The best guide to asthma oxygen therapy

asthma oxygen therapy

Asthma is a long-term condition of the airways in the lungs, in which a person can breathe less than normal. In this condition the person has shortness of breath and cough and severe chest discomfort.

Generally, environmental or genetic factors are involved behind asthma. If someone develops asthma before the age of 12 years, it is attributed to genetic factors, and  If someone develops asthma after the age of 12 years, it is attributed to environmental factors. This problem may increase during exercise or any physical activity or at night.

Unfortunately, there is no permanent cure for asthma, but its severity can be reduced by supplying oxygen to the body externally. This is why doctors use asthma oxygen therapy for asthma patients.

What is oxygen therapy?

Oxygen therapy is one of the most necessary and important treatments these days where oxygen is supplied to the patient to compensate for the oxygen deficiency in the body. Around 1917, the use of oxygen to treat patients became popular for the first time (wikipedia).

Asthma oxygen therapy

Oxygen therapy is used in a variety of acute and emergency conditions and in long-term medical conditions. It is used as the most urgent treatment for various diseases like bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, covid-19, heart failure, lung cancer, cancer, pneumonia, pulmonary fibrosis etc.

Oxygen therapy is now very easy to use. Apart from hospital use, it can easily be used at home or on the go as oxygen therapy is now very portable. Nowadays, bottled oxygen is available which can be easily carried in a bag and fills the oxygen deficiency in the body.

When to use asthma oxygen therapy

Asthma attacks are usually caused by narrowed airways. That is why doctors prescribe medicines to restore the airways to normal, which must be taken regularly. In this case, the patient’s respiratory condition gradually improves and asthma attacks decrease.

But if the asthma attack is severe and the patient needs immediate treatment, then asthma oxygen therapy is used. In this case additional oxygen is immediately supplied to the patient’s body.


Asthma oxygen therapy is usually administered to patients with symptoms such as rapid breathing, shortness of breath, cough, profuse sweating, loss of consciousness and rapid heart rate.

Oxygen levels In Asthma Oxygen Therapy

First, an asthmatic has lower than normal levels of oxygen in the blood, which causes asthma. But there are many people who suffer from asthma despite normal levels of oxygen in the blood due to narrowing of the airways in the lungs. A person can develop asthma in these two ways.

Two types of oxygen levels are used based on the severity of asthma or the inability to receive oxygen. It can be said that there are two levels of oxygen therapy.

Low-flow oxygen therapy

Doctors use Low-flow oxygen therapy if the patient’s oxygen deficiency is low, or if only a small amount of oxygen is needed. At this stage the patient is supplied with 24 to 55 percent oxygen enriched air.

In this condition, a mask is used to supply oxygen to the patient, which covers his nose and mouth and supplies oxygen-enriched air inside. Also, doctors may place two tubes inside the patient’s nose to provide the patient with oxygen-enriched air.

High-flow oxygen therapy

Usually at this stage the doctors at their discretion provide the required oxygen to the patient. If the doctor thinks it is necessary, then the oxygen content in the air can be 100% at this level. This level of oxygen therapy is proven to be most effective in suppressing acute asthma attacks and saving the patient from death.

How long will you need to use asthma oxygen therapy?

As there is no permanent cure for Asthma, it requires regular medication or oxygen therapy. And to get regular oxygen therapy you must use it at home but it must be as per doctors advice. 

To use oxygen therapy at home, you can use an oxygen mask or a nasal cannula. An oxygen mask is a mask that fits over your nose and mouth that contains enough oxygen-enriched air, and a nasal cannula is two tubes that fit inside the nose through which oxygen-enriched air flows into the patient’s nose.

There are three types of oxygen cylinders used in home oxygen therapy.

  1. large oxygen cylinders
  2. an oxygen concentrator
  3. portable cylinders

How Frequently Would You Need Asthma Oxygen Therapy?

It actually depends on the type of asthma one has, i.e. the rate at which one is having asthma. If someone has asthma only during exercise or physical exertion, he should take oxygen therapy at that particular time and avoid physical exertion very carefully. 

Many people have low blood oxygen levels during sleep, so they may not get a good night’s sleep, so they may need to wear an oxygen mask while sleeping to get a normal sleep.

But if someone has low oxygen levels in their blood, they often develop asthma and shortness of breath. In this case, he needs to take regular oxygen therapy for a long time, even the doctor may prescribe home oxygen therapy so that he can easily take oxygen therapy anywhere and not have oxygen deficiency in lungs or blood. 

Asthma oxygen therapy benefits

First, asthma oxygen therapy does not completely cure asthma. It compensates for the lack of oxygen in the blood and relieves all problems related to lack of oxygen. 

Oxygen is one of the most effective and widely used ways to relieve the suffering of an asthmatic patient. Also, oxygen therapy helps asthma patients in several ways. 

  1. Relieves shortness of breath: The main problem of asthma patients is shortness of breath, which is caused by not having enough oxygen in the blood or not being able to take in enough oxygen with breathing. 

During this time you must take oxygen therapy as it will meet your oxygen needs and prevent you from breathing problems.

  1. Eliminates fatigue: Lack of oxygen in the body causes extreme fatigue which makes the person very dull. This fatigue will not go away if the body is not supplied with enough oxygen.
  2. Normal and healthy sleep: Asthma patients can suffer from asthma attacks almost during sleep. At this time, the amount of oxygen in their blood decreases. Because of this they cannot sleep normally. In this case, taking asthma oxygen therapy through sleep helps the person to get adequate and healthy sleep.

The disruption caused by asthma in a person’s daily activities can be easily compensated by taking oxygen therapy. Which makes the person more active and mentally aware.

Asthma oxygen therapy side effects

Oxygen therapy also has some side effects. Especially asthma patients who use it for a long time may experience headaches or sometimes nosebleeds.

Many people who use it at bedtime may experience headaches after sleep or in the morning. Moreover, using asthma oxygen therapy becomes expensive for many.


The use of asthma oxygen therapy has some side effects but it must be used because oxygen therapy often makes the difference between life and death.

Moreover, oxygen therapy is considered one of the most important treatments these days and is available in almost all hospitals.


How Effective Is Oxygen Therapy For Asthma?

As the main problem of asthmatic patients is lack of oxygen, supplying oxygen to their body is the only way to treat their disease. Sometimes it saves the asthmatic from outright death.

And oxygen therapy is the last resort not only for asthma patients but also for many other diseases. 

What are the symptoms of low oxygen?

When there is a lack of oxygen in the body, first of all, it is difficult to breathe, there is a headache, and the heart rate increases.

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