run them on battery packs.