Oxygen therapy increases the amount of oxygen we breathe into our lungs, which means more oxygen entering our bloodstream for delivery to our body's tissues. As we all need a certain amount of oxygen in our blood to function properly, if blood oxygen levels are low, the cells in our tissues don't behave as effectively for us to operate normally.
The goals of oxygen therapy are to:
decrease the work of breathing
improve the quality and length of life
increase blood oxygen levels
reduce the pumping work of the heart
Home oxygen therapy is administered under a doctor's order through oxygen devices designed for safe use in a home setting.
A doctor will determine if a person requires supplemental oxygen, the treatment known as oxygen therapy. The doctor will write an individualized prescription based on the blood oxygen levels while the person rests, exercises and sleeps. The person's medical condition -- along with on-going monitoring and testing -- will help the doctor determine whether oxygen therapy will be temporary or long-term.