Air is a combination of many gasses. Mainly it contains oxygen and nitrogen. Oxygen is very important for the metabolic processes occurring in our body, it is also vital for the functionalities of cells and tissues. The amount of oxygen present in a room is normally 21%. This amount of oxygen is perfectly adequate for the healthy people but there are some patients who need a little more oxygen than the average people. This may be due to a disease or some other lung problems, to overcome this need for extra oxygen, the doctors have suggested a therapy known as oxygen therapy. It is a treatment in which patients are given extra oxygen, to fulfill their oxygen needs.
In Oxygen therapy, the oxygen is supplied to the patients in a container or metal cylinder. It is delivered in one of the following three ways:
Our respiratory system consists of lungs and airways, windpipe. The air is inhaled through the mouth and taken to the lungs through the airways and windpipe. The airways carry oxygen to the lungs and take back waste carbon dioxide. Our lungs consist of thousand of bronchioles, at the end of each bronchiole there are groups of air sacs known as alveoli. The alveoli are covered with tiny blood capillaries. The oxygen in the air is absorbed by the air sacs and then it is passed into the blood stream. Portable oxygen concentrators allow you to get enough oxygen while traveling.
Certain diseases affect the transfer of oxygen from the air sacs to the blood stream. The air sacs are not able to absorb sufficient amount of oxygen from the air. Some of these diseases are chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia and so on.
Oxygen therapy can help patients function more actively. It reduces the shortness of breath and increases the life span of COPD patients.