Is COPD Oxygen Therapy Right For You?


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder makes it harder to breathe, and it makes daily tasks and movements much more difficult. If you suffer from COPD, it may be time to ask your doctor about COPD oxygen therapy.

Common Causes Of COPD

One way COPD occurs is the tiny air sacs in the lungs become severely damaged, significantly limiting the amount of air patients’ lungs can process. COPD can also be caused by inflamed airways, and this is exacerbated by increased mucus buildup in the airways.


Oxygen therapy or COPD patients generally helps to ease patients’ breathing and improves COPD patients’ quality of life.

How Does Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Oxygen Therapy Work?

The goal of oxygen therapy for COPD is to get more oxygen to the lungs, which is accomplished in several ways:


A device which includes two smaller tubes is connected to an oxygen tank and inserted into the nostrils. This is one of the most common forms of oxygen therapy.


For patients who need significantly more oxygen than tubes or have issues with nasal tubes, a face mask that covers both the nose and the mouth is connected to an oxygen tank, and oxygen is administered through this mask.


For severe cases of COPD, transtracheal therapy is performed where surgeons create an airway in the trachea and insert a tube that pumps oxygen into the airway.

Benefits of Oxygen Therapy For COPD

Many COPD patients report improved quality of life after COPD oxygen therapy. They feel more able to enjoy the things they enjoyed before struggling with COPD and report significantly less shortness of breath after undergoing therapy.


Some of the other benefits include:

More Energy:

Improved breathing and oxygen consumption can radically improve energy levels as low oxygen efficiency can lead to feelings of lethargy.

Better Focus:

The brain consumes around 20% of the body’s oxygen supply, and oxygen therapy for COPD improves the body’s oxygen efficiency. This in turn helps the brain improve oxygen consumption which may lead to improved levels of focus.

Improved Mood

Oxygen therapy can improve the overall mood of COPD patients.

Possible Side Effects Of Oxygen Therapy In COPD

The biggest risk involving oxygen therapy is the risk of a fire. If you’ve been prescribed oxygen therapy at home, here are some ways to best mitigate the risk of fire:


  1. Keep your oxygen tank at least 5 feet away from open flame
  2. Don’t smoke while undergoing oxygen therapy and don’t stand near smokers
  3. Try not to bring your oxygen tank into confined spaces, as confined spaces make it much harder to escape should an emergency arise


Other side effects of oxygen therapy in COPD include: 


  • Skin irritation around the face mask or nose (if using oxygen tubes)
  • Itchy and dry nose
  • Occasional nosebleeds (these normally occur due to excessive dryness inside the nose)


Some of these side effects can be mitigated by adjusting the oxygen levels, but that should be done by your doctor. Do not attempt to adjust your oxygen levels without your doctor’s supervision.

Tests To Confirm COPD Oxygen Therapy Needs

Doctors will run a variety of tests to determine if chronic obstructive pulmonary disease oxygen therapy is right for you. Some of those tests include:


Arterial Blood Gas Test: Much like a standard blood test, the arterial blood gas test is processed in a lab in order to determine your blood oxygen levels.


Oximetry Test: An oximetry test determines your blood oxygen level by a special device which shines a light through your skin. Red blood cells absorb this light, and so doctors can determine blood oxygen levels based on how much light passes through the skin.

Oxygen Therapy For COPD Treatment Schedule

There are varying degrees to which patients need oxygen therapy for COPD. For milder cases, patients may simply need oxygen therapy at night in order to help improve their blood oxygen level when they sleep.


However, more severe cases of COPD may necessitate 24-hour/day oxygen treatment.


Based on your blood oxygen levels and your lifestyle, your doctor will be able to help you determine the treatment option and frequency that’s right for you.

Summit Oxygen O2Treatment

Summit Oxygen offers premier oxygen therapy throughout Colorado’s most adventurous regions including Frisco, Breckenridge, Keystone, Copper Mountain, and Dillon.

Ready to experience the most elevated oxygen therapy out there? Give us a call at 970-468-0142 today!