Oxygen Therapy and Daily Activities

Woman using an Inogen TAV® Tidal Assist Ventilator with a portable, refillable oxygen tankBeginning oxygen therapy can be a bit intimidating before you know how to incorporate your oxygen treatments into your daily life. However, it is possible to work oxygen therapy into your daily activities, particularly if you use a portable oxygen concentrator. Here are some ways in which oxygen therapy can actually improve your ability to participate in daily activities, as well as ways in which a portable oxygen concentrator can help you live a fuller, more active life.

Oxygen Therapy’s Impact on Daily Activities

Oxygen therapy will have an impact on your day-to-day life and your daily activities, though that impact can vary depending on the kind of oxygen delivery system you use. When we surveyed 326 oxygen therapy users and asked, “How much has oxygen therapy affected your day-to-day life and activities,” only 17.2% of those surveyed said that oxygen therapy has not affected their day-to-day activities. Thirty-five point six percent of survey participants said oxygen therapy somewhat affected their day-to-day activities, while 40.8% said it greatly affected their day-to-day activities. The effect oxygen therapy has on some people’s lives may be a result of necessary adjustments, particularly for people using an oxygen tank for their oxygen therapy. However, other people may find that oxygen therapy affects their daily activities by giving them the oxygen they need and, therefore, the energy they need to participate in those activities again. Moreover, people using a portable oxygen concentrator for daily activities often find that the ease of being able to easily bring their oxygen with them anywhere they go means that many activities become less of a worry or a burden, which can have a positive effect as well.

In fact, in our survey, we asked whether participants were able to resume normal activities after beginning oxygen therapy, and 63.8% said yes. This shows us that, for many people, oxygen therapy allowed them to participate more normally in activities that may have become too taxing before oxygen therapy. Sixty-two point five percent of survey participants told us that they were able to be active, and some were even extremely active, after beginning oxygen therapy. Since daily activities require being at least somewhat active, this tells us that beginning oxygen therapy can often improve a patient’s ability to participate in daily life. 

How Oxygen Therapy Can Improve Daily Activities

For some patients, life before oxygen therapy is quite limited. They may find themselves becoming short of breath multiple times throughout the day, even while doing regular activities like grocery shopping or watching television. For other patients, low oxygen levels leave them feeling weak and tired, making day-to-day activities too taxing or difficult. Oxygen therapy helps these patients by reducing shortness of breath and helping improve oxygen levels so that patients have more stamina and feel less exhausted over the course of the day. Oxygen therapy can even improve patients’ participation in certain activities because they no longer struggle to breathe or run out of energy as quickly. 

After beginning oxygen therapy, patients may find that their improved oxygen levels and reduction in breathlessness offers a number of different benefits. Many patients find that they sleep better, experience improved moods and have improved stamina for a number of different daily activities like getting dressed, tidying the house, cooking or even going for a walk.

Comparing Ease of Use: Oxygen Tanks vs. Portable Oxygen Concentrators

For patients using oxygen tanks, figuring out how to carry cumbersome tanks around with them can be tough. Oxygen tanks are large, heavy and awkward to carry, which may make people using them hesitant to go out and about. Oxygen tanks are also limited in the amount of oxygen they can hold. Because they only contain a finite amount of oxygen, patients have to keep careful track of how much oxygen they use and how much remains, particularly when they are out of the house. Once the oxygen in the tank runs out, the tank must be refilled or replaced, creating one more thing the patient must manage. Last, but certainly not least, oxygen tanks provide a continuous flow of oxygen, which means there is a higher risk of creating oxygen-enriched air. This makes fire more likely to ignite, creating a possible fire risk. People using oxygen tanks must be extremely aware of heat sources and open flames because of the potential fire hazards related to oxygen use.  

For portable oxygen concentrator users, each of these worries is significantly reduced. Portable oxygen concentrators are small, lightweight and easy to carry, often weighing less than 5 pounds, which makes bringing them with you as easy as carrying a small bag. Additionally, because portable oxygen concentrators pull from the surrounding air, purifying it and concentrating the oxygen for medical use, they are capable of providing an endless supply of oxygen as long as they have power, no refills needed. Portable oxygen concentrator users are free to stay out of the house for the life of the battery, and can extend that time by plugging in to any AC or DC power source. Finally, Inogen’s portable oxygen concentrators use pulse dose technology, so they only provide oxygen as needed with your breath. That means the device is not producing excess oxygen, which minimizes the risk of an oxygen-rich environment and lowers the risk of fire. Users should still be careful around heat sources and open flames, but the concern of flammability is lower with a portable oxygen concentrator than with an oxygen tank. When it comes to ease of use, portable oxygen concentrators have a clear advantage in size, weight, consistency and safety, which makes using them during your daily activities significantly easier and more pleasant. 

Portable Oxygen Concentrators Maximize Benefits

There are significant benefits to using a portable oxygen concentrator over an oxygen tank when it comes to ease of use, but those benefits extend to the advantages that come with oxygen therapy overall. In fact, when we surveyed oxygen therapy users, we asked them to describe life on oxygen in a single word. By and large, the words provided by portable oxygen concentrator users were much more positive than the words used by oxygen tank users, and they spoke to the benefits that come with using a portable oxygen concentrator. For example, 8.6% of those surveyed used the word “freedom” when describing life on oxygen therapy with a portable oxygen concentrator. Portable oxygen concentrator users also used words like “easier,” “mobile” and “better.” Oxygen tank users, on the other hand, used words like “restricted,” “limited” and “hard.” While oxygen therapy offers benefits for many people, regardless of the delivery system, it seems quite clear that portable oxygen concentrators allow patients to do more with more ease and less worry. 

Portable oxygen concentrators come with the unique benefit of allowing oxygen therapy users to maintain their mobility, freedom and independence. Exercise is easier, leaving the house is easier and even traveling is easier with a portable oxygen concentrator. Moreover, portable oxygen concentrators are significantly less conspicuous than an oxygen tank, allowing users to feel more comfortable using their oxygen supplies outside of the home. 

Inogen Makes Daily Activities on Oxygen Therapy as Easy as Possible

Inogen’s first oxygen concentrator was created by three students to help improve the life of a beloved grandmother, Mae. When it was presented to her in 2004, she said it was “better than anything I could have ever hoped for.” Inogen continues that commitment to improving the lives of those on oxygen therapy, which means making participating in daily activities as easy as possible, too. Our portable oxygen concentrators offer a variety of benefits to fit your life and your needs. Whether you prefer the smallest portable oxygen concentrator available at just 2.8 pounds, or want the incredibly long battery life of our latest model, we have the right portable oxygen concentrator for you. 

Your oxygen therapy should not hold you back from living a full and active life. Learn how Inogen’s oxygen therapy products can help you continue to take part in your daily activities as usual, and possibly even help you do more! We want to help you get back to the life you love. Enjoy an active social life, exercise more or keep up with your loved ones. Whatever your goal with oxygen therapy, contact us today to get more information about how we can help you breathe better and improve your freedom, mobility and independence with oxygen. anytime. Anywhere.®



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