Oxygen Therapy | American Lung Association

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Oxygen Therapy

Oxygen is a gas that is vital to human life. It is one of the gases that is found in the air we breathe. If you have a chronic lung disease, you may need additional (supplemental) oxygen for your organs to function normally.

Here are some conditions that may require supplemental oxygen, either temporarily or long-term:

Oxygen therapy is a treatment that provides you with supplemental, or extra, oxygen. Although oxygen therapy may be common in the hospital, it can also be used at home. There are several devices used to deliver oxygen at home: oxygen concentrators, a liquid system or compressed oxygen. Your healthcare provider will help you choose the equipment that works best for you. Oxygen is usually delivered through nasal prongs (an oxygen cannula) or a face mask. Oxygen equipment can attach to other medical equipment such as CPAP machines and ventilators.

Oxygen therapy can help you feel better and stay active. Learning all you can about oxygen therapy can help you feel more comfortable and confident. Use the links below to learn more.

If you are on Medicare and have had issues getting your oxygen covered by insurance or getting the amount of oxygen you need, we want to know. Send an email with your story to [email protected]. Your email will be forwarded to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Thanks for helping us advocate for lung disease patients who need oxygen.


    Reviewed and approved by the American Lung Association Scientific and Medical Editorial Review Panel. Last reviewed June 14, 2017.

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