In the past patients diagnosed with respiratory conditions requiring oxygen therapy faced the problems associated with traditional canister oxygen technology. Bulky heavy equipment that resulted in many losing their mobility and independence. Now with portable oxygen concentrators this is becoming a thing of the past as these light weight pieces of equipment mean that patients can maintain their lifestyles and still keep active. There are still aspects of having to wear and use oxygen for long periods of time that can make patients feel conspicuous, uncomfortable, restricted or cause secondary health ailments. Technology is moving quickly and devices are becoming smaller, lighter and customisable. There are now products available to aid with the smaller inconveniences to help improve patient’s quality of life even more. These may not be available from your normal supplier via the NHS but are worth the small purchase cost if it aids in improving your mobility, sleep quality and health. Many private oxygen supply companies stock these or other accessories that may suit your own personal needs or many customers purchase online.
You can purchase finger pulse oximeters that are small units that check your heart rate and oxygen saturation at any time, at your own convenience. This way you can check that your oxygen levels are correct and discover early if there is a problem and seek to resolve it before it causes any major health problems. There are also ones specifically designed for children and carry cases are available for them. Drops in oxygen saturation could be an indication of faulty equipment or of a worsening health condition. Being able to monitor and record your changing oxygen saturation levels is not only more convenient than having to wait for a GP appointment to check your levels but it could also help your GP from understanding your oxygen requirements more specifically.
Sleep Face Pads:
Many find sleeping at night with masks and tubes very difficult with the tubes rubbing their skin and the feeling of discomfort preventing them from getting a good night’s sleep. There are Sleep Comfort Pads available that are clear in colour so as not to make you feel conspicuous. They are designed to act as a comfort barrier between the mask and your skin to decrease air leaks, improve the comfort of the mask or nasal cannula and are hypoallergenic to reduce irritation.
Oxygen Carry Bags:
In order to aid with your mobility and getting out and about with your oxygen equipment there are bags specifically designed for carrying oxygen equipment and supplies. They allow easy, hands free transport of your oxygen tank or concentrator with a padded single shoulder strap for easy on and off. It carries the equipment on the centre of your back for comfort and is padded and insulated to protect your equipment. They can also come with a padded support waistband that can be converted for you to be able to go walking, golfing, biking, gardening or any hands free activity to keep you active and mobile. With mesh to allow the tank to breathe or the concentrator to have air flow around the equipment and some have a vehicle headrest carrier strap to ensure it remains upright whilst you drive.
Medical Oxygen Glasses:
Wearing a nasal cannula can feel odd and uncomfortable enough without the additional hassle of wearing prescription glasses. Many people feel self conscious and feel like there are too many things on their face. With the tubing normally going from the nose and out over the ears many patients find it awkward to do their hair or long hair becomes tangled with the tubing or the tubing can become caught on things. Some patients find it too much hassle and either stay at home or remove the tubing when they go out which can have a detrimental effect on your health if you’re not using your oxygen supply when you should be.
These glasses are specially designed for oxygen therapy users and the tubing runs from the nose up to the glasses and is virtually invisible and also out of the way. You can choose the frames that suit you and either have clear or prescription lenses. The tubing follows the frame of the glasses and the tubing is near invisible and doesn’t go across your face making wearing your cannula more comfortable and less conspicuous.
These are just a few of the accessories that are out there, as well as different tubing and prongs that may suit you better. They’re designed to improve oxygen therapy users’ quality of life as if the user feels more comfortable, suffers from less irritation, feels more able to have an active social life and do more activities whilst still using their oxygen then their overall health, well-being and quality of life will be much improved.