Q:

What is oxygen therapy treatment used for?

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Quick Answer

Oxygen therapy is used to ease chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia and severe asthma attacks, claims MedlinePlus. It is also used to treat sleep apnea, cystic fibrosis and late-stage heart failure.

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Full Answer

Supplemental oxygen allows patients to be comfortable and function more normally, says the American Lung Association. Another type of oxygen therapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, is used to treat people who have wounds that won't heal or who have dangerous infections, says MedlinePlus and Mayo Clinic. It's also used to treat the bends and air bubbles in the blood.

Oxygen therapy is delivered in three ways, claims the American Lung Association. The oxygen is stored in cylinders or tanks for use in the patient's home or the patient can carry them with him if he goes outdoors. The oxygen can either be a gas or a liquid. People who are more active may choose liquid oxygen because more of it can be stored in a smaller container.

Oxygen concentrators take oxygen from the air and concentrate it, says the American Lung Association. This type of oxygen therapy is less expensive than containers of compressed oxygen and the containers do not need refilling. Though a regular oxygen concentrator is about the size of an end table, there are some that are small enough to be portable.

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