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Oxygen Therapy - Treatment, Procedure And Side Effects

Last Updated: Sep 27, 2019

What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

Oxygen therapy refers to the supplemental oxygen that is given to people who have difficulty in breathing due to the underlying conditions of oxygen levels needed. Oxygen is mandatory for every activity to be performed in your body. A reduction in the oxygen intake can lead to severe complications and if your brain is deprived of oxygen for a period, it can be fatal. Often a person can have a medical condition that restricts their oxygen intake or in some cases even if they intake; the body doesn’t absorb enough oxygen.

Individuals with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and patients having pneumonia, asthma, heart conditions and lung diseases are more susceptible to less oxygen intake and they would require assistance. The normal oxygen levels needed for your body is between 75 and 100 mm Hg. Any person whose oxygen levels fall below these measures can be a suitable candidate for oxygen therapy. Also, too much oxygen can also be harmful to your body. Your levels should not exceed 110mm Hg. Do consult with your doctor about the condition you have and accordingly chart out the session where you can receive the treatment.

What are the symptoms and signs that a person needs oxygen?

The most complete test is pulse oximetry. The typical rule is if your oxygen immersion is beneath 88%, you need oxygen. Your specialist ought to have the option to play out this test in their office, although once in a while you have to see a pulmonologist. You ought to get tried both very still and keeping in mind that moving around (generally walking), so as to figure out what the correct flow settings are for you. sometimes, you can get tried at pneumonic recovery too, so as to get a fitting proportion of your oxygen needs under effort.

Remember that shortness of breath isn't really legitimately fact with oxygen needs and you may really require different treatments also. High-recurrence chest wall oscillation (frequently with a vest, or if nothing else with a gadget like the Aerobika or acapella) is regularly demonstrated for bronchiectasis, in addition to systems like pressed together lip breathing and huff coughing.

What is the oxygen therapy process?

There are different types by which the oxygen can be channelled and delivered to you. It depends on whether you have the treatments in a medical centre or in a private place. The most common method is the nasal cannula, which consists of tubes that are fixed to your nostrils. The other methods may be the nonrebreather mask and the incubator facility for infants. There are different types of oxygen therapies used. The most common being oxygen gas treatment. Oxygen is stored in portable cylinders and tanks and used as needed.

A small portable oxygen tank can also be carried out with you. The liquid oxygen tank is the other method and is available in a more concentrated form. Both these types can be made portable. Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy is the most innovative treatment and is widely accepted globally. In these methods, people breathe in pure oxygen in pressurized chambers. These types of treatment are mostly done in sessions and can be used to treat chronic infections and in some cases injury and wounds.

Who is eligible for oxygen therapy?

Oxygen therapy is administered to people who have a low oxygen intake and who cannot get enough oxygen on their own. So anyone who has a chronic condition in their lungs is a suitable candidate for treatment. The treatment is done as early as possible once the condition is diagnosed as intake of oxygen is mandatory for all your needs and day to day activities.

Who is not eligible for oxygen therapy?

Not all persons who have a lung infection or oxygen deprivation need to take oxygen therapy. Your doctor would suggest taking these treatments when the oxygen levels in the blood fall below the permissible rates. You would be required to have a detailed consultation with your doctor about this.

Can oxygen therapy be harmful?

As a rule, supplemental oxygen is protected and powerful when utilized effectively. With every single restorative treatment, there is the potential for reactions, especially when utilized incorrectly. The American Thoracic Society alerts that there are a few unmistakable risks related to the utilization of oxygen treatment.

Some oxygen treatment reactions to observe are:

Skin Irritation and Nasal Dryness

Oxygen treatment has a drying impact on the nasal passages, it isn't phenomenal for skin breakdown and nasal dryness to happen when utilizing it.

Fire Hazard

  • Never smoke or enable anybody to smoke while oxygen is being used at home or in a car.
  • Try not to utilize oxygen close to an open warmth source, for example, a divider heater or electric stove.
  • Avoid from utilizing individual consideration items containing oil

Oxygen Toxicity

Individuals who are presented to high concentrations of oxygen for extensive stretches of time are in danger of oxygen toxicity.

Concealment of Breathing

In the event that you experience oxygen therapy side effects, for example, oxygen lethality or suppression of breathing, contact help right away.

What should you do after oxygen therapy?

The guidelines can depend on your condition and the type of oxygen intake mechanism you use. You have to ensure that the oxygen tanks are kept in an airy room with enough ventilation. Also, do not smoke or keep any flammable materials when the person takes an oxygen therapy. It would be mandatory to keep a fire extinguisher as a safety measure and install fire alarms in your house or premises.

How long does it take to recover from oxygen therapy?

The recovery period once again depends on the condition for which you are taking the oxygen therapy. People with breathlessness and other symptoms might have to use this only when necessary. However, people with serious ailments have to continue for an extended period. Have regular visits with your doctor and they can advise you as to when you can stop taking these treatments.

How much does an oxygen therapist charge per session in India?

In India, the treatment is done as sessions and you have to undergo the treatment only in designated medical centres. There are only a handful of hospitals that offers portable oxygen therapy at home and work. The sessions can range from INR 1500 to INR 2000 per session. A person on an average has to take about 30 to 40 sessions to reap the benefits.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

The permanency once again depends on the condition you are treated for. If you are having a chronic condition like asthma, pneumonia, lung disorders and respiratory disorders you might have to get back to the treatment after some time to increase the oxygen intake. But most of the people have reduced symptoms after undergoing oxygen therapy treatments and there are high chances that their relief is permanent.

What are the benefits of oxygen therapy?

Studies have shown an expansion in survival rates in patients who use oxygen over 15 hours per day. Individuals with serious lung sicknesses, heart failures and COPD, oxygen therapy has numerous advantages. As indicated by the American Lung Association, supplemental oxygen improves sleep, mood, mental sharpness, stamina and enables people to do typical, regular functions.

What are the risks involved in oxygen therapy?

The risks of oxygen treatment are oxygen toxicity and carbon dioxide narcosis. Pulmonary oxygen danger happens once in a while, when a partial grouping of oxygen in inspired gas (FiO2) lower than 0.6 is utilized. Subsequently, an endeavour to bring down the propelled oxygen focus to this dimension ought to be made in basically sick patients.

Carbon dioxide narcosis every so often happens when a few patients with hypercapnia are offered oxygen to breathe. Blood vessel carbon dioxide strain (PaCO2) increments forcefully and dynamically with extreme respiratory acidosis, sleepiness and coma.

What are the alternatives for oxygen therapy?

As an alternative, you can change your diet and intake foods that are rich in antioxidants. They effectively cleanse your body and clean the toxin levels accumulated. This can indirectly promote oxygen intake and you can lead a secure life. Do check with your doctor before you change your diet and the types of food you can safely have.

Key Highlights

Safety: High

Effectiveness: High

Timeliness: High

Relative Risk: Low

Side Effects: Low

Recovery Time: Medium

Price Range: RS. 1500 - Rs. 2000 per session


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Written ByDr. Ojas Potdar MBBS,DNB GENERAL SURGERYGeneral Surgery
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