Long Term Oxygen Therapy and COPD

COPD and oxygen, oxygen therapy

When you receive a brand new chronic lung disease diagnosis, you will suddenly become aware of the barrage of new terminology surrounding you. You might receive an informational sheet reading “COPD LTOT” and think, “What on earth is LTOT?” If you know the meaning of the terms COPD and LTOT, chances are you’re in the right place. But if you are not acquainted with these terms, you will be soon. 

If you’re familiar with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and long-term oxygen therapy, you or a loved one probably have seen major changes in your quality of life. If you are just getting to know long-term oxygen therapy, you will be seeing adjustments to your life soon. Regardless of whether you or a loved one are the one using LTOT, there is some positive information on the horizon. The good news is that advancements have been made in LTOT and the way it is administered, and these advancements have changed the way COPD and longterm oxygen therapy will affect you personally, whether you’re the recipient or a concerned loved one. If you have COPD LTOT ahead of you, stay hopeful, because although your life will change, it might be changing for the better.

The Impact of Long-Term Oxygen Therapy on COPD Patients

When it comes to COPD, LTOT is one of the top treatment options. But before you understand why, it is important to understand how COPD affects the body. COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is a long-term lung disease that makes breathing difficult because of the way the airways and lungs are damaged. Pulmonary, as you may know, refers to “lungs” (just like the term “CPR,” short for cardio-pulmonary resuscitation), and COPD impacts the pulmonary system permanently. COPD is a progressive disease, which means that it gets worse over time, and it cannot be cured.

When you have COPD, breathing can be a struggle throughout the day. You often feel tightness in your chest and like you just can’t get enough oxygen. This can lead to hypoxemia, or low blood oxygen, which can cause a variety of problems in your body. Because COPD patients’ lungs are damaged and unable to work properly, many patients experience chronic hypoxemia, which can lead to permanent damage to the organs and tissues.

COPD patients’ lungs also have difficulty releasing carbon dioxide, which comes with a different host of problems. As your disease progresses, breathing gets more difficult and symptoms— including chronic cough, fatigue, mucus changes, respiratory infections and shortness of breath—continue to get worse. Hypoxemia and carbon dioxide retention can worsen, and without adequate treatment, patients can experience life-threatening symptoms. 

That seems frightening enough; however, COPD does more than affect your lungs—it affects your life. Many COPD sufferers require longterm oxygen therapy that can seem like being sentenced to a life tied to a ball and chain. With COPD LTOT, all of a sudden, you picture your life being tethered to a tank everywhere you go. And once you require LTOT, an oxygen therapy solution for life, you know that running out of oxygen can be a constant source of fear and concern.

Has the prospect of life with COPD and LTOT ever felt like that for you? Is this the future with long-term oxygen therapy you have ahead of you?

How Long-Term Oxygen Therapy Can Benefit COPD Patients

As frustrating as LTOT may seem, you can’t go without your oxygen if your doctor has prescribed it. You will need to use your long-term oxygen therapy as your doctor has prescribed in order to minimize your symptoms and allow you to participate in your daily life. Thankfully, when it comes to COPD, LTOT has significant benefits for patients who experience chronic hypoxemia. In fact, the use of LTOT for at least 15 hours per day has been shown to improve mortality rates for COPD patients with chronic hypoxemia.[1] The benefits of long-term oxygen therapy are significant, but the changes to your life are significant, too. 

Still, wouldn’t it be great to get rid of that ball and chain while still getting the benefits of LTOT? The Inogen One Portable Oxygen Concentrator does just that.

Inogen Can Improve Your Life on Long-Term Oxygen Therapy

Inogen designed our Inogen One Portable Oxygen Concentrators to help free oxygen therapy patients from heavy and awkward traditional oxygen tanks. We were inspired by a beloved grandmother named Mae, who was prescribed oxygen therapy after her COPD diagnosis. She experienced firsthand the difficulties of switching tanks, replacing the conserver and carrying countless extra canisters to ensure her supply did not run out. After experiencing the hardships of just attempting to leave the house, Mae said, “Why isn’t there a better oxygen therapy solution?” After that, the first Inogen One was developed to make the oxygen therapy experience better for patients. Mae’s response after trying the first Inogen One in 2004? “Better than anything I could have ever hoped for.”

Our innovative Inogen One units are made to meet the challenges of living with oxygen therapy. If you are prescribed LTOT, this is especially important. The Inogen One simplifies life on oxygen, and makes getting around significantly easier. This small portable oxygen concentrator pulls from the surrounding air, purifying that air and concentrating the oxygen so that you have an endless supply of medical oxygen, as long as your Inogen One has power, requiring zero tanks. Not only are you freed from being tethered to a tank with an Inogen One Portable Oxygen Concentrator, but your freedom, independence and mobility will be vastly improved by being able to go about your life at home and on the go, without having to measure your time by the amount of oxygen left in your tank. Can you imagine what that would mean to you? 

Additionally, if a portable oxygen concentrator cannot meet your LTOT needs, Inogen offers other oxygen products to help improve your quality of life on oxygen therapy. If you require continuous flow oxygen, the Inogen At Home offers energy-efficient, quiet continuous flow oxygen in a lightweight package to give you the oxygen you need, without feeling like you have to sit next to a roaring motor. The Inogen At Home can be carried from room to room with you, so that you can enjoy the freedom of going about your daily activities while receiving oxygen therapy at home. Plus, it’s quiet enough to easily carry on a conversation or talk on the phone. Despite the fact that your Inogen At Home might be running 24/7, it uses the same amount of energy as a standard 100W light bulb, so you won’t have to take on the additional burden of a huge jump in your electrical bill. For continuous flow LTOT, the Inogen At Home can improve your life.  

Finally, for patients who require high flow oxygen, the Inogen TAV® System can improve your oxygen experience. Inogen’s Tidal Assist Ventilator was created to help adult patients with respiratory insufficiency by giving them a boost of oxygen just when they need it. The Inogen TAV System is designed to work with compatible oxygen concentrators and oxygen tanks to give users the ability to adjust their oxygen flow volume in order to enhance their ability to exercise and perform activities of daily living. With the Inogen TAV, patients have been shown to experience less breathlessness and exertion, while experiencing improved oxygen saturation and exercise endurance. Want to improve your life on oxygen? Inogen can help. 

Inogen’s oxygen concentrators and the Inogen TAV® can improve your quality of life on long-term oxygen therapy today. For patients looking at a lifetime of COPD, LTOT offers hope for better breathing and relief from symptoms. These oxygen therapy solutions are built to help you regain your freedom and independence, and improve your life on LTOT, without sacrificing mobility. Learn more now by contacting us or calling an Oxygen Specialist at 1-800-695-7915.


[1] Koczulla, Andreas Rembert, et al. “Long-Term Oxygen Therapy.” Deutsches Arzteblatt International, Deutscher Arzte Verlag, 24 Dec. 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6381774/

[2] Branson, Richard D. “Oxygen Therapy in COPD.” American Association for Respiratory Care, Respiratory Care, 1 June 2018, rc.rcjournal.com/content/63/6/734.


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