Is oxygen ineviatble?

I have had COPD for many years and I still don't know if eventually I will have to go on oxygen.

I manage my condition pretty much myself I do go to Maintenance excercise classes and have been o.k. for the last couple of years since being put on azithromycin.

I can't walk far and as with most people some days are better than others, I have my mobility car to get around. I have most of my groceries delivered, I have a cleaner because I can't vac anymore and someone to do the garden.

I get out of breath very easily and sats go down to 87 sometimes but I recover quickly when I sit down.

I would value your opinions.


13 Replies

  • I wonder the same thing Polly. I asked someone and they said no but this person was not in the medical profession.

  • hi polly no guarantees oxygen not suitable for all, i have same levels with sats, down quite often but recover fairly, quickly, i do the same for shopping, still go out every day, don't have a garden first floor flat, i use a dyson hand held with hepe filter to hoover. you got the right answer with your classes, do they not monitor and advice?

  • Yes, but I thought I would put it out here first and get your opinions.


  • Don't think everyone ends up on oxygen, you could ask the BLF ring the help line Val x

  • Good idea Val, will do on Monday.


  • I'm on oxygen all the time but I know some people never need it. Had my oxygen levels checked Thurs at the surgery and they were 99, never been that high before, usually 92-95 when resting, can't understand it. The doctor wanted to try another finger, I said no way 99 is OK by me !

  • When the treatment is adjusted for us then it would seem that we are all different, only testing will show if it will work for or against you as a treatment. Have been rather lucky that it works for me and I do not retain carbon dioxide as some do that have difficulty using oxygen, take it as not always needed or possible from my experience.

  • Polly, I was told by my consultant that some never need oxygen and some cannot tolerate it. So it is by no means inevitable - but very helpful for some of us. x

  • Its not inevitable for all patients. To determine whether a patient is in need of oxygen it is usual for an arterial blood gas test to be carried out. Patients are not prescribed oxygen unless ABG shows they need it.

    I think you should start a diary of how often and how low your sats drop, also how long it takes you to recover good sats, then check in with your respiratory consultant, nurse or doc to get their professional advice if you are worried or if you are finding your sats are regularly dropping so low.

  • i kept a diary of my sats. my consultant took me on a short walk down the corridor and decided I needed 02. Was on it over night at first but my heart is showing the strain a bit and must be on it 17 hours now!

  • Thank you everyone for you input it was very helpfull and has given me lots to works on.


  • hi i was diagnosed wiv copd 11 years ago at age 39 i was put on oxygen for 6 years & within that 6 year period i stopped smoking ,changed my diet & lost 6 stone in weight i now swim every other day (gently) & have managed my illness for the last 5 years with pumps & tablets & no oxygen .. but i also often wonder will i go back on the oxygen .. but i try to be good to myself & not over do it ... so keep it in the moment today i can manage without oxygen as long as i take it easy.

  • Hi Polly,

    My sats now drop to 80 and below and I use oxygen 15 hrs a day minimum.

    It really helps but once you start on it your dependency on it happens pretty quick.

    If you're offered ambulatory oxygen for walking gardening etc I'd say accept it.

    But using Oxygen at rest although almost certainly needed if offered is best left until you know you need it.

    Having said that don't try to fool yourself or the professionals its really much better to live using Oxygen than die because of a bit of pride. 😀

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