Norman Edelman, MD, the Chief Medical Officer of the American Lung Association, is also a professor of preventive medicine, internal medicine, and physiology and biophysics...
Yes, oxygen therapy can be very beneficial if your lung capacity is diminished due to COPD. When your breathing is impaired, your body may not get enough oxygen, which can
affect how you feel and how much activity you can do. Supplemental oxygen therapy can improve your lung function and increase your ability to exercise and be active.
Oxygen therapy has also been shown to improve sleep quality and increase mental stamina. Studies show long-term oxygen therapy also prevents heart failure and increases the survival rate for COPD. Close to 1 million people in the U.S. are on long-term oxygen therapy.
There are three ways to obtain oxygen therapy. You can have compressed oxygen gas or liquid oxygen delivered to your home. The oxygen is stored in steel or aluminum tanks; larger ones are used at home, and smaller, more portable sizes are available that you can take with you.
Liquid oxygen takes up less room and can be stored in smaller containers, so it's more portable. However, it can't be kept as long or it begins to evaporate.
Many people use an oxygen concentrator, a machine that works by concentrating the oxygen that's already in the air. Oxygen concentrators are less expensive and easier to maintain because they don't need to be refilled. However, oxygen concentrators are large == about the size of an end table -- and they can be noisy. Because an oxygen concentrator runs on electricity, it will raise your electric bill; and they give off heat, which can be a problem in the summer. You'll need another type of oxygen therapy as a backup in case of power failure.