COPD & Short Breath

Hello, I have COPD (emphysema) and prescribed 02 for exertion. I am experiencing more shortness of breath lately even though I have 02. Is this normal and does it mean disease is progressing. It is so frustrating and makes me so tired too. I only use my 02 for walking and exercise but wondering if it would help to use more often? Please share your experience or suggestions, thank you.

8 Replies

  • Hello, as far as I know 02 has no effect on levels of breathlessness, 02 protects our organs when we deplete them of 02 when we move around etc. I could be wrong of course.

    if you are concerns do call the BLF helpline who are wonderful at helping answer questions when needed.

    Good luck!

  • PollyP is correct about protecting the organs but because there is more oxygen in the blood the lungs don't have to work as hard. I'm on half a litre but turn it up to 1 or 2 depending on how much I'm doing and it does help with my breathing.

  • Hi

    Like you I too am on 1/2 litre oxygen but because I am borderline co2 retainer was told not to increase on exertion. I have tried increasing to 1 litre but it doesn't seem to help with the breathlessness.

  • I think the use of O2 varies with the type of chest complaint we have?................I have IPF and it certainly helps with my breathlessness on exertion ..........the way I understand it is that if our O2 levels in our blood are low, the heart beats faster to push more blood around and this exertion makes us breathless..............but as I said, the use of it is dependent on the type of problem we have. As Polly said, call the helpline or go back to your GP.

  • When I'm at PR on the treadmill I put it up to 1 and can do a lot more than I can on half a litre. I have had very severe emphysema for over 4 years and mine has not really changed in that time. I had a lung function test 3 years ago and my second one about 2 months ago. My Xray is still the same as 3 years ago.

  • This is why this impairment is hard to define as we are all so different but the same.

    If you understand what I'm trying to say !

  • Thanks for your help. I do much better when walking or exercising with 02. I am on 2L. The dr pretty much explained it like you, without it I am working twice hard to feed other organs. My emphysema is getting a little worse from CT I just had & wondered if this might be why I am feeling more short breath. I guess besides doing purse breathing there is really nothing I can do, but I will keep moving forward 😃

  • If its a sudden worsening, maybe see Dr to check for infection? I had a chest infection but thought Id got worse. x

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