Ageing can impact an individual in various ways. While it may affect the motor functions and cognitive skills of some, it can also impact one’s respiratory system. When an individual is unable to take in enough oxygen from the air, oxygen therapy may be prescribed. It increases the amount of oxygen in the blood and helps in improving the patient’s overall health. The duration of the oxygen therapy depending on the severity of the individual’s condition. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy plays a vital role in the practice of geriatric medicine.
Oxygen therapy is a treatment usually prescribed for low blood oxygen, cluster headaches, and carbon monoxide toxicity. This enhances the distribution of oxygen through blood capillaries, tissues, organs, and the brain. The treatment is non-invasive and is suitable for almost everyone. Here are some of the many benefits of oxygen therapy that seniors can avail:
1. Improved Quality of Life
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients can benefit a lot from oxygen therapy. COPD is a disease that attacks the lungs and in severe cases causes various complications. One of these complications is hypoxemia. In this, the levels of oxygen in the blood can be really low. Oxygen therapy can reduce such complications and help patients lead a better lifestyle. It helps in ensuring that the heart and other bodily tissues receive a sufficient amount of oxygen. Thus, oxygen therapy can also be used in the treatment of heart failure. Owing to the many benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, it may also be prescribed for people suffering from pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis, or sleep apnea.
2. Reduces Risk of Heart Disease
Like every tissue and organ, your heart also requires oxygen. While low blood oxygen level can have a negative impact on several organs, it can also affect the cardiovascular system and increase the risk of heart diseases like pulmonary hypertension, high blood pressure, heart failure, or even heart attack. However, oxygen therapy can reduce the risk of developing heart disease and other health conditions by increasing blood oxygen saturation. Thus, doctors usually prescribe oxygen therapy for the elderly.
3. Improves Your Exercise Tolerance
People suffering from chronic respiratory conditions may find it difficult to work out, perform certain physical activities, or carry out physiotherapy at home. This is because exercising can put physical strain on your body since it does not have a sufficient amount of oxygen. This makes the lungs work harder in order to take in more oxygen. But with the help of oxygen therapy, the individual is able to lead a much more active lifestyle. Moreover, this allows the patient to carry out more intense exercises as prescribed by their physician.
4. Improves Cognitive Function
Apart from physical benefits, oxygen therapy can also improve your mental and cognitive function. Low blood oxygen levels in the brain can also one’s ability to reason, solve problems, plan, comprehend complex ideas, and learn. This can leave the patient feeling foggy-headed, fatigued, and distracted. However, with hyperbaric oxygen therapy, the blood oxygen level in the brain can be stabilized. Studies show that the therapy can prevent cognitive decline or at least prevent it from worsening.
5. Helps Get Better Sleep
Initially, people began using long-term oxygen therapy only at night as it helped them sleep. This is because complexities may increase for people with hypoxemia while they are asleep. Since sleeping makes the breathing rate slow down, it may impact the quality of sleep for people suffering from respiratory diseases which can be injurious to the cardiovascular system over time. Oxygen therapy ensures a high flow of oxygen in the blood which can prevent such issues. Moreover, this will also help them feel a lot more attentive and refreshed when they wake up in the morning.
In most cases, oxygen therapy can prove to be a lifesaver. This is the reason why oxygen therapy in elderly patients is extremely common. And due to mobility issues, one may even be required to take oxygen therapy at home. However, one should always consult a doctor beforehand and only get the therapy done under the guidance of a healthcare specialist. We hope that this information will help you get an idea of the various benefits of oxygen therapy and how it can improve the patient’s overall lifestyle.
Our elders inspire us in everything we do at Emoha, be it providing elder care services, driving community engagement initiatives or taking care of their well-being. For us, it is always #EldersFirst.