Going on holiday with a respiratory condition

Holiday tips
• Plan in advance: if you leave things to the last minute, you could forget something crucial. Think about how far you can walk, how many stairs you can manage, access to toilets and what transport you can use.
• Be realistic: places you liked in the past may not be suitable now. Pick something you and your carer can cope with physically.
• Shop around: different companies have different policies for people with lung conditions, so find the best deal for you. Many travel agents offer holidays for people with special requirements.
• Ask questions: travel firms are used to dealing with special requirements. They should be able to answer all of your queries and concerns.
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Holidays in the UK
How do I choose my accommodation?
Tourism for All’s National Accessible Accommodation Standard assesses all types of accommodation, including self-catering, for accessibility. It puts accommodation into four mobility categories:
• Category One – suitable for people able to climb a flight of stairs that have extra fittings to aid balance.
• Category Two – suitable for someone who needs a wheelchair some of the time but can manage a maximum of three steps.
• Category Three – suitable for people who depend on a wheelchair but who can transfer unaided to and from the wheelchair in a seated position.
• Category Four – suitable for a person who depends on the use of a wheelchair and needs help from a carer or a mechanical hoist to transfer to and from the wheelchair.
 
Holidays abroad
Many people with a lung condition think they can’t go abroad, but this isn’t true. As in the UK, packages differ, so shop around. Always check with your doctor or health care professional to make sure you are well enough to travel before deciding where to go, and always plan your arrangements in advance.
How do I get there?
Ferry
Many ferry companies have lifts, toilets and other facilities accessible to people with disabilities. They can offer priority loading and special parking to vehicles with disabled passengers.
Trains
Eurostar trains have been designed to cater for passengers with special needs. Some coaches have wheelchair access and allow oxygen containers on board. If you’re travelling further afield in Europe, contact the relevant European train company for its policy on travelling with oxygen.
Car
Make sure the car you are travelling in has been checked and/or serviced before you travel. Check whether your insurance company requires a green card – a document that makes it easier for vehicles to move freely across foreign borders. In the UK, Blue Badges allow drivers of passengers with severe mobility problems to park close to where they need to go. The UK has agreed informal parking arrangements with other European Union (EU) countries, so you may be able to use the Blue Badge abroad. You can find out more at www.direct.gov.uk/en/
disabledpeople/motoringandtransport/dg_4001061.
Holidaying abroad with oxygen
If you need oxygen for use throughout your holiday, you will need to make arrangements for the oxygen to be provided before you travel.
If you are travelling outside of Europe, you will need to contact an oxygen company that supplies the country you will be visiting.
Some travellers have found that hiring a portable oxygen concentrator (POC) is an alternative to arranging oxygen supplies for the majority of their holiday. However you may still need to consider arranging a back-up supply of oxygen for emergencies. If you are travelling by plane,
you should bear in mind that different airlines have different policies for using and carrying oxygen and medical devices such as POCs on board. Always check with the airline you are travelling with before you book.
 
 

Another client thank you!

downloWe have a house at Portugal and found your service browsing the internet. We would like to thank you for arranging the liquid oxygen plus the portable which my husband needed recently so that we still can enjoy our house together which we bought many years ago. Thank you OxygenWorldwide‘ Mr. and Mrs. Atkinson

Seeing and breathing clearly

glassesOxygen therapy eyeglasses are designed for those individuals that require supplemental oxygen.  Glasses allows you to “ditch” your nasal cannula, improve your quality of life, and feel better about yourself, while assuring that you are receiving the oxygen prescribed by your doctor.  These attractive eyeglass frames not only hold your prescription lenses, they also deliver the oxygen you need in a way that others will hardly notice.
Oxygen glasses use a special tubing that is nearly invisible. This tubing attaches to your eyeglass frames at the ends of the side pieces. The oxygen travels through the frames to the bridge. At the bridge, it flows through inconspicuous nasal prongs into your nasal cavity. The nasal prongs sit back against your face along the sides of your nose.
COPD patients using oxygen glasses look better and more normal than patients using traditional nasal cannula. This boosts patients’ self esteem. Patients with oxygen glasses use their oxygen more consistently and have more active social lives. Oxygen glasses reduce the stigma associated with oxygen use. Oxygen glasses do not require tubing over the ears or across the face. This reduces skin irritation and sores. Traditional oxygen tubing gets very cold in winter weather. Oxygen glasses make it more pleasant to go out in colder temperatures.

xygen glasses come in full rim and half rim styles. Both styles feature lightweight frames in several sizes to fit different users. The full rim glasses come in gold-tone or brown, and the half rim glasses come in gunmetal, pink, blue and brown. Hinged models fold like traditional glasses and have replaceable rubber seals over the hinge to protect the oxygen flow. Non-hinged models do not fold, but are more durable than hinged models.
Oxygen glasses come with tubing, connectors, nasal prongs and the frames. Take the frames to your optician to have your personal prescription lenses inserted. Available accessories include clip-on shades to turn your oxygen glasses into sunglasses and complementary shoulder bags and backpacks for discreetly carrying your portable oxygen tank.

There are many companies that sell and market these products, take a look and you may be able to improve your breathing and see more clearly.
Traveling with medical oxygen? Make sure you take a look at OxygenWorldwide.

We don’t take breathing for granted.

Travelling with oxygen
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Holiday and travel.
Even if you have a condition which requires oxygen therapy, you may wish to go on holiday either within the UK or abroad. We have put together some key considerations for you if you wish to go on holiday. We can help with many of the details and offer advice. Please give us as much notice of your holiday requirements, however
it is best to request as early as possible.
Going on holiday in the UK
Before you book
→ Contact your planned holiday destination to gain permission for oxygen equipment to be delivered and stored in the accommodation.
→ If you are travelling by public transport – contact the transport company and inform them you will be carrying oxygen.
Remember to advise:
1. Start and end date of your holiday
2. Full postal address and telephone number of the holiday destination.
Holidays outside the UK
(including the Channel Islands)
Before booking a holiday outside the UK it is advisable to discuss your plans with your doctor or
healthcare professional – especially if you are flying. During a flight, the high altitudes will cause the
oxygen concentration levels in the air in the cabin to fall. People without the need for supplementaryBefore you book your flight find out the following information:
→ What the airline’s policy is on oxygen. Taking oxygen on a plane can be easy and free, or
difficult and expensive. Some airlines will not allow oxygen on the plane at all, it depends on the airline. You must find out before you book a ticket. This may also affect your choice of destination or carrier.
→ The exact length of the flight, and whether delays are likely.
→ The facilities available at both airports. This includes assistance required with luggage, boarding the aircraft, wheelchair requirements and whether oxygen is available. If the holiday involves a long-haul flight, you should find out if time will be spent at a third airport for refuelling and how oxygen will be supplied there if required. With the exception of oxygen provision, these services will usually be free.
→ How you confirm your fitness to fly. Some airlines let you travel without a letter from your doctor, while others ask you to fill in a special medical form, verified either by your own GP or by the airline’s medical staff. Most ask for a fitness to fly certificate, obtained from your doctor.

Helping you to breathe at home

Home oxygen treatment involves breathing high concentrations of oxygen from a cylinder or machine in your home.
If you’ve been prescribed oxygen therapy, it’s because your blood oxygen level is low. Low oxygen levels can potentially damage your heart or brain.
The main purpose of home oxygen treatment is to raise your blood oxygen to a level that prevents such harm. It also helps relieve breathlessness and other symptoms of low blood oxygen, such as ankle swelling and blue lips.
However, using oxygen just for relieving symptoms of breathlessness is not helpful and can cause long term harm by making you less fit. This can also cause a delay in finding out why you are breathless.

How home oxygen treatment can help

If you have a medical condition that leads to a low oxygen level in your blood (hypoxia), you may feel breathless and tired, particularly after walking or coughing. You may also have a build-up of fluid around your ankles (oedema) and blue lips.
Breathing air with a higher concentration of oxygen can help increase the amount of oxygen in your blood. This makes it easier to do activities that might otherwise be more difficult. It also helps reduce the symptoms mentioned above.
Oxygen therapy can help people with a range of health conditions that affect breathing or blood circulation, including:

  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) – a long-term disease of the lungs
  • severe long-term asthma
  • cystic fibrosis – an inherited disease that causes the lungs to become clogged with thick, sticky mucus
  • pulmonary hypertension – high pressure inside the arteries to the lungs, which causes damage to the right-hand side of the heart
  • obstructive sleep apnoea – a condition that causes interrupted breathing during sleep
  • diseases of the nerves and muscles or ribcage
  • heart failure – when the heart struggles to pump enough blood around the body

People who have oxygen therapy have different requirements. Some people only need oxygen therapy for short periods during the day, when they’re walking about (ambulatory oxygen). Others need it for longer periods and during the night.

Different types of home oxygen

Oxygen can be obtained from:

  • compressed oxygen cylinders
  • liquid oxygen in cylinders
  • an oxygen concentrator machine, which extracts oxygen from the air

Oxygen cylinders

If you just need oxygen for short periods to relieve attacks of breathlessness after an illness, you will probably be prescribed oxygen cylinders. However, this should be reviewed after a certain time so that the short-term relief does not hide more serious underlying heart or lung conditions. If your blood oxygen levels are normal for you during a review, that short-term oxygen should be withdrawn.
You breathe the oxygen through a mask or through soft tubes in your nose, called nasal cannulae. You can talk, eat and drink while using cannulae.
Cylinders containing oxygen compressed into liquid form can contain more oxygen than standard cylinders. This type of oxygen supply will last for longer, and the tank may also be lighter.

Oxygen concentrator machine

An oxygen concentrator machine is convenient if you would benefit from having oxygen for a large number of hours a day, including while you’re asleep. It ensures you have a source of oxygen that never runs out.
An oxygen concentrator is a machine, about two-and-a-half feet (75cm) high, which plugs into your electrical socket. It filters oxygen from the air in the room and delivers it through plastic tubing to a mask or nasal cannulae.
Long tubing can be fixed around the floor or skirting board of your house, with two points where you can “plug in” to the oxygen supply.
When the machine is installed, the engineer or nurse will discuss with you the length of tubing you’ll need. The machine is very quiet and compact, and the engineer will explain how to use it and will answer any questions you have.
A back-up cylinder of oxygen is also provided in case the machine breaks down. Regular maintenance visits will be made to make sure the concentrator is always working properly.

Portable (ambulatory) oxygen

If you’d like to have a small portable cylinder to take oxygen outside your home, talk to your specialist. You’ll need to be fully assessed to see whether portable oxygen (also known as ambulatory oxygen therapy) is likely to be helpful.
Portable oxygen is not recommended if you have heart failure or if you smoke.
Portable cylinders can provide oxygen at a rate of 2 litres or 4 litres a minute, or have an adjustable scale up to 4 litres a minute. The flow required is determined by your lung specialist or the oxygen service healthcare professional. When full, these cylinders weigh just over five pounds (2.3kg) and hold just under two hours of oxygen (at 2 litres a minute).

Going on holiday

If you are going on holiday in England or Wales, talk to your supplier to see if you can make arrangements to have home oxygen supplied to you at your destination. Try to give them as much notice as possible.
Before you arrange your holiday, check with your doctor that you are well enough to travel.

Safety

Oxygen is a fire hazard and, if you are supplied with home oxygen, it is important to take precautions.
For example:

  • do not let anyone smoke while you are using oxygen
  • keep away from flammable liquids while using oxygen – these include alcohol gel, cleaning fluid or aerosols
  • keep oxygen at least six feet away from flames or heat sources
  • keep oxygen cylinders upright to avoid them getting damaged

Your home oxygen supplier is also likely to let the local fire service know that there is oxygen in your home. They may request a risk assessment, even if you do not smoke.

Traveling abroad with medical oxygen – no big deal!

oxygen cylinder
medical oxygen

Traveling abroad with medical oxygen can be very stressful, time consuming and worrying. Oxygenworldwide have been arranging this for many years and the team are experienced in making this service as stress-free for you – giving you more time to relax and enjoy your travels, every time.
Read more information at www.oxygenworldwide.com and also tweet @oxygenworldwide and like facebook.com/oxygenworldwide to speak to our care team, ask queries and read our client testimonials.
Happy Travels!

Cyprus – Breathtaking

cyprus
cyprus

It’s the stepping stone to three continents: Europe, Asia and Africa. The
island has a rich dramatic history that can be traced back over nine thousand
years.. Floating on the waters of the European Mediterranean, but pointing
longingly towards the shores of Syria, Turkey and Lebanon, Cyprus is an odd
mixture. It is a kaleidoscopic blend: its cultural influences are dominated by
Western Europe, but its geographic proximity to Asia and Africa gives it more
than just a hint of the East. Long coveted by mainland Greece and Turkey, this
small island has its own definite and beguiling character.
Because of this historic and legendary background it is no surprise that Cyprus has developed a character which is quite unique.
Many spend their holidays ‘to see the natural beauty that ranges from golden
beaches and rugged coastlines to rolling hills and forest clad mountains,
dotted with picturesque villages.’ Travel to Cyprus and you will have an
unforgettable holiday.
Oxygen Worldwide supplies medical oxygen in holiday destinations like Cyprus,
France, Spain and Turkey but also worldwide. Contact us for any oxygen travel
service.