The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that one-third of Australians suffer from at least one form of respiratory condition. And among the estimated 7.4 million patient population, 4.7 million have allergic rhinitis, 2.7 million have asthma, 2 million have chronic sinusitis, and over 600,000 have COPD. According to reports from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, a chronic respiratory condition like COPD is the fifth leading cause of death in Australia. Meanwhile, people with COPD and other cardiopulmonary conditions may require additional oxygen support for a better quality of life. Their low blood oxygen levels benefit from medical oxygen therapy as they feel more energetic and carry on with their everyday lives at home and work.
So patients must have an oxygen prescription from their assigned healthcare professional to ensure proper usage. A variation in oxygen consumption could have an adverse effect on the body, while an adequate amount provides the maximum benefit. As such, home oxygen users must keep these points in mind:
1. Oxygen Therapy Helps With Lung Conditions
Patients suffering from certain lung conditions are deprived of oxygen in their bloodstream. It affects their cognition, memory, energy and strength. Moreover, low oxygen over a long period can significantly damage the vital organs. As such, doctors order blood tests to determine the need for oxygen therapy. Those with consistent or chronic low blood oxygen might benefit from home oxygen therapy to supply ample oxygen to their vital organs, and it can significantly increase their quality of life.
2. Undergo Regular Medical Checks and Reviews
Patients must check with a respiratory specialist regarding their oxygen prescription at least once a year, even if they do not experience any adverse symptoms. And if they find any changes in their breathing or bodily function, they must make an appointment with their doctor to determine any modifications that might be necessary for the oxygen therapy. As such, they must not adjust the oxygen levels by themselves.
3. Oxygen May Not Be a Cure for Breathlessness
People experience breathlessness for numerous reasons. While home oxygen therapy and supplemental oxygen can help some regain their breath, they might not help others. In such cases, medical professionals prescribe a combination of therapies to help them relieve their condition. And if the patients have any questions or concerns regarding the therapy, they must clarify them with the medical professional.
4. Oxygen Is Not an Addictive Substance
One must note that taking supplemental oxygen is not an addictive process. Doctors prescribe medical oxygen for a prescribed time during which the patients benefit from the therapy.
5. Different Types of Oxygen Equipment
Australia has a range of oxygen equipment supplies, including the oxygen concentrator that filters nitrogen out of the air and delivers pure oxygen to one’s lungs and gas cylinders with oxygen that comes in different sizes. The small cylinders are portable and light enough to carry around the house or while travelling. Some oxygen equipment also qualifies for government funding depending on the state the patient lives in. As such, those who require additional equipment choose to purchase them from a supplier. And they must consult with a medical professional to avail the support they require and purchase them accordingly.
6. Avoid Heat and Fire Around the Oxygen
While the medical oxygen is stored in a sealed cylinder, one must not place themselves or the oxygen equipment near extreme heat sources like flames, cigarettes or electrical devices that can produce sparks. Upon contact with fire, the cylinders might burst and cause severe burns or even death.
7. Travelling Requires Planning
Patients undergoing oxygen therapy must take travel insurance and consult with their doctors and experts to arrange for special requirements to travel with portable oxygen, especially on flights.