If you have COPD and use supplemental oxygen, you may be at risk for oxygen toxicity. This side effect from excess oxygen is common among COPD patients. Know more about oxygen toxicity so you can see the signs and take preventive action.
What is Oxygen Toxicity?
Oxygen toxicity, also known as oxygen poisoning, is damage to the lungs from too much supplemental oxygen. Anyone who uses oxygen tanks or an oxygen concentrator on a regular basis is susceptible to the effects of oxygen toxicity.
How is Oxygen Toxicity Related to COPD?
Because people with COPD use supplemental oxygen to treat their condition, oxygen toxicity is always a potential risk. So, it’s important for COPD patients to speak to their doctor about oxygen toxicity and better understand their own supplemental oxygen use.
What Causes Oxygen Toxicity?
Oversaturation of the lungs with pure oxygen, usually from a supplemental source is the cause of the condition. Secondly, oxygen toxicity is not limited to COPD patients. Scuba divers using oxygen can also experience oxygen toxicity. Anyone who is undergoing hyperbaric oxygen therapy or using a ventilator is also at risk.
What are the Effects and Symptoms of Oxygen Toxicity?
While using supplemental oxygen for your COPD, you can always look for these symptoms of oxygen toxicity:
- Mild throat irritation
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing even while using supplemental oxygen
- Minor muscle spasms in the face and hands
- Blurred vision
- Nausea and feelings of uneasiness
- In severe cases confusion and seizures
How to Diagnose Oxygen Toxicity
Gauging blood oxygen levels is the best way to determine oxygen toxicity. Blood oxygen levels can be measured using a pulse oximeter. This non-invasive device can be used at home to determine if your blood oxygen saturation has reached a tipping point toward oxygen toxicity. When you use supplemental oxygen regularly rely on this simple gauge to help you measure and maintain healthy oxygen levels.
How To Treat Oxygen Toxicity
Firstly, minimizing your supplemental oxygen use is the right step toward oxygen toxicity treatment. Your lungs will recover on their own if the case is mild. If symptoms persist, you should contact your doctor right away for more immediate medical attention.
Tips To Prevent Oxygen Toxicity
To prevent oxygen toxicity, take precautions with your supplemental oxygen use as a COPD patient. Talk to your doctor about the amount of oxygen you need to treat your condition, and when too much of a good thing becomes unhealthy. Proper settings on your oxygen concentrator also ensure consistency in treatment to help prevent oxygen toxicity.
Where Can I Find the Best Oxygen Concentrators for Oxygen Therapy?
You can find oxygen concentrators at any medical equipment store. You can also shop easily at home online for the latest in-home and portable oxygen concentrators from leading manufacturers. Visit The Oxygen Concentrator Supplies Shop for free shipping on orders over $99 and expert assistance buying your equipment.