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.
Many babies and young children require oxygen treatment at home, and depending upon the condition this could be for a short period of time or long-term. Here are some tips to help make life a little easier when dealing with oxygen at home.
The nasal cannula that supplies the oxygen to their nose requires fixing securely to the child’s face to ensure that the tubing does not become dislodged. Keeping the tubing fixed to a child can be difficult. You can use special cushioning plasters to have under the tubing so that it does not rub the child’s face and the fixing tape can be applied over the tubing and stick to these cushioning plasters. Also when you need to re-secure the tubing it means that you won’t have to keep pulling tape directly off of the child’s skin.
However if your child requires oxygen overnight it is best to use tape directly onto the skin to ensure more secure fixing to the skin in case they move in their sleep and the tubing moves. You can wet the tape warm water or baby lotion though using tissue or cotton wool so that the tape can be removed more easily without pulling your child’s skin or causing them discomfort.
Older children may not need the tubing to be taped as the tubing can be looped behind their ears abd the toggle pulled comfortably taught behind their head.
If your child has sensitive skin there are alternative tapes that can be used if your child has eczema or other sensitive or allergic reactions to the normal tape.
The use of petroleum-based creams such as Vaseline around the nose should be avoided as these react with oxygen and may cause soreness, however water based creams such as E45 or KY Jelly can be used instead.
If your child tries to pull the nasal cannula off then ensure that the tapes are secured closer to their nose, rather than on their cheeks and close to their ears to reduce the gap.
As your child gets older they become more active at night and they may wiggle around more. You could put mittens on your child’s hands at night to prevent them from being able to tug at the tubing. Also the tubing should be checked so that it doesn’t become wrapped around them. To prevent this you can thread the tubing down through their baby-gro or down through their pyjamas so that the tubing comes out by their feet and have the oxygen supply unit at the bottom of their crib or bed.
Some children resist wearing nasal cannulas or face masks and it can sometimes help to let them play with a spare one, to see it on another child or to put it on a favourite stuffed animal or toy. If your child’s face becomes irritated by the cannula then try using a face mask instead or the use of a humidifier can keep the oxygen moist and prevent nose irritation from dry air.
Children are very adaptable and may not always let you know when something is wrong therefore you will need to be observant for any changes that may indicate that they are not receiving enough oxygen. Such as them feeling drowsy or tired, morning headaches, shortness of breath, less active, breathing harder or has blue lips or nail beds. If these symptoms appear then you will need to call your doctor. It may just be an indicator that the oxygen rate needs to be adjusted or there may be a medical problem.
References: http://www.alderhey.nhs.uk and http://patients.thoracic.org
A new study has found that women require more oxygen when breathing when compared to men. It was discovered that during exercise the muscles around the diaphragm and ribcage that are needed for breathing consume more oxygen in women than in men.
As more oxygen is required by the respiratory muscles to breathe, women consume more energy and require a higher oxygen intake, which increases during exercise. Therefore women need to breathe more to compensate for this increased oxygen requirement.
Previous research indicated that women’s airways ate narrower than men’s, even when both have the same sized lungs and therefore moving the same amount of oxygen through the airways costs more energy-wise for women than for men.
The study also suggested that if women’s respiratory muscles require more oxygen then blood flow is directed here and may be reduced from other parts of the body such as the leg muscles and for cardiac output. Therefore the physical performance of other parts of the body may decrease due to the focus of the body to concentrate the oxygen to travel mainly to the respiratory muscles.
The findings could prove important in the treatment of lung disorders, as a reduced lung capacity combined with harder working muscles may lead to a higher energy demand, with it being greater in women. These findings could be important in the clinical management of people with lung disorders and lead to more focus on the gender of the patient as to how best to treat them such as altering their fitness programs.
References: http://health.usnews.com and http://www.foxnews.com
Seeing as breathing is such a vital and fundamental part of our lives, one might think that we do it correctly, however we often don’t. We tend to take shallow breaths and hold our breaths when focusing or under pressure. This lowers our oxygen levels causing fatigue and a lack of clarity and we can make poor decisions and perform poorly as a result. Sitting still in an office chair can also create an oxygen deficit and it is the reason why after vegging-out in front of the TV we feel exhausted even though we haven’t done anything strenuous.
Oxygen thins the blood slightly which helps to lower your blood pressure and speed up the blood flow. This increases your metabolism and burns more calories, therefore the more oxygen you have in your blood, the faster your metabolism will be. You also burn more calories sitting outside than you do sat indoors, as cool air increases your metabolism as it tries to expend more energy keeping your body at a comfortable temperature. Therefore it is more beneficial to exercise outside than indoors.
If you’re unable to exercise then deep, active breathing for a couple of minutes a day can increase your oxygen intake, reduce stress, strengthen muscles and burn more calories.
Also oxygen helps to break down fat molecules and the blood then picks up the waste carbon dioxide to transport it out of the body via the lungs, therefore the more oxygen we take in, the more fat molecules that can be burned off.
‘Oxycise’ is the latest weight loss programme sweeping across America claiming to transform body shape, shed pounds, improve muscle tone and boost energy level based on the information above. Instead of doing high impact aerobic exercise, Oxycise breathing techniques can be done anywhere. The deep breathing forces us to use more of our lungs, to tighten and strengthen the diaphragm muscles which makes our muscles contract and combined with some gentle exercises can burn fat and tone up muscles. A study even found that a women burned 140% more calories than riding an exercise bike.
However sceptics say that breathing too deeply is harmful as it can ‘disturb the balance between carbon dioxide and oxygen needed to neutralise the blood and can cause light headiness and fainting’ and that deep breathing is not going to burn enough calories to transform body shape, it may burn up 2% fat at best, Prof McDonald states.
The jury’s still out without more detailed studies and research but it’s an idea to definitely think about as it is such an easy technique that we can all do.
References: http://www.womensperfectbody.com and http://www.dailymail.co.uk