16 Benefits of Portable Oxygen Concentrators
There are numerous benefits of portable oxygen concentrators. These advantages contribute to the medical device’s continuous rise in popularity, declaring it a game-changer in the oxygen delivery industry!
If you’re still unsure if buying a portable oxygen concentrator is the best option for you, you’re in the right place. Read on to know more about the benefits of a portable oxygen concentrator.
1. POCs are Lightweight
One of the trademark benefits of portable oxygen concentrators is its lightweight feature. The weight of most portable oxygen concentrator units are very light and easy to carry around. They would quickly and discreetly fit on a large shoulder bag or backpack with their compact design!
Gone are the horrible days when you had to endure soreness and pain when carrying heavy oxygen tanks or stationary concentrators in your bag or over your shoulder. Usually, POC units weigh less than 5 pounds. This device is definitely designed with travel and mobility in mind!
You can take these medical devices anywhere — may it be in parks, picnics, or movie theaters. Many COPD patients using POC can work, participate in physical activities, and attend social gatherings or events.
Learn the lightest portable oxygen concentrators here.
2. High Oxygen Output
Both continuous dose and pulse dose options are available in portable oxygen concentrators. It pretty much means that it can provide high flow rates and levels of oxygen. This specific feature makes it as effective as home oxygen units in terms of meeting the standards for oxygen therapy.
3. Increased Survival
The most vital benefit of long term oxygen therapy using portable oxygen concentrators is that it prolongs your life, especially if you have COPD with major resting hypoxemia (low oxygen levels in your blood). It is also beneficial and useful to people who need oxygen continuously rather than sporadically.
Long term supplemental oxygen therapy is a treatment for COPD that can lengthen the patient’s life. In a study, patients with hypoxemia who undergo long term oxygen therapy have higher survival rates than patients who do not use oxygen. While further research is needed to study the mortality rates and correlation of oxygen therapy, it still stands that supplemental oxygen is an effective treatment for COPD with the potential to improve and lengthen a patient’s life.
A portable concentrator means you can have it with you anywhere and anytime since it is small, compact, and lightweight. You can use it ready whenever you need it.
4. Decreased Anxiety
If you have COPD or other respiratory issues, you will undoubtedly feel anxious when you go out of your house. What if you suddenly have trouble breathing while out in the park or mall? What if you have a sudden flare-up?
This is a never-ending worry of users that constantly gives them anxiety every time they leave the comforts of their homes. Fortunately, they don’t have to worry as much with a portable concentrator since they can bring it anywhere. Receiving adequate oxygen through a portable concentrator can help effectively reduce psychological ailments like anxiety.
5. Reduced COPD Symptoms
One of the main goals of oxygen concentrators is to reduce common symptoms of COPD. That includes chest pain, breathlessness, wheezing, and coughing. Some studies prove that supplemental oxygen can reduce the number of exacerbations (by preventing hypoxia) and hospitalizations with COPD.
Whether you are prescribed to receive oxygen 24/7 or just several hours a day, your health will depend on your ability to obtain the right amount of oxygen at the right time.
At the end of the day, one of the benefits of an oxygen machine is its flexibility when administering oxygen at any given time. With a portable concentrator, you will undoubtedly see a significant reduction in your COPD symptoms.
6. Minimized COPD Complications
Obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, comes with multiple complications — pulmonary hypertension, cor pulmonale, and secondary polycythemia. The supplemental oxygen that concentrators provide can help reduce COPD symptoms by decreasing arrhythmias, reducing secondary polycythemia, and stabilizing pulmonary hypertension.
Supplemental oxygen can also reduce the chances of experiencing COPD exacerbation and even help you recover from it.
7. Increased Exercise Ability
Without enough supplemental oxygen, several people with COPD and other chronic respiratory ailments cannot exercise well on their own. That is because they feel more physical strain than people with healthy lungs. The extra physical stress increases the amount of oxygen they need, forcing their lungs to overcompensate and work harder. It then makes it difficult for them to breathe.
One of the primary portable oxygen concentrator benefits is its ability to aid in helping users breathe better when they exercise or do any physical activity. With a consistent oxygen supply source, they can now get around easier, exercise better, and be more physically active.
Since concentrators can reduce respiratory symptoms, like shortness of breath, oxygen therapy patients can now exercise longer and do more intense physical activities without stopping due to fatigue or breathlessness.
If you want to amplify the physical benefits, you can create an exercise training program. Proper exercise with the right amount of supplemental oxygen can boost your physical endurance and improve muscle metabolism. Moreover, the additional exercise can work your muscles harder to the point that they would not get too exhausted after a while.
Generally, supplemental oxygen provided by concentrators makes it easier to exercise. It also improves your endurance to perform strenuous physical activities without feeling too tired or breathless.
8. Enhanced Stamina
Everyone always has that one friend or two that are constantly on the go and ready for adventure. It is not a problem for people with healthy lungs, but it would be hard for those with COPD to keep up.
Portable oxygen concentrators can help with this issue. Aside from keeping your COPD symptoms in constant check, some studies show that supplemental oxygen can enhance your muscles’ physiological training effect, improving your endurance, stamina, and strength.
As mentioned earlier, supplemental oxygen can increase your ability to exercise and perform physical activities. Getting more exercise will undoubtedly set off a snowball effect that can improve your overall stamina, health, and quality of life in various ways. It can boost your endurance and maintain your physical independence.
Research shows that exercise can reduce respiratory-related symptoms like shortness of breath even more significantly than oxygen therapy and medication alone. By pairing exercise training and oxygen treatment together, you can have a powerful tool that can aid you in maintaining an active lifestyle and reaping the major possible physical benefits of your effort.
9. Better Quality of Sleep
It is common for patients with respiratory problems to use and need supplemental oxygen while they sleep. COPD patients begin their long term oxygen therapy by using supplemental oxygen during the night. It is mainly because the body is most vulnerable to hypoxemia while sleeping.
Sleeping naturally slows down your breathing rate, which causes you to take more shallow and less frequent breaths than when you are awake. It can cause issues for people with severe respiratory ailments. Since you already have limited lung function, the drop in breathing rate can lead your oxygen saturation to fall below normal levels.
One of the many oxygen machine benefits is that it can provide a steady oxygen supply while you are sleeping. Whether the medical-grade device has a pulse dose or continuous dose delivery, a portable oxygen concentrator can still meet all your oxygen needs. Aside from helping you keep your oxygen levels from falling, a concentrator can also help you have a well-rested sleep.
Instead of feeling breathless and anxious at night, you can feel more relaxed and secure while sleeping. A concentrator can prevent bouts of night time discomfort and breathlessness.
10. Enhanced Cognition
Aside from improving your physical abilities, oxygen concentrators can also help enhance your mental function and cognition. Low blood oxygen levels can subtly affect the brain, which supplemental oxygen can help correct.
When your oxygen saturation is low, you feel less alert, foggy-headed, and more tired. These side effects can make life harder, especially in terms of keeping up with healthy habits like physical activities and exercise.
Chronic low blood oxygen levels can also cause mild cognitive impairment, which is common for people with COPD and other respiratory diseases. Some studies indicate that supplemental oxygen provided by concentrators can prevent and reduce cognitive decline and enhance mental function. Generally, it helps you think, remember, and reason better!
11. Less Space Occupied
One good thing about portable concentrators is that they take up less space, giving you more freedom to move around. You will be able to go wherever and whenever you want. Whether walking in the market or shopping in a mall, your options have now immensely improved.
The portability of this device offers a significant improvement to your social life since you can now say yes to spending time and going on adventures and trips with your friends.
12. Greater Independence & Mobility
Independence is something that most take for granted. We can only realize its importance when it is gone. Independence provides you with the freedom to go out and do things you want to do independently without the need to depend on another person or object. Unfortunately, several patients with severe COPD struggle with that.
Traditional oxygen machines, like oxygen tanks, make it hard for users to maintain their independence. These tanks can easily weigh 100 pounds and more. To top that, they also need to be frequently refilled. Thankfully, alongside the progress of technology is the development of oxygen devices.
With portable oxygen concentrators, you would not have to rely on heavy oxygen tanks and frequent refills. One of the main benefits of POC is that they are lightweight, enabling you to be more independent and free.
Most POC units encourage a more active lifestyle by providing greater mobility to users. Each portable and small oxygen system comes with vital accessories to fit your busy lifestyles, such as batteries and backpacks!
13. Easy Traveling
Portable concentrators are light enough that you carry them with you anywhere without much trouble. You can easily stuff them inside a large bag on your way out of the house. Furthermore, oxygen concentrators are battery-powered. You can use them instantly when you need them.
14. Quiet Operation
Some COPD patients need supplemental oxygen while sleeping. That could cause issues for light sleepers as some oxygen devices produce loud noises. Thankfully, newer POC units are getting quieter and quieter. You can find portable oxygen concentrators that emit only 37-45 dBA noise levels — which is equivalent to the sounds of a gentle stream.
You will find the quiet operation of POC units extremely helpful if you are traveling since there is no risk of disturbing other people around you. There is no need to constantly worry about bothering your friends or loved ones while you are out with them.
15. Approved by the FAA
It is pretty bizarre to think that oxygen therapy patients couldn’t travel long distances several decades ago. Oxygen tanks were too heavy and never really approved for in-flight use since they are highly explosive machines. Enter portable oxygen concentrators — the game changer of the oxygen industry.
As approved by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), portable concentrators are now deemed safe and acceptable for in-flight use and travel. Oxygen patients can now travel long distances with their portable oxygen units.
The main reason why POC units are safe on airplanes is that they have pressurized oxygen. They take ambient air and remove argon, nitrogen, and other impurities. The machine then puts out the medical grade oxygen and delivers it via a mask or nasal cannula. Pulse dose concentrators are the highly recommended type to bring if traveling by plane.
Cruise ships are another form of long-distance travel available to oxygen patients. While oxygen tanks are allowed on cruise ships, it still is a bit of a hassle as you will need to refill them. A portable concentrator means you have an endless supply of oxygen and more time to spend with your loved ones and friends. Long road trips via land vehicle are also a form of travel where a portable concentrator is more beneficial and practical.
To put it simply, portable concentrators make hassle-free long-distance travel a colossal possibility for oxygen patients.
16. Healthier & Happier YOU
For those still asking the question “is a portable oxygen concentrator good for you”, the answer is yes. It is especially true for portable oxygen concentrator users. Physicians will stress how important keeping active and complying with your portable oxygen therapy is if you want to live a happier, longer, and healthier life.
Choosing the right oxygen equipment is as vital as the oxygen itself, especially in continuing an active lifestyle for better physical and mental health. A portable oxygen concentrator can assist you in working, exercising, traveling, and remaining social without sacrificing or limiting your oxygen needs.
A portable concentrator gives you more freedom to participate in activities that you enjoy with lesser restrictions, so you enjoy life better.
FAQs About Portable Oxygen Concentrators
How effective are portable oxygen concentrators?
Modern portable oxygen concentrators proved that they are just as effective and reliable as any other oxygen delivery service. In fact, several users express a preference for using POC units as it allows them more mobility and freedom. However, there are concerns about it not being as effective during sleep when breathing is shallow.
Why do people use portable oxygen concentrators?
Portable oxygen concentrators are a viable option for patients undergoing oxygen therapy. It is a medical device used for delivering oxygen to users. Many people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease choose to use POC units as it helps give them supplemental oxygen away from home. The portability and mobility feature of the unit helps them maintain their standard of life.
Can portable oxygen concentrators be used 24/7?
Yes. POCs can operate and supply oxygen 24 hours a day, nonstop! Like an oxygen tank and cylinder, concentrators deliver oxygen to the user via nasal tubes or masks. However, unlike the former oxygen devices, concentrators do not need refilling.
Does using oxygen make your lungs weaker?
No. Daily use of an oxygen concentrator while strictly following the precise instruction of your doctor does not make your lungs weaker. However, oxygen toxicity exists and is very dangerous if you become too careless.
Oxygen toxicity or poisoning is when you breathe in too much supplemental oxygen that harms your lung tissues. Consult with your doctor first to know the right amount of oxygen your lungs need.
How many watts do portable oxygen concentrators use?
Portable oxygen concentrators use varying amounts of watts depending on their model and size. Many smaller concentrators use no more than 120 watts, whereas larger ones can use up to 600 watts.
Learn more about energy portable O2 concentrator energy consumption in this guide.
Which is better: oxygen tank or oxygen concentrator?
It highly depends on the user's preference. Concentrators have their own set of benefits, as do oxygen tanks. Accordingly, they have their own pros and cons as well.
Choose portable oxygen concentrators if you prefer mobility, unlimited oxygen supply, and versatility. If you want a quiet oxygen device that requires no power, then an oxygen tank is perfect for you.
Why Wait? Get Yourself The Portable Oxygen Concentrator You Deserve!
Being diagnosed with COPD or any other chronic respiratory disease should not mean sacrificing time with family and friends — if anything, it should be the exact opposite. Maintain your social life even with your COPD by investing in a portable oxygen concentrator.
Now that you know the benefits of a portable oxygen device, you might be wondering what is the best brand and device for you. Here are some resources to get you started:
- Best Overall: Best Portable Oxygen Concentrators: Expert Review
- Cheapest: Cheapest Portable Oxygen Concentrators
- Lightest: Lightest Portable Oxygen Concentrators
- Smallest: Smallest Portable Oxygen Concentrators
- Most quiet: Quietest Portable Oxygen Concentrators
- Still confused? Here’s a guide on how to choose a portable oxygen concentrator
Ready to buy?
You can visit our shop at Sprylyfe and discover the newest and latest portable oxygen concentrator units in the market, or call us at (800) 314-8225.
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