5 tips for winter if you have breathing problems

Here are our 5 tips to help you breathe better now we have moved into winter cold season:

  1. Use a scarf or mask to place around your mouth as this will make it easier to breathe in the cold winter air
  2. Use a humidifier at home to help keep the dry air moisturised
  3. For those who prefer to get outdoors remember to try to avoid the coldest part of the day
  4. Also move your exercises to indoors so not outside in the cold for too long
  5. If short of breath close your lips together when its cold

Winter is a season where it is best to make sure you are more aware of how this affects your breathing. Stay wrapped up warm, keep moving and if you have an inhaler keep this with you at all times. You may have asthma, COPD or another respiratory illness and remember just be prepared but you can still enjoy day to day activities.

Is this your first winter with medical oxygen?

Winter and tree with no leaves

For those who may be new to using medical oxygen as a supplement to breathing this may be your first winter. Winter is not as scary as most of us think, temperatures drop and breathing can become more difficult. Just remember that as long as you are aware you can still do everything you need to each day, You are not alone and winter just means you need to be a bit more careful on how it affects you. Many patients that suffer from respiratory conditions such as COPD, asthma or need to use oxygen after covid may be fearful of the temperature falling. All you need to be aware of is protecting your lungs during this season as you are exposed to the cold air.

3 tips on what to do during winter:

  1. Stay indoors a bit more during these months – for example exercise indoors more than in warmer months and make sure your home is well insulated
  2. Wrap up warm when going outside, wear extra layers or thermals to keep your body warmer
  3. Make sure your mouth and nose is covered, use breathable materials such as wool

If you are looking to travel during the winter months please do contact our team on what is required and also arrange all your medical oxygen needs. You can visit our website for further information or contact our team directly here.

How long do I need to be on oxygen after Covid?

oxygen gauge

It is now very common to be sent home with the need of medical supplemental oxygen after contracting Covid-19. If severe the damage to lungs means many patients are having extreme difficulty breathing. One reports suggests; Average duration of supplemental oxygen therapy requirement among COVID-19 patients was 6 days and being 70 years and older and having shortness of breath were found to be associated with prolonged duration of supplemental oxygen therapy requirement. Although Covid-19 is very complicated and still exists.

Experts also say that oxygen therapy is also useful in cases where:

  • A patient is suffering from pneumonia/ acute respiratory distress syndrome
  • Dyspnea (severe shortness of breath)
  • Hypoxia (when there’s oxygen deprivation on the tissue level without the presence of other physical manifestations)

We all need oxygen to live so patients who start using oxygen due to a dip on o2 levels will continue until stabilisation. Medical oxygen is easy to have at home with portable oxygen concentrators and cylinders.

If you want to read more about medical oxygen visit @oxygenworldwide

Life saving oxygen therapy – how it began…

oxygen therapy tank

A great advancement was at The Pneumatic Institution administered oxygen free of charge to ‘out-patients… in consumption, asthma, palsy, dropsy, obstinate venereal complaints, scrophula or King’s Evil and other diseases, which ordinary means have failed to remove’.

Many of this is still used today such as corrugated non-crushable breathing tubes, mouthpieces and the method for mass production of gases. The Institution then changed to a hospital in later years to help cope with typhis outback in 1800.

‘Most people report that Oxygen Water gives them extra energy and makes them more alert… the effects of inadequate oxygen in the blood are well known. Drinking oxygenated water gives you another path for bringing oxygen into your blood’.4

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/

Still today oxygen therapy and medical oxygen is still very much used and needed to many patients. This also covers most respiratory diseases plus anaesthesia and treatment of other illnesses. Most forget that it still needs to be prescribed carefully and levels have to be correct and accurate for the patient. We owe many physicians a huge thank you and accolade for their works including what happened in battlefields of first world war where oxygen was used to help soldiers.

Reference: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/

Grainge C. Breath of life: the evolution of oxygen therapy. J R Soc Med. 2004 Oct;97(10):489-93. doi: 10.1177/0141076809701011. PMID: 15459264; PMCID: PMC1079621.

10 more countries that have dropped or lowered COVID restrictions…

Malaysia

Here find countries that have dropped all or most of their local Covid-19 restrictions.

  1. Malaysia
  2. Belize
  3. Slovakia
  4. Czech Republic
  5. Jamaica
  6. Argentina
  7. Poland
  8. Denmark
  9. Sweden
  10. Romania

Plan you trip in advance as possible, Contact our team with your medical oxygen requirements and pack your bags ready for an adventure!

What oxygen therapy information do you need when planning a trip?

The best thing to do is to contact your GP or Doctor or specialist consultant to obtain the below information before contacting the team to plan and delivery what you will need on your next trip.

  • Will you require oxygen for the whole journey or just for a certain amount of time
  • Maximum flow rate
  • If you require battery power on the plane then please do contact your airline to see if a seat is available with access to a power socket
  • Always pack spare adapters
  • If you will be using your portable oxygen concentrator during the flight, you may not sit in an emergency exit row or in a seat that restricts other passengers’ access to an emergency exit.

Oxygen Therapy and Smoking Does Not Mix

Cigarettes on their own are the leading cause of house fires, but add to this the risk of oxygen being stored in the home and the danger dramatically increases.

Over the last few years there have been a staggering number of reports of people on home oxygen therapy being admitted to hospital with facial burns, eyebrows and hair burned off, death, smoke inhalation injuries and fire damage to their homes in the thousands of pounds. These occurred because they or a friend/family member were smoking whilst the patient’s oxygen equipment was in use.
However, do not interpret this to mean that oxygen therapy is something to be afraid of, it just needs to be respected.

General Advice when using oxygen equipment:
•    If you’re on oxygen, DO NOT smoke.
•    If you live with or visit someone on oxygen, DO NOT smoke around them.
•    Stay away from open flames, sparks, and gas (including gas stoves).
•    Turn the oxygen off while not in use.
•    Avoid petroleum-based products.
•    Do not use aerosol sprays nearby.
•    Comply with all safety instructions provided by your home medical equipment company.
•    Keep your oxygen concentrator in a well-ventilated area.
•    Never allow the tubing, cannula, or mask to be covered, as it can result in a build-up of concentrated oxygen.
•    Keep the name and number of your home medical equipment provider in a prominent spot for reference.
•    Post a sign stating ‘DANGER: No Smoking-Oxygen in Use’ for the benefit of engineers or visitors.

There are also health risks associated with smoking while on oxygen therapy. Smoking is the most common cause of many medical conditions associated with the requirement of oxygen therapy. Smoking got you here therefore it is highly recommended that you put as much effort as possible into trying to give up this harmful addiction, or to at least cut down. Smoking more will just continue to damage your lungs and increase the deterioration of your respiratory capability and make you increasingly more dependent upon supplemental oxygen. Using supplemental oxygen can improve your health and improve your medical condition but if you smoke you are hampering the possible medical benefits of the treatment.
There should be a respectful balance between your own lifestyle choices, your medical needs and the safety of yourself and others around you. Be aware of the dangers and make sure you take all possible safety precautions.

References: http://lambertshc.com and http://scienceblogs.com

Before you start packing – Follow our 5 steps…

Now we have previously mentioned our top 5 steps so here it is again. Summer has not ended just yet. There is always time to plan your next trip.

5 steps before traveling with medical oxygen

#1 Contact your doctor/GP to make sure it is safe for you to be traveling with your medical condition, You will not be able to bring your own oxygen on-board with you, so you will have to arrange your oxygen use for your flight.

#2 In advance call the airline and speak with the correct department to make your arrangement on board. The OxygenWorldwide team can help with this process if you provide your prescription with your enquiry.

#3 Make sure that you confirm that you meet the requirements of the carrier. Confirm with them that they can provide the flow of air you need and whether or not they will provide you with a nasal cannula or mask.

# 4 It is best 48 hours prior to departing on your travels it is best to confirm all of your arrangements by phone or email and make sure to go over all of the rules and regulations that the airlines give you. Typically, the airlines will direct you to a website with rules.

# 5 These same steps apply if you are traveling by train or cruise ship. If cruising, make sure to contact the company before purchasing tickets. Many cruise line operators do not allow oxygen tanks on board the ship.

For all you medical oxygen needs please contact Oxygen Worldwide today. Our team are open 24 hours, 7 days a week and also speak many languages.

Does No Prescription = No Travel?

Find out below the guidelines from our experts at OxygenWorldwide.

pharmacist with prescription

Before enquiring for your required medical oxygen, for some countries (please see list below) you are travelling to, it is essential to obtain from your GP or medical practitioner your oxygen prescription. This will enable the OxygenWorldwide team arranging your suitable oxygen to obtain a quote, without this it may delay securing oxygen supply for your specific holiday dates and location.”Requested materials must match your prescribed oxygen therapy. In case the materials are not available at your destination OxygenWorldwide will propose alternative materials suitable to your oxygen therapy.”

In some countries the OxygenWorldwide team will need your prescription and this is what will be ordered and supplied at your destination. If the equipment required is very specific there is a chance that this may not be able to be supplied. Attaching your prescription with your enquiry is the best, most efficient thing to do when planning your trip abroad with medical oxygen.

Below is a list of countries currently where you need to provide your medical prescription document:

  • France, Corsica, Monaco
  • USA & Canada
  • Ireland & United Kingdom
  • Indonesia
  • Malta 
  • Portugal 
  • Ibiza 
  • Cruises in Spain
  • Norway
  • Cyprus

*Countries are subject to time of published article. Please check with the team and always provide your prescription to ensure an efficient quote

If you are planning a trip with medical oxygen please do obtain your prescription and Contact our Team here.