British Lung Foundation
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Emphysema and oxygen

My mother has emphysema and the nurse recommended oxygen therapy, she said it would help her breathing, but everything I have read says it doesn't, it just gets blood to the organs. She started it about 6 weeks ago, the nurse said her oxygen levels are better but she says she doesn't feel any better at all. If she was going to notice any improvement in how she feels would it be straight away or does it improves over time?

5 Replies


You are right in that oxygen therapy is to maintain your major organs.

But it as other benefits.

Increased oxygen intake helps with:-

> Energy Levels

> Stress & anxiety

> Detoxing the Blood

> Sleeping Patterns

> Boosts the immune system

Unlike days of old when oxygen was given more freely. Their exercise more caution now as oxygen can do harm as well as good, and oxygen would not have been prescribed if not required


Has she had her c02 checked now shes on oxygen because although it dosnt really help with her breathing it should help make her feel a little better

Look out for her having headaches especially when she wakes up on a morning and feeling really tired , if this sounds familiar mention it to her nurse


Oxygen is not given for breathlessness but as has been said, to protect vital organs. However it can incidentally sometimes help with breathlessness. When I have been on ambulatory oxygen it's certainly had that effect.


I have been on oxygen therapy for many years now and could not manage without it. It has enabled me to become more mobile. For any long term benefits you need at least 16 hours a day continuous use so I normally go on about 4 pm and stay on it till I am up washed and dressed the following morning. I then have oxygen for if I need to go out to help me get about. Hope this helps you


Emphysema is a nasty disease which deprives our lungs of getting enough oxygen; insufficient oxygen affects every organ in the body, including the brain... so although it isn't going to "cure" breathlessness (and isn't prescribed for that anyway), oxygen will keep all your mum's organs functioning normally. It will also stop her from turning blue.

Emphysema causes a deterioration of the lungs; your mum probably won't ever feel much better but oxygen makes life worthwhile: I'd not be without mine!




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