Use supplemental oxygen as prescribed.,
Learn to check your oxygen saturation and supplementation regularly.,
Take any prescribed medications as directed.,
Ask your doctor about using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine.,
Keep an eye out for emerging treatments.
If you have consistently low oxygen saturation levels due to a condition like COPD, your doctor may decide to place you on supplemental oxygen. This treatment involves the use of oxygen tanks, flexible tubing, and a cannula that feeds the oxygen into your nose. Patients who follow their prescribed oxygen regimens can often lead long and reasonably active lives.Don’t resist this treatment because you’re worried you’ll be “chained” to an oxygen tank and stuck in bed for life. Portable tanks can be very unobtrusive and allow you to go out and about with more energy and endurance.
, People on supplemental oxygen will usually be taught how to monitor their own oxygen saturation by placing a pulse oximeter on their finger, earlobe, or nose. The process is quick, easy, non-invasive, and painless.
As per your doctor’s recommendations, you can adjust your supplemental oxygen to compensate for lower saturation readings, or when you are engaging in activities like walking or light exercise., If you have low oxygen saturation due to COPD or a similar condition, you will likely take medications along with using supplemental oxygen. These may include controller medications that you will take on a regular schedule to improve your breathing and lung function, as well as rescue medications to use when you’re having more acute breathing difficulties.There are numerous types of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS), short- and long-acting beta-2 agonists (SABA & LABA), and other medications that may be prescribed to you. Make sure you understand your doctor’s instructions for using them, and follow the plan diligently.These medications are also known as bronchodilators. Bronchodilators increase the diameter of your airways and this helps to increase oxygenation., If you have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), then your airways might not stay open on their own. This may lead to decreased oxygen saturation. Ask your doctor about getting a PAP or BiPap machine to help keep your airways open and raise your oxygen saturation.The machine comes with a hose and a mask that you wear over your mouth and nose.
, While supplemental oxygen, medication, and respiratory training has been — and continues to be — the common and often effective treatment plan for low oxygen saturation, new options continue to be developed. One example is stem cell treatment, in which stem cells are harvested from your blood or bone marrow, isolated, and reintroduced to your lungs.New treatments can also carry new risks, of course, or turn out not to be as effective as initially hoped. Do some research on your own to find out what options are out there, and work with your medical team to determine the treatment plan that is right for you.