Oxygen therapy is a treatment that provides you with extra oxygen. Oxygen is a gas that your body needs to function. Normally, your lungs absorb oxygen from the air you breathe. But some conditions can prevent you from getting enough oxygen.
You may need oxygen if you have
- COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
- A severe asthma attack
- Late-stage heart failure
- Cystic fibrosis
- Sleep apnea
The oxygen comes through nasal prongs, a mask, or a breathing tube. If you have a chronic problem, you may have a portable oxygen tank or a machine in your home.
A different kind of oxygen therapy is called hyperbaric oxygen therapy. It uses oxygen at high pressure to treat wounds and serious infections.
NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
- Fires and Burns Involving Home Medical Oxygen (National Fire Protection Association) - PDF
- Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy: Don't Be Misled (Food and Drug Administration)
- Mechanical Ventilation (American Thoracic Society) - PDF Also in Spanish
- Medical Oxygen Safety (National Fire Protection Association) - PDF
- Respiratory Home Health Care (American Association for Respiratory Care)
- Genetics Home Reference: pulmonary alveolar microlithiasis (National Library of Medicine)