How To Buy Oxygen For Home Use
Your doctor will give you a prescription that spells out how much oxygen you need per minute and when you need to get it. Some people may need oxygen therapy only when they exercise or sleep. Others may need it all day long. Your doctor will figure out how much extra oxygen you need after they check your usual levels, either with a blood test or through the skin using a device that clips to your finger, toe, or earlobe.
how to buy oxygen for home use
Portable oxygen concentrator. This is a good choice for when you run errands or go to work. It weighs 3-20 pounds so you can carry it. You can plug some models into your car or run them on battery packs.
Nasal cannula. This is a soft plastic tube with two small prongs at one end. They go in your nose, and the tube rests over your ears to hold it in place. The other end connects to your oxygen supply. The nasal cannula delivers steady oxygen. It can dry your nose out a little.
To survive, we need oxygen going from our lungs to the cells in our body. Sometimes the amount of oxygen in our blood can fall below normal levels. Asthma, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the flu, and COVID-19 are some of the health issues that may cause oxygen levels to drop. When the levels are too low, we may need to take extra oxygen, known as oxygen therapy.
You should not use an oxygen concentrator at home unless it has been prescribed by a health care provider. Giving yourself oxygen without talking to a doctor first may do more harm than good. You may end up taking too much or too little oxygen. Deciding to use an oxygen concentrator without a prescription can lead to serious health problems, such as oxygen toxicity caused by receiving too much oxygen. It can also lead to a delay in receiving treatment for serious conditions like COVID-19.
Even though oxygen makes up about 21 percent of the air around us, breathing high concentrations of oxygen may damage your lungs. On the other hand, not getting enough oxygen into the blood, a condition called hypoxia, could damage the heart, brain, and other organs.
Concentrators may be large and stationary or small and portable. Concentrators are different than tanks or other containers supplying oxygen because they use electrical pumps to concentrate the continuous supply of oxygen that comes from the surrounding air.
If you are prescribed an oxygen concentrator for chronic health problems and have changes in your breathing or oxygen levels, or have symptoms of COVID-19, call your health care provider. Do not make changes to the oxygen levels on your own.
As with any device, there is always a risk of an inaccurate reading. The FDA issued a safety communication in 2021 informing patients and health care providers that although pulse oximetry is useful for estimating blood oxygen levels, pulse oximeters have limitations and a risk of inaccuracy under certain circumstances that should be considered. Multiple factors can affect the accuracy of a pulse oximeter reading, such as poor circulation, skin pigmentation, skin thickness, skin temperature, current tobacco use, and use of fingernail polish. Over-the-counter oximeters that you can buy at the store or online do not undergo FDA review and are not intended for medical purposes.
If you are using a pulse oximeter to monitor your oxygen levels at home and are concerned about the reading, contact a health care provider. Do not rely only on a pulse oximeter. It also is important to keep track of your symptoms or how you feel. Contact a health care provider if your symptoms are serious or get worse.
While a portable oxygen concentrator can help you stay active if you need extra oxygen while traveling, a home oxygen concentrator can provide continuous oxygen without the need to recharge any batteries.
A home oxygen concentrator is not the same as an oxygen tank for home use. Oxygen tanks are filled with a finite amount of compressed oxygen and need to be refilled or replaced when the oxygen runs out. In contrast, home oxygen concentrators supply oxygen by taking air from the room around you and filtering out nitrogen, according to the Food and Drug Administration.1 They then use electrical pumps to concentrate the oxygen needed for oxygen therapy.
Most home oxygen concentrators offer continuous flow oxygen therapy, meaning the oxygen flows without stopping. The best continuous flow oxygen concentrator will depend on your prescription and your individual needs. But our Reviews Team gives you a place to start with a review of the best oxygen machines for home use.
For a comparatively low price of $695, the features of this home oxygen machine may make it a worthy investment. The CAIRE Companion 5 delivers oxygen flow settings in half-liter increments, which allows precise dosing for anyone who only needs a few hours of oxygen therapy a day or overnight. At 50 decibels, the home oxygen concentrator is about the same noise level as a running refrigerator.
The CAIRE Companion 5 Home Concentrator is available for purchase from medical equipment suppliers such as the Oxygen Concentrator Store. You can either shop online or at its retail location in Denver, Colorado. You can also check with your local durable medical equipment store for availability, or you can ask your doctor where to order a home oxygen concentrator.
The Respironics EverFlo home oxygen concentrator is the most consistently quiet 5-liter model on our list. It operates at between 40 and 45 decibels on all settings, which is about the same amount of noise you would hear in a library.2
If your prescription for home oxygen therapy requires high-volume or high-pressure oxygen, a 10-liter home oxygen system may be a better choice for you. We selected the AirSep Newlife Intensity 10 as our best 10-liter option for its average oxygen purity rating of 93% and air pressure of 20 pounds per square inch (psi), which is twice as much as most oxygen concentrators. It can also support nebulizers and venturi masks.
The Oxygen Concentrator Store refers to its customer service representatives as oxygen specialists. There is a page on its website where you can see thumbnail photos and read brief biographies of each specialist.
The air we breathe consists of 21% oxygen.4 The rest is nitrogen and trace amounts of other gasses. For people without lung disease, and even with mild lung disease, their lungs are able to filter a healthy amount of oxygen from the air, according to the American Thoracic Society.5 But for someone with advanced lung disease, their lungs cannot filter oxygen out of the air around them. A home oxygen concentrator can help by filtering oxygen out of the air and delivering it to the user.
Most home oxygen concentrators cost between approximately $700 and $1,900, excluding taxes and shipping. The cost may be lower if you are using Medicare or insurance to help pay for your home oxygen machine.
If you need high-volume or high-pressure home oxygen therapy, you may want to look into 10-liter home oxygen concentrators rather than 5-liter machines. Your doctor will tell you how many liters per minute you need as part of your prescription. But if those details are unclear, make sure to ask your doctor to add how many liters per minute of oxygen you need and/or get it in writing from your doctor before purchasing or renting a home oxygen concentrator.
When the oxygen saturation falls below 89%, supplemental oxygen is needed, according to the University of California San Francisco.8 Your health care provider will determine your supplemental oxygen needs. Most home oxygen concentrators will deliver oxygen at levels between 85% and 95% purity.9
If you plan on running your home oxygen system for several hours a day, if not constantly, you may want to consider how this will affect your energy bill. Most 5-liter home oxygen concentrators use about 350 watts of power per hour, but a 10-liter home oxygen concentrator uses more. The Oxygen Concentrator Store has a blog post that walks you through how to calculate stationary oxygen concentrator electricity usage and costs.
Compared to portable oxygen concentrators, home oxygen machines are the more affordable option. The online retailer Oxygen Concentrator Store states that its home oxygen concentrators generally cost between $600 and $2,500.
You can save money by buying used home oxygen machines instead of new ones. At the Oxygen Concentrator Store, used machines can cost between $395 and $1,500. Another option is to rent home oxygen equipment. Prices may start as low as $35 per day and go up to $200 per week. Extended rentals or using insurance or Medicare could make you eligible for discounts.
The best home oxygen concentrator for your needs will depend on a variety of factors. There are multiple options to choose from, and each brand and model has its own benefits and drawbacks. To find the best oxygen machine for home therapy use, consider the price, the amount and purity of oxygen your prescription requires, how much energy it will consume, and whether noise or portability is a concern.
It is important to talk with your doctor and/or respiratory therapist about your home oxygen therapy needs. Ask if they have a recommendation for what type of home oxygen concentrator is best for you or if there are certain features you should look for.
Your provider knows how much oxygen you need based on your health concerns and needs. If you take in too little or too much oxygen, it can cause serious health concerns. Taking in more oxygen than prescribed can slow your breathing and your heart rate to dangerous levels, according to Cleveland Clinic.12
Most home oxygen machines have a three-year warranty when buying from the Oxygen Concentrator Store. Although the retailer advertises a five-year warranty for the Respironics EverFlo, an oxygen specialist informed us that, as of November 2022, the five-year warranty is not available due to backorders.
The main difference is the amount of oxygen the two machines can deliver per minute. If an oxygen concentrator is labeled as a 5-liter model, it can deliver between 2 to 5 liters of oxygen per minute. If it is a 10-liter model, it can deliver anywhere from 2 to 10 liters of oxygen per minute. For reference, the average lung capacity of a healthy adult male is about 6 liters.15 If someone needs high-volume or high-pressure oxygen therapy, their doctor may prescribe a 10-liter oxygen concentrator instead of a 5-liter machine. 041b061a72