What is an Oxygen Concentrator? How does an Oxygen Concentrator work?
What is an Oxygen Concentrator?
An oxygen concentrator or otherwise referred to as oxygen machines, O2 concentrators or oxygen generators.
An Oxygen Concentrator is a medical device that concentrates oxygen from the air and stores it in a cylinder, which is later administered to the individual who requires it, by means of a mask or pipe to the nasal passage.
What does an Oxygen Concentrator do?
Oxygen Concentrators, regardless of the name, provide an affordable way for oxygen therapy patients to supplement their oxygen needs without the need of bulky, heavy oxygen tanks. Unlike tanks, oxygen concentrators do not run out of oxygen. A personal oxygen concentrator pulls-in regular room air, filters out some of the other gases present and delivers concentrated, medical-grade oxygen.
Who are these individuals?
Oxygen concentrators are used by people who have a medical condition that results in low levels of oxygen in the blood. It is known as Hypoxemia. A person with hypoxemia experiences shortness of breath.
How does an Oxygen Concentrator function?
Oxygen concentrators are man-made trees. Oxygen concentrators give you purified and concentrated oxygen. An oxygen concentrator takes in air and purifies it for use by people requiring medical oxygen due to low oxygen levels in their blood.
They achieve this by a technique called pressure swing adsorption. In layman terms, what it actually does is,
- it takes in the atmospheric air and pressurizes the air against an adsorbent bed.
- Nitrogen is retained in the bed and only oxygen with purity up to 93% (+/- 3%) is taken out from the other side of the bed which is then passed through HEPA filters.
- HEPA filters can be thought of as a very strict watchman that doesn’t let 99.97% of particles up to the size of 0.3 µm to pass through. You shouldn’t expect anything less because you deserve only the purest.
An oxygen concentrator takes in air and purifies it for use by people requiring medical oxygen due to low oxygen levels in their blood.
It works by:
- Taking in air from its surroundings
- Compressing air, while the cooling mechanism keeps the concentrator from overheating
- Removing nitrogen from the air via filter and sieve beds
- Adjusting delivery settings with an electronic interface
- Delivering the purified oxygen via a nasal cannula or mask
7 tips to a healthy breathing lifestyle
Pollution levels across the country are reaching an all-time high. Unless we all do something about it proactively, those levels will keep rising. Breathing in polluted air can be life-threatening and is one of the primary reasons for the increase in the number of reported cases of Asthma, COPD and other lung ailments.
While there is a need to curb the pollution levels, the need to mitigate the effect of pollution on the quality of your life is urgent. This article attempts to provide you insights on how you can maintain a healthy respiratory system in spite of all the pollution around.
COPD is an umbrella term that includes emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and asthma. All these illnesses are largely influenced by the kind of air you breathe. Your respiratory system will deteriorate if these ailments are not tended to during the early stages. Although you can’t really control the quality of the air you breathe, there are some good practices that you can adopt to alleviate the problems caused due to air pollution.
- Avoid Smoking: One of the most stereotypical topics of discussion isn’t it? If you (reader) are a smoker, it is harder said than done! But you wouldn’t be helping your case much if you don’t even try. Avoid smoking in its entirety, refrain from passive smoking as well. Cigars to the local beedis to E-Cigarettes, say no to everything.
- Drink Lots of Water: With COPD, accumulation of mucus in your airways is common and it is persistent. This can be reduced by staying hydrated. Drink plenty of water!
- Healthy Diet Plan: A healthy diet can help manage and improve COPD symptoms. Your diet should have plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits to ensure you’re getting lots of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Steer clear from processed, canned and frozen foods; the additives, preservatives and food dyes used in them are also known for contributing to breathing issues.
- Reduce Stress: Stress is associated with depressive symptoms and worse quality of life in individuals with COPD, much more than in those without COPD.
- Exercise: By regularly getting exercise, especially cardio workouts, you can strengthen your respiratory muscles. Obesity has been associated with decreased lung-function and with increased prevalence of several lung diseases and with compromised pulmonary function.
- Pranayama: Breathing exercises (pranayama), mainly expiratory exercises, improve lung function and should be made a regular on your schedule.
- Avoid Dust: Dust in your respiratory tract will lead to more mucus secretions aggravating your troubles. Face mask in dusty environments will help keep the dust off your respiratory tract.
Though the above-mentioned tips don’t provide instant relief, they definitely help in the long run. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle that entails all the above tips will certainly help improve the symptoms of breathing-related issues.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep Apnea is a condition that affects a large portion of the adult population worldwide. The concern arises from the fact that many misconceptions are linked to the disorder. Estimates show that 1 in 5 adults in alone suffer from sleep apnea and are not aware that they are affected by it. It is considered harmless, and the dangers associated with it are not well known by the masses. The risks associated with the disorder are highly dangerous if left undiagnosed and untreated.
What are some of the general misconceptions related to Sleep Apnea?
- Snoring is nothing to worry about – Snoring is widely regarded as a key factor in identifying Sleep Apnea. Chronic Snoring is the most commonly diagnosed symptom indicating Obstructive Sleep Apnea and if left undetected can lead to a reduction of life expectancy.
- Sleep Apnea only affects men – People assume that snoring is normal for the average adult male and thereby believe that Sleep Apnea only affects men. The truth is that Sleep Apnea is not restricted to any one age group or gender. Sleep apnea also affects weight gain if undiagnosed, those with obesity have a higher risk of developing Sleep Apnea and this, in turn, can lead to a worsening of the Apnea. Those within a healthy weight bracket are not risk-free. Individuals with healthy weight have also been diagnosed.
- Sleep Apnea is nothing to worry about – Untreated Sleep Apnea can pose a myriad of health risks, ranging from heart disease, heart attack, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes and increased risk of motor vehicle accidents.
- Sleep Diagnosis can only be diagnosed in a lab – A common misconception is that sleep apnea can only be diagnosed in a laboratory. Leading to apprehension among people and often leads to them avoiding even getting a diagnosis. The alternative that provides for a comfortable diagnosis is home sleep testing. There is no reduction in the efficiency of the test, and it can be conducted in the comfort of your bedroom.
- I do not have sleep apnea because I do not snore – The belief that, only people who snore can be affected by sleep apnea is a myth. Snoring is only one of the possible signs that a person has OSA. Daytime sleepiness, high blood pressure, weight gain or being overweight, irritability, mood swings, insomnia, waking up with a headache, sore throat or a dry mouth are things to look out for if you suspect you have OSA
If you have noticed that you have some of these symptoms or someone you know has these symptoms, it is advisable you visit a sleep lab or access a home sleep test. Detecting, diagnosing and treating, Obstructive Sleep Apnea early will lead to an increase in your mood and energy levels, ultimately to a better quality of life.