Shortage of breath

I am on oxygen 24 x 7, but recently when I take my oxygen off to go in the kitchen, have a bath or shave, within 5 minutes of taking my oxygen off I am so short of breath just like an asthma attack. As soon as I go back on Oxygen again I am all right within a short period of time.

This has started to frighten me. Can you please help and tell me what is going wrong.

21 Replies

  • Hello Berwick, I am sorry you are having what I call a bad spell at the moment, I saw your post and wanted to tell you not to be frightened ( easier said than done I know! ) but if you get frightened or anxious it stops you from getting a full breath. Stay calm! close your eyes for a minute and try to breathe in slowly on a count of 1...2 then out slowly 3...4, try to relax your shoulders...You may have an exacerbation coming on, so it would be good if you could get the doctor out to check you over, you could phone your local surgery or NHS Direct or A&E, whatever happens try to stay calm, concentrate on your breathing.I hope you have someone with you, please let us know how you get on, you realy need to chat with your doctor as he or she will be able to explain whats happening. Carol xxx

  • Thanks Carol I will take your advice and try your system. I am due to see my repitory nurse on Tuesday that's why I have been putting it off. I am on long tem antibiotics which are working great with no infections this winter so far. Thanks once again xx Graeme

  • Thoughts are with you Graeme. Hope you feel better soon. x

  • Thank you Aunty Mary. Graeme xx

  • Hi, sorry to hear of your situation with breathlessness. One thing that may be happening is that the exertion of bathing, shaving etc is causing you to put more strain on your oxygen requirements. I can manage most of the time without using my oxygen cylinder until I am preparing a meal, washing up or having a shower; the exertion of these activities mean I have to use my oxygen otherwise I would be struggling excessively. Take care, Richard.

  • I fully understand what your saying and that is the position which I am talking about. Doing the things where you cannot use your oxygen is a strain whether it be 5 minutes or half an hour.

    Thanks Richard

  • Hello Graeme

    I am supposedly only on ambulatory 02 (for when I'm exercising)but I do find the exertion of bathing, hair washing and even cleaning teeth gets me really puffed out. I have taken to attaching a 2 metre length cannula to my liquid 02 machine and use it whilst taking a cool/warm bath with very little steam and this helps me. I must say that I keep the machine well out of the way of any water and that it is NOT run on electricity. Previous to the Liquid 02 I would use an 02 cylinder on a long cannula - again NO electricty.

  • Thank you Jemma, my concentrator is in my bedroom for my night time Oxygen and I have actually got 50 feet of tubing never thought about using it that way for my bath/shower. Well done I will go for that one Many Thanks Graeme xx

  • Hi again. If you have an airline that is long enough to safely reach your bathroom you may find that it is a lot less stressful to be on O2 whilst bathing etc. Ensure that it cannot be snagged on anything though, take care, Richard.

  • Hello Graeme

    Please remember that my LOX Marathon requires NO electricity whereas most concentrators use it and therefore could be dangerous mixed with water!!!!

    Would a small cylinder on long tubing be more appropriate I wonder?

  • Good Idea, but I feel at this point that I have another infection coming on so I will see what transpires over the next couple of days. Thanks everyone for your help and concerns. I will put some of your thoughts into practice. Love to you all Graeme xxx

  • Hi Jemma..i have 4 lengths of cannula on my oxy bottle so i can walk anywhere downstairs in my house .its better than carrying the companion around with me , i can even get to the toilet at the top of the stairs and like you i use it when i`m in the shower sitting on my seat cos i can`t shower standing now.. Bob.

    never give up ..

  • Thanks Bob I have the same down stairs, but although as the same as yourself I tend to use my seat in the shower I am a long way from using the oxygen in the shower.. Thanks for you help Bob.

  • Hi berwick,

    I am also on oxygen 24/7 and know how you feel but after a visit from an oxygen nurse she informed me it was safe to shower and bathe while using the oxygen I'm now wondering if she misinformed me. Keep well Liz

  • Thanks Liz

    I'm not too sure whether or not I am going to try this as long as you have a seat in the bath it is easier to sit having a shower and have your oxygen near by once you have had it. I find even after exerting your self drying I need my oxygen before I shave then again before and after I have dressed . I also use my oxygen at the same time as my nebuliser

  • Keep well Liz and thank you .Graeme xxx

  • i just started using my oxygen while using my nebuliser i think it must help cos while my visits to hospital i`m sure the nebulisers are given with i hope it helps i`m due another one at 17 30 hrs Bob.

    never give up ...

  • Thanks Bob I am a stubborn old B. It will note get the better of me............Yet

    Breath Easy Graeme

  • Why take it off sweetie? If you are on 24/7 that means just that. My respiratory nurse advised me to turn my concentrator up from 1 to 3 for any exertion at all . Maybe you could have a word with yours. Good luck

  • Hi Berwick, Just read all the answers and can't understand why you can't use a concentrator in the shower or the bath. There is no electricity near water and certainly none comes up the oxygen tube!! I have used it in both for ages but will ask about it when I next see a nurse. Can someone in the know comment on this. My nurse at the oxygen clinic tells me that she has had two people had accidents with oxygen but both were smoking. Can you believe it? Popplewell


    [Quote] Avoid using while bathing. If continuous usage is required by the physician's prescription. The oxygen concentrator must be located in another room at least seven (7) feet from the bath. DO NOT come in contact with the oxygen concentrator while wet. . . . [/quote]

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