Oxygen therapy is a treatment that increases the amount of oxygen in the blood for individuals with low blood oxygen levels.
Improved quality of life and enhanced longevity;
Decreased shortness of breath;
Improved sleeping patterns and brain function;
Decreased heart strain;
Increased tolerance for activity and exercise;
Reduced hospital visits; and
Palliation of late-stage and end-stage illness.
If you often experience some of the following symptoms, you may require oxygen therapy:
Feeling short of breath with little exercise;
Persistent coughing and wheezing; and
Disorienting or dizzy feelings.
Oxygen is delivered as a gas from an oxygen source.
You breathe in oxygen through a small nasal cannula which fits into your nostrils, or through a mask which covers your mouth and nose. Breathing extra oxygen raises your blood-oxygen levels, making breathing easier and easing the strain on your body.
Because your body is unable to store oxygen the therapy works only while you use it. If you take off your oxygen mask or remove the cannula, your blood-oxygen level will drop within a few minutes. People who need oxygen therapy and use it as prescribed feel more alert, experience less breathlessness, are less irritable and sleep better.
No. Oxygen is not addictive. Oxygen will help you breathe easier and improve your quality of life.
You may require oxygen therapy for a few weeks or months, or for the rest of your life. It depends on why you need it. If you have a respiratory infection you may require oxygen until the infection clears and your blood-oxygen levels return to normal. If you have chronically low blood-oxygen levels because of chronic lung disease you may require oxygen long term. Your ProResp Respiratory Therapist will regularly check your prescription. If your symptoms change your healthcare provider may adjust your oxygen prescription. Always remember to use your oxygen as prescribed.
No. The effects of regular oxygen therapy to treat chronic low blood-oxygen levels do not diminish over time. Your oxygen prescription might change. We will work with you and your healthcare provider if that happens. You may require a higher oxygen flow rate during activity to keep up with your body’s demand for oxygen.
No. You cannot smoke any product or use electronic cigarettes while using oxygen. Not only is it a fire hazard, smoking damages your lungs and poisons your bloodstream, making it harder for the blood to carry oxygen to your body.
Please talk to your healthcare provider about quitting.
If you continue to smoke you must remove your oxygen, turn it off and go to a room where there is no oxygen equipment.
Ontario residents who have an illness which requires short-term or long-term oxygen therapy. Applicants must have a healthcare provider’s prescription, a valid health card and meet the medical criteria set by the MOHLTC’s Home Oxygen Program.
If you’re 65 years or older or a recipient of Ontario Works, Ontario Disability Support Program, Assistance to Children with Severe Disabilities, receiving professional services through a Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), or a resident of a long-term care home, the Home Oxygen Program will pay for 100% of the monthly cost of your oxygen system.
If you’re 64 years or younger and you’re not receiving benefits from one of the above sources, the Home Oxygen Program will pay 75% of the monthly cost of your oxygen system. You or your private insurance company pay the remaining 25%.
Each applicant’s condition must be stabilized and treatment regimen optimized before long-term oxygen therapy is considered. Applicants must have chronically low blood-oxygen levels as established by the MOHLTC Home Oxygen Program.