Oxygen therapy is a treatment that provides extra oxygen to patients who have difficulty breathing. In healthy lungs, oxygen from the air that is breathed in is transferred into the bloodstream and carbon dioxide is removed and breathed out. Some diseases can prevent the lungs from transferring enough oxygen into the blood. Oxygen therapy can help people with these conditions feel better and be more active.
Oxygen therapy involves administering oxygen either through a mask, or through a nasal cannula (two small tubes that enter the nose). Some people receive oxygen through a small tube inserted directly into the windpipe through the front of the neck.
Oxygen therapy may be administered in a hospital or clinic, or it may be administered at a patient’s home. Some people who receive oxygen therapy need it all the time, while others only need it at certain times.