People who suffer from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) often experience a narrowing of air passageways, making it hard to breathe. Chronic bronchitis is a type of COPD, and it gets progressively worse as time goes on. While it has some similar symptoms as asthma, symptoms don't improve over time like they do with asthma. Because of the difficulty breathing, COPD sufferers must go on constant oxygen therapy to assist them with getting their bodies enough oxygen. Oxygen therapy is a type of emergency intervention for those who have an unusually difficult time breathing normally. A portable oxygen concentrator is one of the tools used here.

Normally, air consists of about 21 percent oxygen; but sometimes higher percentages are needed for COPD sufferers. During oxygen therapy, an oxygen concentrator provides the patient with a steady dose of oxygen at a specified percentage. These are typically larger units that are bought or leased from medical supply companies. Their overall output can reach up to 10 liters per minute, but usually produce in the 5 liters per minute range. An increase in the liters of oxygen used per minute by the machine increases the concentration of oxygen in the air being inhaled. In recent years, portable oxygen concentrators have become available.

Portable oxygen concentrators don't have the same type of capacity as their full-sized brethren; after all, they're built to move easily. The relatively small capacity of oxygen (usually less than 2 liters per minute) is engaged only when the user is inhaling, making them demand-only concentrators. Unlike continuous flow concentrators, these aren't designed for use when the user is sleeping. These smaller concentrators can run on power derived from a car cigarette lighter or on battery power. This makes them convenient enough for people to take with them while traveling. Portable concentrators are very beneficial for people who can't be without their supplementary supply of oxygen for extended periods of time.

If you have COPD and have trouble breathing, oxygen therapy is the best choice for you. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, a portable oxygen concentrator allows you to continue leading an active lifestyle while getting the therapy you need to function normally. It's important that those with breathing problems or restricted airways use secondary methods of getting air into the lungs before things become more difficult. Home oxygen therapy is a safe and efficient way to treat this disease in comfortable surroundings.

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