Every cell in our bodies needs oxygen to live.
The lungs transfer oxygen into the bloodstream. Our red blood cells then carry the oxygen to the organs and tissues of our bodies. If the airways of your lungs are blocked or constricted, your lungs may not be able to pump enough oxygen-rich blood to the cells that need it. Oxygen therapy will provide your body with the oxygen it needs to remain healthy.
You may need supplemental oxygen if:
- You have decreased ability to exercise
- You have difficulty breathing
- You fatigue easily
- You have periods of disorientation
- You have memory loss
The need for supplemental oxygen is determined by measuring the amount of oxygen in your bloodstream. Your doctor will do several tests to determine whether or not the amount of oxygen in your blood (your saturation level) is at a critical level.
Some people only need supplemental oxygen when they are sleeping or exercising, others need it all the time. Your healthcare provider will determine when to wear your oxygen and at what level. It is important to wear your oxygen when and at the rate your doctor prescribes.