Complete Guide to Oxygen Therapy

Oxygen Therapy Benefits, Safety Tips, and More

If you've been prescribed supplemental oxygen, you're probably wondering about how to safely use it and more importantly, how it will benefit you as a COPD patient. The following complete guide to oxygen therapy details everything you've ever wanted to know about oxygen, but were afraid to ask:

Facts About Oxygen Therapy

Oxygen Therapy
Science Photo Library/Getty Images

The air we breathe contains about 21% oxygen. For people with healthy lungs, this is generally sufficient. But for people with COPD and other chronic health conditions, it's sometimes not enough. That's where supplemental oxygen comes in. Get the facts about oxygen therapy and find out how you should use it.

Benefits of Oxygen Therapy

Oxygen Therapy
Photodisc/Getty Images

Studies suggest that there are a number of barriers to using supplemental oxygen for some patients. Whether it be people are self-conscious about using it or they don't understand its perceived benefit, reasons for non-adherence to oxygen therapy are many. If you, or someone you know, find it challenging to use oxygen as prescribed, take a look at the many benefits of oxygen therapy and you may just change your mind.

Oxygen Safety Tips

No Smoking Sign

Is it okay to smoke around oxygen? What about using your electric razor? Questions regarding oxygen safety generally abound when someone is prescribed supplemental oxygen. Find out the answers to these questions and more in the following guide to oxygen safety.

Oxygen Emergency Tips

Wildfire Smoke
Steve McNew/Getty Images

Whether it be thunder and lightning or extreme heat and drought, severe weather always seems to increase the risk of power outages. And while most people wouldn't bat an eye during a power outage, people dependent upon electricity for supplemental oxygen have reason to take them a bit more serious. Discover how to create an emergency response plan in the event your power goes out.

Which Oxygen Supplies Will Medicare Pay For?

Insurance Forms
Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

Medicare will generally pay for some in-home supplemental oxygen supplies if you meet certain criteria. What requirements must you meet? The primary requirement is that you have a breathing condition that will improve by using supplemental oxygen. Check out what the other requirements are in this comprehensive guide to medical oxygen and Medicare.

Traveling With Oxygen By Airplane

Airplane Travel and COPD

Traveling with oxygen by airplane has never been easier, thanks to the United States Department of Transportation. It's true that now, you can carry your own oxygen concentrator aboard all U.S. domestic flights and international flights beginning or ending in the United States, but they must be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. Learn which concentrators are approved and what other steps you need to take when traveling with oxygen by airplane.

Does Mouth Breathing Affect Oxygen Saturation Levels?

Pulse Oximetry
David Becker/Getty Images

The most common method of oxygen delivery is through the nasal cannula. But if you're a mouth-breather, will administering oxygen through a nasal cannula still be effective? Learn more about the impact of mouth breathing on oxygen saturation levels.

Oxy-View Oxygen Therapy Glasses

Susie Lawson

Do you dislike wearing a traditional nasal cannula? Are you looking for an oxygen delivery system that doesn't draw too much attention? If you've answered yes to any one of these questions, then Oxy-view oxygen therapy glasses may be for you. Unlike a traditional nasal cannula, Oxy-view delivers oxygen effectively, in a manner that is barely noticeable. To find out more about Oxy-view, read the following full review.

Transtracheal Oxygen Therapy

Transtracheal Oxygen Therapy
Image courtesy of Transtracheal Systems

Transtracheal oxygen therapy (TTOT) is a method of administering oxygen directly into the trachea by way of a small, plastic catheter. TTOT is intended for delivery of oxygen of up to 6 liters per minute and is primarily used as an alternative treatment for only a select group of patients. Find out if you're a candidate for TTOT.

Was this page helpful?
Article Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Stoller JK, Panos RJ, Krachman S, Doherty DE, Make B; Long-term Oxygen Treatment Trial Research Group. Oxygen therapy for patients with COPD: current evidence and the long-term oxygen treatment trialChest. 2010;138(1):179–187. doi:10.1378/chest.09-2555

  2. Gupta S, Jani CB. Oxygen cylinders: "life" or "death"?Afr Health Sci. 2009;9(1):57–60. PMID: 20842245

  3. Earnest MA. Explaining adherence to supplemental oxygen therapy: the patient's perspectiveJ Gen Intern Med. 2002;17(10):749–755. doi:10.1046/j.1525-1497.2002.20218.x

  4. Lindford AJ, Tehrani H, Sassoon EM, O'Neill TJ. Home oxygen therapy and cigarette smoking: a dangerous practiceAnn Burns Fire Disasters. 2006;19(2):99–100. PMID: 21991033

  5. Molinari NA, Chen B, Krishna N, Morris T. Who's at Risk When the Power Goes Out? The At-home Electricity-Dependent Population in the United States, 2012J Public Health Manag Pract. 2017;23(2):152–159. doi:10.1097/PHH.0000000000000345

  6. Lacasse Y, Bernard S, Maltais F. Eligibility for home oxygen programs and funding across CanadaCan Respir J. 2015;22(6):324–330. doi:10.1155/2015/280604

  7. Federal Aviation Administration. Acceptance Criteria for Portable Oxygen Concentrators. FAA. Published October 11, 2019.

  8. Singh V, Gupta P, Khatana S, Bhagol A. Supplemental oxygen therapy: Important considerations in oral and maxillofacial surgeryNatl J Maxillofac Surg. 2011;2(1):10–14. doi:10.4103/0975-5950.85846

  9. Herman JG. New oxygen delivery systems. Gaining patient compliance. Respir Manage. 1987;17(3):30-9, 64. PMID: 10281967

  10. Siddiqui FM, Campbell S, Ie S, Biscardi F, Rubio E. Three decades of transtracheal oxygen therapy: A review of the associated complications with an illustrative case presentationLung India. 2017;34(5):448–451. doi:10.4103/lungindia.lungindia_33_17