Time to go back to another popular post from a few years ago where we talk about facts. Facts of oxygen…
Oxygen surrounds us and is fundamental for life and yet we can take it for granted and not realise that it’s a lot more than just a component of the air.
Our atmosphere today contains around 21 percent oxygen. About 300 million years ago oxygen levels reached 35 percent and insects were able to grow super-large- think dragonflies with the wingspans of hawks.
Oxygen does not actually burn as people think it does. However it does support the combustion of other substances and without a supply of oxygen, combustion ceases. If you think about it, if oxygen itself actually burnt, simply striking a match would be enough to burn all of the oxygen in our planet’s atmosphere.
Almost two-thirds of the weight of living things comes from oxygen, mainly because living things contain a lot of water and 88.9 percent of water’s weight comes from oxygen.
Oxygen (O2) is very unstable in our planet’s atmosphere as it is very reactive and must be constantly replenished by photosynthesis in green plants. Without plant life, our atmosphere would contain almost no oxygen. If we discover any other planets with atmospheres rich in oxygen, we will know that life is almost certainly present on these planets as significant quantities of oxygen will only exist on planets when it is released by living things.
The Northern (and Southern) Lights: The green and dark-red colours in the aurora Borealis (and Australis) are caused by oxygen atoms. Highly energetic electrons from the solar wind split oxygen molecules high in earth’s atmosphere into excited, high energy atoms. These atoms lose energy by emitting photons, producing awe-inspiring light shows. These usually occur in the polar regions because solar electrons will accelerate along our planet’s magnetic field lines until they hit the atmosphere in the polar regions.
A common urban myth is that hyperventilation is caused by breathing in too much oxygen. When we hyperventilate, we breathe too quickly, and this can lead to symptoms such as headache, light-headedness, dizziness, chest pains, tingling, slurred speech, fainting and spasms. Hyperventilation actually causes us to get rid of too much carbon dioxide from our bodies. The trouble with this is that we need carbon dioxide in our blood to stop it from becoming too alkaline. When we hyperventilate, we lose too much carbon dioxide, which disturbs the balance of substances in our blood, causing its pH to increase; this causes the blood vessels leading to our brains to get narrower, slowing the blood flow and decreasing the amount of oxygen reaching vital organs, leading to the symptoms of hyperventilation.
As a gas, oxygen is clear. However as a liquid, it’s pale blue. If you’ve ever wondered what swimming in a pool of liquid oxygen would be like, the answer is very, very cold,(according to Carl Zorn of the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility). Oxygen must get down to minus 297.3 F (minus 183.0 C) to liquefy, so frostbite would be a bit of a problem.
References: http://www.chemicool.com/elements/oxygen-facts.html and http://www.livescience.com/28738-oxygen.html
Trees give more oxygen then they give up but to produce the same amount of oxygen a person consumes a day, you need around 9166 leaves or about 600 average houseplants. This equates to about 7 or 8 trees a year per person. We do have to note that it is not only trees on this planet which produce oxygen but also algae too!
Also the trees that always give off oxygen are the Peepal tree giving oxygen for a full 24 hours!
Trees are very important and many large organisations are supporting deforestation from growing by planting a tree for every one cut down or simply providing charity donations to plant a tree.
It may have been a few years since this article was published but due to a popular interest of wanting to find some simple tips, we have decided to re-publish for our new readers!
Using supplemental oxygen will increase your oxygen levels but there are other tips that can help increase your oxygen levels, its circulation and your body’s ability to take up the additional oxygen and utilise it more efficiently. Take a look at these ideas as in conjunction with your home oxygen therapy a little change could greatly increase your oxygen levels and quality of life.
These 10 ideas will help to improve your oxygen levels:
1. Open your windows. Fresh air will bring additional oxygen into your home and even if you are constantly breathing in oxygen through a cannula, whenever you talk or open your mouth fresh air containing higher oxygen levels can be drawn into your body. If you live in a smoggy area then you could consider investing in an air-filtration system. 2. Plants. They are the opposite of us as they take-in carbon dioxide and expel oxygen. Thereby increasing the foliage and plants in your home will decrease the carbon dioxide and increase the oxygen levels in your home. 3. Aroma. Many of the chemical-filled candles and various other incense type products actually contain carcinogens. Instead it is better to burn all-natural beeswax candles as then you’ll have better luck breathing in oxygen. 4. Exercise. Even a small amount of exercise will help to improve your respiration ability, as your breathing rate increases and deepens your lungs can absorb more oxygen. 5. Increase your water intake. Water is made up of oxygen so by increasing your water consumption you can increase the amount of oxygen in your body. 6. Go Green. Eating more fresh, raw green juices is beneficial as they are full of vitamins and minerals which your body utilises to aid in the uptake of oxygen. 7. Meditation. Daily meditation or just simply sitting quietly and focusing on your breathing and taking deep breaths for a few minutes can greatly help in reducing stress and improving your oxygen intake. 8. Eat lron-rich foods. Your diet can seriously impact your oxygen levels. Certain foods can help improve your oxygen levels in the blood naturally. Target iron-rich foods such as meats, poultry, fish, legumes and green leafy vegetables as they can improve iron deficiency, which in turn improves blood oxygen levels. 9. Cut out Salt. A diet low in sodium can lead to increased oxygenation via the kidney and the blood. 10. Eat green raw foods. Oxygen-rich foods can naturally increase your blood oxygen levels. Try eating more green vegetables like kale, broccoli and celery in order to boost your oxygen levels and hopefully breathe easier.
References: http://lunginstitute.com Blog article first published 2015
Face coverings have now become quite normal when you leave the house for essential journeys, work or to go to the supermarket. Is this the new normal when it comes to Coronavirus as well as social distancing and washing hands?
For those with a respiratory condition or disease it can be uncomfortable but it is bearable and face masks are there to protect one another from catching any infection when passing people even outside queueing or coming into contact with those you do not normally meet. Some people may be exempt due to their conditions but being extra careful outside the house as masks can help to stop infections spreading.
If you have any doubts read your local government or state website for full details on rules, restrictions and regulations where you live. Any other doubts concerned with your health condition then please ask your doctor for more advice.
If you require medical oxygen to assist your breathing then OxygenWorldwide are still on hand if you would like to contact us for any needs of supplying medical oxygen.
Keep your medical equipment in safe places and always upright and any spares keep away from heat indoors or behind curtains
Don’t get too hot! Keep any portable oxygen concentrators, medical oxygen tanks away from fires, candles, stoves and heaters that are on during the colder months to avoid explosions.
Going outside? Prepare well as extreme changes in temperature may cause condensation in your tank or cracking on any tubing. Keep what you can under your clothes or a blanket to kept equipment insulated.
Cluster headaches happen in periods and are one of the most painful type of headache with very intense pain – usually in the middle of the night when you are trying to sleep. Here are some types of treatment that can help relieve cluster headaches:
Oxygen – Using oxygen can help reduce and give relief of symptoms. Using this method of oxygen is safe and there are many portable oxygen concentrators available to hire or buy on the market. If you need to go on holiday then you can speak to OxygenWorldwide to help arrange what oxygen you need whilst abroad.
2. Triptans – This is an injection format to teat the headaches and used mainly for the less aggressive migraine. To start with you can go to your GP or specialist to learn how to inject to begin with. This method acts faster than for example inhaling with a nasal spray but you may feel more comfortable with a spray than an injection.
3. Local anesthetics – This method is a better form if you prefer to have something through the nose and can be used over the injection method.
Cluster headaches range in severeness so you would need to discuss all your options with your specialist to find out and discuss what is right for you. Sufferers need some form of relief as it is very painful and disruptive to your day-to-day life.
If you suffer from cluster headaches you will know the intense pain is so bad some women compare it to contractions during birth. There is quite a lot of help and advice out there and even though oxygen therapy is known to help relieve symptoms where you breathe pure oxygen through a face mask. There is a lot of good advice on how to help assist the affects of these periods of headaches.
Triggers are known to cause these episodes such as; alcohol, bright lights, coffee, flying or being at high altitudes or even heat such as a hot bath or being in hot weather can also trigger cluster headaches.
Ginger – drink ginger tea as this helps to reduce pain and this is a simple and easy way to help relieve symptoms
Avoid alcohol and cigarettes as this may actually increase the number of episodes you will have so best to avoid entirely
Vitamins – these help in a number of ways from the anti oxidants to reducing frequency, speak to your local health expert on what you should be taking each day
Exercising – increase your blood circulation and reduce your stress levels through exercising – so hit your local gym
Be outdoors – we know oxygen helps so getting outdoors will certainly help naturally
Almost every medical treatment has risks and side effects to it, which vary in degree from person to person. The benefit of oxygen therapy is that it is not a foreign drug, we naturally use it everyday and therefore the only side effects will be due to the administration of it or because of the volume of oxygen being inhaled, which as a result dramatically reduces side effects when compared to other medical treatments. There is also the safety aspect of storing and using oxygen as it is highly combustable but as long as you follow the simple common sense safety advice from your provider you will be very safe.
The side effects may include a dry or bloody nose, skin irritation from the nasal cannula or face mask, fatigue, tiredness and morning headaches. Some people only suffer side effects initially upon first use and then they disappear however if these problems persist then all you need to do is to inform your doctor and provider. Depending upon the problems all your doctor may need to do is to alter the oxygen flow rate or length of time you’re using the equipment.
If nose dryness is a problem then you may just require an additional nasal spray or to have a humidifier attached to your equipment to reduce the dryness effect of the oxygen.
If you experience irritation from the mask or cannula then your provider can try other devices that may fit you better and can recommend over-the-counter gels and devices designed to help lessen skin irritation.
If you use transtracheal oxygen therapy then complications can potentially be a bit more serious due to the more invasive way that the oxygen is delivered via a tube inserted into your windpipe a the front of your neck. You may develop mucus balls which can cause coughing and clog the windpipe, infection and injury to the windpipe. However as long as you follow the advice in the proper medical care and correct handling of the tube then this greatly reduces the risk of complications. Such as keeping it clean and to use suction to remove any build-up.
The majority of users find that they experience a little irritation and dryness which can be easily resolved. Their testimonials are clear in saying that the benefits of oxygen therapy such as improved quality of life, improved mobility and social interaction and longevity of life far outweigh the inconvenience of a few side effects.
References: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov and http://www.livestrong.com
Oxygen concentrators work on the principle of ‘rapid pressure swing adsorption’ which is where the Nitrogen is removed from the air using zeolite minerals which adsorb the Nitrogen, leaving the other gases to pass through and leaving oxygen as the primary gas. Once the oxygen is collected the pressure then drops which allows Nitrogen to desorb and be expelled back into the air.
An oxygen concentrator has an air compressor, two cylinders filled with zeolite pellets, a pressure equalizing reservoir and valves and tubes. During the first half-cycle the first cylinder receives air from the compressor, which lasts about 3 seconds. During that time the pressure in the first cylinder rises from atmospheric to a few times normal atmospheric pressure (about 20 psi) and the zeolite becomes saturated with nitrogen. As the first cylinder reaches near pure oxygen (there are small amounts of argon, CO2, water vapour, radon and other minor atmospheric components) a valve opens and the oxygen enriched gas flows to the pressure equalizing reservoir, which connects to the patient’s oxygen hose. At the end of the first half of the cycle, the air from the compressor is directed to the 2nd cylinder. Pressure in the first cylinder drops as the enriched oxygen moves into the reservoir, allowing the nitrogen to be desorbed back into gas. Part way through the second half of the cycle there is another valve position change to vent the gas in the first cylinder back into the ambient atmosphere, keeping the concentration of oxygen in the pressure equalizing reservoir from falling below about 90%. The pressure in the hose delivering oxygen from the equalizing reservoir is kept steady by a pressure reducing valve. Portable oxygen concentrators
These have been around for decades, but older models were bulky, unreliable, and were not allowed on airplanes. Since 2000, manufacturers have improved their reliability and size and they now produce 1-6 lpm of oxygen. The portable concentrators plug directly into a regular house outlet for charging at home or hotel, but they came with a power adapter that can usually be plugged into a vehicle DC adapter. They are able to operate from the battery power as well for either ambulatory use, or away from a power source, or on an airplane.
Portable oxygen concentrators operate on the same principle as a home domestic concentrator, operating through a series of cycles. Air passes from the miniaturised air compressor and through the molecular sieve of zeolite granules, which adsorb the nitrogen. Some of the oxygen produced is delivered to the patient and some is fed back into the sieves to clear them of the accumulated nitrogen, preparing them for the next cycle. Through this process, the system is capable of producing oxygen of up to 90% consistently. The latest models can be powered from mains electricity supply, 12v DC (car/boat etc.), and battery packs making the patient free from relying on using cylinders & other current solutions that put a restriction on their activities and mobility due to time, weight, and size.
Most of the current portable oxygen concentrator systems provide oxygen on a pulse (on-demand) delivery in order to maximise the purity of the oxygen. The system supplies a high concentration of oxygen and is used with a nasal cannula to channel oxygen from the concentrator to the patient.
References: http://en.wikipedia.org and http://www.inogen.com and http://hme-business.com
O – Options – Ask your supplier for devices or gadgets to help suit you and your home.
X – eXpectations – Medical advancements and oxygen supply companies have come a long way but you should have high expectations for your health, talk to your doctor and make sure you use a reputable, caring oxygen supplier.
Y – Your lifestyle – This can still be maintained with a little oxygen help, especially with portable oxygen devices – keeping active is important!
G – Go on Holiday! – There’s no reason why people using oxygen cannot go on holiday, from flights to cruises to mini-breaks abroad by car, just ask your oxygen supplier to help arrange and cater for your oxygen requirements!
E – Enjoy a Long Life! – With improved portable oxygen devices to help you keep mobile and improved medical treatments and drugs, life expectancy has greatly improved and patients live a long, near normal life nowadays.
N – Needs Change – Your disease may improve or worsen or your general fitness may alter and so will your oxygen requirements. Always attend your check-up appointments so that your doctor can alter your oxygen prescription accordingly.