Uses for Portable Oxygen Therapy

A blue medical oxygen concentrator
AydAn Mutlu / Getty Images

There are some products that walk the thin line between medical supplies and equipment and consumer products. As portable oxygen therapy, oxygen concentrators, and even oxygen bars become more popular, we thought it would be prudent to shed some light on the subject of oxygen therapy and portable oxygen concentrators.

Some countries classify portable oxygen, or concentrated oxygen, as medical equipment. Others, like the United States, for example, classify these small consumer items as a sports supplement, or sports "product."

Important Health Disclaimer

In the United States, concentrated oxygen in a can is ruled as a sports product. It is not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any diseases. Always consult your physician before taking this type of supplement. Further warnings are issued for anyone with asthma, heart, or lung conditions. Talk to your doctor before trying this product.

How Can It Help?

So with those health warnings, there are still believed to be helpful benefits to oxygen therapy, including the consumer products that are sold on the market that contain concentrated oxygen.

The cans look like the spray bottles that suntan lotion now comes in. It's an aerosol release system that typically holds 50 or 60 "puffs", or inhalation doses, of oxygen for the user.

Recreational use oxygen is advertised as "95% Purity." Medical use oxygen, the kind that requires a prescription by a doctor in the U.S. is "99% Purity."

Since it's on the market and actively sold (and sales are growing worldwide as each month more people search the internet for it), let's take a look at the benefit claims when used safely by the appropriate audience.

Our Bodies Need Oxygen

Generally accepted reasons why we need oxygen include:

  • Oxygen metabolizes the food we eat
  • Oxygen nourishes our muscles so they can work to the best of their ability
  • Oxygen supports the brain to work at its best
  • Oxygen removes toxins, parasites, bacteria, and viruses out of our bodies
  • Oxygen strengthens the immune system
  • Oxygen is needed to build proteins and hormones that our bodies use for proper function
  • Oxygen Remove viruses, parasites, and bacteria

Not enough oxygen may cause:

  • Overall fatigue
  • Tired muscles, a lack of endurance and strength
  • Difficulty concentrating and staying focused
  • Indigestion

How Portable Oxygen Therapy Can Help

  • (1.) Sports and (2.) Fitness: In safe doses, oxygen can improve muscle endurance, muscle recovery, and muscle power. It is also said to increase energy in a natural, healthy way; for example, without any caffeine.
  • (3.) Altitude Acclimation: Oxygen levels in the air decline at higher altitudes. The effects on our bodies can include nausea, vomiting, lack of appetite, fatigue, light-headedness, rapid pulse, and a prickly feeling in our skin, especially in our extremities that mountain climbers have referred to as a "pins and needles" feeling. Taking a spray of oxygen could supplement the lack of oxygen in the air that our bodies crave at higher altitudes.
  • (4.) Elderly/Seniors: As we hit middle age, the body becomes less efficient at collecting and distributing oxygen throughout our circulatory system. The lungs and heart become weaker and therefore pump less oxygen to the other organs of our body, including the brain. So doses of oxygen therapy could improve brain function, as well as supplement the oxygen the other organs need.
  • (5.) Hangovers: In simple terms, drinking alcohol causes oxygen deficiency in the brain, and also inhibits the brain's ability to use oxygen. Oxygen bars have become popular in trendy hotels and especially gambling casinos because it enables the patrons to visit the bar for a dose of oxygen, which restores their vitality, energy, alertness, and keeps them away from spending the day in their hotel room's bed—where they are not spending money. Hangover? Just get yourself to the oxygen bar, or inhale from your own portable oxygen can. Thousands of people each year have claimed that this reverses the impacts of their hangover and gets them energized to tackle the day.
  • (6.) Concentration, (7.) Focus, and (8.) Stress: The brain controls everything else in our body. It also uses a large percentage of the oxygen our body needs to function—20%. The brain, therefore, will shut down quickly if it is not fed enough oxygen. But before total "shut down", there are things that will happen first when oxygen to the brain declines....symptoms that we all can recognize: memory loss, the inability to concentrate, poor physical dexterity, mood swings, poor judgment, and dizziness

Small cans of portable oxygen, are growing in popularity for recreational use. Oxygen concentrators used to be only available by prescription in the U.S. But since 2010, portable oxygen has been re-classified. Consult with your doctor before trying oxygen therapy, oxygen bars, and portable oxygen. Oxygen may have health benefits as a supplement, but as always, use caution.

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