Who Needs Oxygen Concentrator? Understanding Respiratory Health and Oxygen Therapy

Living with a respiratory condition can be challenging. Fortunately, advancements in medical technology have led to the development of home oxygen concentrator and portable oxygen concentrator, which can significantly improve the quality of life for people with low blood oxygen levels. But how do you know if you need one?

This blog post from VARON UK, a leading supplier of home and portable oxygen concentrators, will explore the different types of oxygen concentrators available and the conditions that might necessitate their use.

Understanding Low Blood Oxygen Levels

Blood oxygen level, also known as SpO2, refers to the percentage of oxygen carried by red blood cells throughout your body. Healthy SpO2 levels typically range between 95% and 100%. When your blood oxygen level falls below this range, a condition called hypoxemia develops. Symptoms of hypoxemia can include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid breathing
  • Chest tightness
  • Bluish tint to the lips and fingernails (cyanosis)
  • Confusion
  • Headache
  • Fatigue

Who Needs Oxygen Concentrators?

Home oxygen concentrators and portable oxygen concentrators are two primary types of devices used in oxygen therapy. These devices electronically concentrate oxygen from the ambient air, providing a continuous or pulsed flow of enriched oxygen for inhalation.

home oxygen concentrator

Here are some of the conditions that may benefit from oxygen concentrator therapy:

  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): This progressive lung disease makes it difficult to breathe due to airflow limitation.
  • Emphysema: A type of COPD that damages lung tissues, reducing the surface area for oxygen exchange.
  • Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD): A group of disorders affecting the tissue between the air sacs in the lungs.
  • Congestive Heart Failure (CHF): A condition where the heart struggles to pump blood efficiently, leading to fluid buildup in the lungs and reduced oxygen absorption.
  • Pneumonia: An infection that inflames the air sacs in the lungs, hindering oxygen exchange.
  • Sleep Apnea: A sleep disorder where breathing repeatedly stops and starts, causing oxygen desaturation during sleep.
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis: Scarring of lung tissue that reduces lung capacity and oxygen intake.

How Can an Oxygen Concentrator Help?

An oxygen concentrator acts as a personal mini-oxygen factory for your home or on-the-go needs. Here's a breakdown of how it works to improve your respiratory health:

  • Air Intake and Filtration: The oxygen concentrator draws in surrounding air, which is about 21% oxygen and 78% nitrogen.
  • Oxygen Separation: Using a process called pressure swing adsorption (PSA), the concentrator employs zeolite crystals to selectively attract and trap nitrogen molecules. This allows oxygen molecules, which are smaller, to pass through more freely.
  • Oxygen Enrichment: The concentrated oxygen (usually around 90-95% pure) is then delivered through a continuous flow.
  • Delivery and Absorption: The oxygen is delivered comfortably through a nasal cannula or mask. This enriched oxygen mixture helps increase the amount of oxygen entering your bloodstream through the lungs, alleviating symptoms associated with low oxygen levels.

By providing a steady stream of concentrated oxygen, oxygen concentrators can significantly improve your quality of life. Let's delve deeper into the benefits:

  • Reduced Shortness of Breath: The primary benefit is relief from shortness of breath (dyspnea), a hallmark symptom of many respiratory conditions. The increased oxygen intake helps your body function more efficiently, reducing the feeling of breathlessness and allowing for easier breathing.
  • Improved Exercise Tolerance: Low oxygen levels can significantly limit your physical activity. Oxygen therapy can enhance your exercise capacity, allowing you to participate in daily activities and exercise routines with greater ease.
  • Enhanced Sleep Quality: For some conditions like sleep apnea, oxygen therapy can improve sleep quality by reducing pauses in breathing and promoting deeper, more restful sleep.
  • Increased Alertness and Cognitive Function: Chronic low oxygen levels can affect mental clarity and focus. Oxygen therapy can help improve cognitive function and alertness, enhancing your overall well-being.

Choosing Between a Home Oxygen Concentrator and Portable Oxygen Concentrator

VARON UK offers two main types of oxygen concentrators: home oxygen concentrator and portable oxygen concentrator. Here's a breakdown to help you decide which might be right for you:

home oxygen concentrator

  • Home Oxygen Concentrators:

    • Designed for continuous use at home.
    • Generally more powerful and provide higher flow rates.
    • Larger and heavier than portable models.
    • Ideal for patients who require a constant supply of oxygen throughout the day and night.


portable oxygen concentrator

  • Portable Oxygen Concentrators:

    • Lightweight and compact, making them ideal for travel and maintaining an active lifestyle.
    • Offer lower flow rates compared to home oxygen concentrators.
    • Battery-powered for on-the-go use.
    • Suitable for patients who need supplemental oxygen during daily activities or while traveling.

Ultimately, the decision to use an oxygen concentrator is a personal one. If you have any questions about oxygen therapy or how it can benefit you, be sure to discuss them with your healthcare provider.

Remember, living a fulfilling life is possible with COPD or other respiratory conditions. With proper treatment, including oxygen therapy when needed, you can manage your symptoms and enjoy an active lifestyle.

VARON Offers a Range of Oxygen Concentrator Solutions

VARON recognizes that oxygen needs vary from person to person. That's why we offer a variety of home and portable oxygen concentrator models to suit different needs and preferences. Here's a quick look at some of our most popular options:



VARON UK: Committed to Your Respiratory Health

VARON UK is dedicated to providing high-quality and reliable oxygen concentrators to improve the lives of individuals with respiratory conditions. We offer excellent customer service and support to ensure you have the resources and information you need to manage your health effectively.

Contact VARON UK today to learn more about our oxygen concentrators and how we can help you breathe easier and live a more active life.