Oxygen therapy has transformed over the years, and patients who require oxygen today have many options available to them in order to maintain their quality of life.
Oxygen therapy is the administration of oxygen as a medical intervention, which can be for a variety of purposes in both chronic and acute patient care. Oxygen is essential for cell metabolism, and in turn, tissue oxygenation is essential for all normal physiological functions.
Oxygen therapy is a treatment that provides you with extra oxygen, a gas that your body needs to work well. Normally, your lungs absorb oxygen from the air. However, some diseases and conditions can prevent you from getting enough oxygen.
Oxygen therapy may help you function better and be more active. Oxygen is supplied in a metal cylinder or other container. It flows through a tube and is delivered to your lungs in one of the following ways:
Through a nasal cannula, which consists of two small plastic tubes, or prongs, that are placed in both nostrils.
Through a face mask, which fits over your nose and mouth.
Through a small tube inserted into your windpipe through the front of your neck. Your doctor will use a needle or small incision (cut) to place the tube. Oxygen delivered this way is called transtracheal oxygen therapy.
Oxygen therapy can be done in a hospital, another medical setting, or at home. If you need oxygen therapy for a chronic (ongoing) disease or condition, you might receive home oxygen therapy.