Good Healthcare Requires Treatment of Your Mind, Body, and Soul

Good Healthcare Requires Treatment of Your Mind, Body, and Soul

Choosing The Best Oxygen Concentrator For Your Needs

by Hugh Larson

If you have a condition like emphysema, asthma, COPD, or another ailment that affects the lungs, then your doctor may inform you that you need supplemental oxygen. You may be able to rent, lease, or purchase an oxygen machine, but you can also invest in an oxygen concentrator. Oxygen concentrators are an alternative type of medical equipment that may be safer and cheaper for you. If you are unfamiliar with these types of devices, then keep reading to understand them and also how you can choose the best one.

What Is An Oxygen Concentrator?

Oxygen concentrators, or oxygen generators, are devices that deliver concentrated oxygen to the user. The medical equipment is utilized to increase blood oxygen levels when they are low. Like other types of medical devices, the concentrators often require a prescription for purchase. This helps with insurance reimbursement if you do not want to pay high out of pocket costs for the device. This is ideal since the devices can cost several thousand dollars to purchase.

The oxygen concentrator is much different than an oxygen machine with a tank. The concentrator does not hold an oxygen supply. It instead generators the oxygen by interacting with the air that is pulled into the device. Air is pulled into the machine through an inlet vent and the air is then compressed. A filtration device within the concentrator removes nitrogen. This helps to create a high level of oxygen in the air, and this oxygen is then pumped out an oxygen mask or cannula.

The normal air you breathe typically contains about 21% oxygen. Once the concentrator does its job, the oxygen level raises close to a pure level. However, the level does not reach 100% concentration because this percentage of oxygen can be harmful to the body.

How Can You Choose The Right Concentrator?

Power Options

There are a wide variety of different oxygen concentrators you can choose from with many different features. The main thing you need to consider is whether or not you want a portable device. Portable concentrators use batteries to power the medical equipment. The batteries are lithium ion varieties that are similar to the ones used in cell phones, digital cameras, pacemakers, and other devices. A concentrator battery will generally last a few hours. This means that you will need several batteries if you want to use the generator for a large portion of the day. Thankfully, chargers are available for the devices so you can be sure that you always have more than enough battery power for your concentrator. 

If you do not want to rely on batteries, then you can purchase a standard plug-in device. These concentrators have battery back-up units that supply power if your electricity goes out or if the generator accidentally unplugs from your wall socket.

Flow Types

When choosing an oxygen concentrator, you also have the option of picking the type of oxygen flow that moves through the cannula or mask. Both continuous and intermittent flow devices are available. Continuous flow concentrators deliver a constant stream of oxygen that exits the device. This allows you to receive consistent oxygen if you have a serious ailment like advanced COPD.

If you have a milder condition, then you can choose a pulse oxygen concentrator that produces a lower percentage of oxygen that is released in intermittent or pulsing streams.

While a continuous stream of oxygen seems like an advantage, pulse generators are lighter, smaller, and portable. If you want to take the concentrator with you and if you also have reduced body strength, then the pulse option may be a better choice. Also, continuous flow devices are more expensive and require more power to run. This can increase your costs both initially and over time. 


About Me

Good Healthcare Requires Treatment of Your Mind, Body, and Soul

I have worked in a supportive role in the medical industry for over 20 years, and I have been amazed at the advances in medicine that have been made. While it is always great to hear about a new medication that helps cure a disease or a new surgical procedure that can help someone live a normal life again after an injury, I have been especially amazed at the research that has shown just how much our physical and mental health are connected. Since I keep on top of all of the amazing medical studies being performed and I know others are too busy to hunt them down themselves, I decided to start a blog to share my favorite health tips for keeping both your mind and body healthy.