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Is keeping an oxygen station at home advisable?

Monday, 13 December 2010
Answered by: Dr Sai Praveen Haranath
Specialist in Pulmonary and Critical Care MedicineKaiser Permanente Medical Center/The Permanente Medical GroupWalnut Creek, CA 94596
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Q. I am a 41 years old male weighing 75 kg. Can keeping an oxygen station at home to provide relief from air pollution? How to use it and in what quantity? Are there any adverse effects?

A.  Oxygen is prescribed only in situations where the measured blood oxygen level is lower than a certain amount. I am not aware of any medical benefit of oxygen in preventing the effects of air pollution. Avoiding dust is important to minimise the harmful effects of air pollution. Some suggested methods to increase ambient air quality have been to have more green spaces around the home and plants in the house. Adequate ventilation is also important. Oxygen will not stop the dust from getting into the lungs. People with certain lung diseases will need oxygen when their levels drop and their breathing may worsen if exposed to particulates from air pollution. In that setting oxygen will help due to the poor reserve lung function in these patients.

A.  Oxygen is prescribed only in situations where the measured blood oxygen level is lower than a certain amount. I am not aware of any medical benefit of oxygen in preventing the effects of air pollution. Avoiding dust is important to minimise the harmful effects of air pollution. Some suggested methods to increase ambient air quality have been to have more green spaces around the home and plants in the house. Adequate ventilation is also important. Oxygen will not stop the dust from getting into the lungs. People with certain lung diseases will need oxygen when their levels drop and their breathing may worsen if exposed to particulates from air pollution. In that setting oxygen will help due to the poor reserve lung function in these patients.

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