Living Comfortably at Home with an Oxygen Concentrator
You might not think that you need oxygen at home, but the truth is that you do. Oxygen is important for your body to function properly and can be used to help treat chronic illnesses like COPD.
Receiving a prescription for home oxygen can feel distressing. Setting up home oxygen therapy is a challenge for most people, but it can greatly improve your quality of life as you progress with COPD or pulmonary fibrosis. These tips and strategies will help make the process much easier for you.
Talk with Friends and Family Beforehand
When you go to the doctor for your first appointment, bring along family members and ask them about their thoughts on oxygen therapy. Make sure they know that it will allow you to do more things with them and discuss how this may affect your life in general. Ask for help as you learn new ways of living with home or portable oxygen therapy.
Understand the Maintenance of your Oxygen Concentrator
Many people receive an oxygen concentrator, which can deliver oxygen to your nose through a tube. It’s easy enough for the machine to reside in one discreet corner and be out of sight while still providing you with all necessary gas throughout the house. When setting up your new concentrator, don’t forget that there will also need to be some maintenance work done on occasion- such as changing filters or checking tubes!
Replace your Tubing and Cannulas on Time
Supplemental oxygen therapy comes in two parts: a long tube that connects to the tank and a nasal cannula that delivers the air into your nostrils. Ask someone from your supplier how often you should change both pieces of equipment and what signs would indicate it is time for a replacement.
Keep Extra Tubing and Cannulas Close at Hand
Never forget to keep extra oxygen tubing and cannulas within easy reach in case either item becomes damaged during use. It’s not difficult for things like vacuum cleaners or even household pets to accidentally run over a section of the tube, causing it to cut.
Have a Backup Plan for Power Outages
If your home loses electricity, your oxygen concentrator may not work. Your plan should include switching immediately to a portable oxygen tank until the power is restored and then taking care of any medical issues including calling for emergency help if needed as soon as you can so that no one will be harmed in the process. If you have the ability, some people choose to purchase a home backup generator just in case it happens again or they know someone else who needs theirs – this way everybody’s safe!
Clean the Humidifier Often
To continue to enjoy the full benefits of your oxygen concentrator and humidifier, be sure not to forget about them. Clean out both weekly with soap and water so they don’t get too dirty or overrun by bacteria!
Practice Fire Safety
Contrary to popular belief, oxygen is not flammable or explosive. However, it can cause fires to burn much more rapidly than normal if combined with an open flame such as gas ranges and cigarettes. Above all, do not allow anyone in your environment who you know to smoke because that could lead to a fire starting accident due to the increased likelihood of ignition from sparking embers on clothes and surfaces when smoking near these devices.
We’re Here to Help
At Additional Aids Mobility understands adapting to home oxygen can be challenging. Do not hesitate to reach out if you need help navigating the situation. We’re here to help you live as well as possible with lung disease.