Lungs do a fantastic job of getting oxygen into the body. It is only when lung disease or severe illness occurs that extra oxygen may be needed.
Oxygen is a drug and as such it has to be prescribed correctly. There are strict rules as to when oxygen can be prescribed for long term use. This is because there are some instances where extra oxygen can be bad for you.
Oxygen is often prescribed whilst in hospital for short term use when a patient is severely (acutely) unwell. This does not always mean that oxygen will be needed when the patient goes home. On some occasions oxygen may be needed at home when the patient is initially discharged in order to ensure that they are comfortable, however, as they get better they may no longer require oxygen.
Being breathless does not always mean that you need extra oxygen. Additional oxygen is prescribed when the levels of oxygen in your blood are low. It is common for people with lung conditions to feel more anxious about their breathing. This increased anxiety can sometimes cause you to feel more breathless but this does not always mean that the level of oxygen in your blood is low.
The following information will guide you through the oxygen assessment process and the types of oxygen delivery systems available.