Oxygen During Activity
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Profile photo of 1ayort0

I have emphysema. 3 months ago my COPD went from taking meds to feel better to nothing was helping. I was put on oxygen at night. Still no help so 2 weeks ago I was told to use the oxygen during activities. Was given a portable but that also is not helping. Now what???

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5 comments on “Oxygen During Activity

  1. Profile photo of Highskye Highskye says:

    You don’t mention whether your doctor has recommended a Pulmonary Rehabilitation program for you. Between classroom education, helping you to learn how to manage your daily activities, dietary needs, etc. to designing and monitoring an exercise program, this can be very helpful to you. Ask your doctor to refer you to a program, if there is one available in your area. They are generally covered by insurance.

  2. Profile photo of Mendo Bruce Mendo Bruce says:

    There does not seem to be any mention of your oxygen saturation in this discussion.

    Oxygen is useful if your SpO2 drops below 90% (some say 88, some say 92) with activity.

    A COPD patient can become short of breath without a drop in saturation for many reasons (deconditioning, CO2 buildup, air-trapping, Pulmonary Hypertension or other heart problems) Oxygen won’t be much help in those cases.

    The most important tool a patient on oxygen can own is a pulse-oximeter. This is the little device that slips on your finger. My doctor recommended I titrate my oxygen flow to maintain a level between 92-94%. Talk to your doctor about this and see what they say,

    Pulse oximeters can be found as inexpensive as $17 most are pretty accurate the difference in price seems to effect their longevity rather than their accuracy. I went through several $25 models before I finally bought my $98 dollar model which has lasted 4 years and works even if I am moving. Both were very accurate but the cheaper ones seemed to break after 6-9 months (but I am very clumsy and drop them a lot)

  3. Profile photo of Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator says:

    Hi Mendo Bruce and thanks for sharing your experience with oxygen saturation and oxygen monitoring. I also agree with you on utilizing a pulse oximeter to help gauge one’s own oxygen status under the guidance of a physician.
    We’re glad to have you as part of our online community.
    All the best,
    Leon (site moderator)

  4. Profile photo of Lyn Harper, RRT Lyn Harper, RRT moderator says:

    Hi 1ayort0 –

    I’m sorry to hear your COPD has taken a turn for the worse. However, it’s not uncommon to get to the point of using oxygen (O2) as you describe.

    A few things come to mind… First, did they tell you what specific liter flow to use? Is it the same at night as it is for exercise? You may want to speak to your doctor about how much O2 you should be using for each, it may be different based on higher need when you’re active. Sometimes the doctor will suggest you come in to the office and perform what’s called a 6 minute walk. This allows the doctor to determine what your O2 needs are when exercising. It may be as simple as adjusting the flow. But, I don’t recommend you do that unless you speak to your doctor and he/she orders the appropriate amount.

    Also, if you take inhalers or a nebulizer, it might be helpful to take one just before you do any activity that makes you short of breath.

    I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you, but remember to pace yourself. Don’t try to push yourself to the point of exhaustion.

    I wish you the best!

    Lyn (site moderator)

  5. Profile photo of Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator says:

    Hi 1ayort0 and welcome.
    I see that Lynn has provided a very thorough analysis of your concerns with supplemental oxygen therapy. I certainly concur with her suggestions.
    As well, you mentioned that your medications worked for awhile but don’t seem to be helping any longer. When you return to your doctor to discuss supplemental oxygen therapy, you may want to have him/her reassess your medication regimen. The physician can probably make adjustments to your medications to provide you with a more appropriate dosing and timing schedule.
    Between the oxygen and the medication, you may be able to gain a little bit more control over your COPD.
    Please check back with us and let us know how you’re doing.
    All the best,
    Leon (site moderator)

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