6 Common Myths About Portable Oxygen Concentrators

If you have been on the internet recently researching oxygen concentrators, chances are that you’ve been exposed to outdated criticisms and outright misinformation.  Claims that most portable oxygen concentrators are “the size of a large suitcase, weigh 50 pounds and use lots of electricity” are just flat out wrong.  Using portable oxygen concentrators is one of the more popular home oxygen options available to oxygen therapy patients.

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In 2007, there are some remarkable portable oxygen concentrators on the market that have revolutionized oxygen therapy.  The Inogen One for example, weighs only 10 pounds, operates indefinitely on A/C, 2-3 hours on a rechargeable battery, can be plugged into your car’s cigarette lighter and meets FAA requirements for aircraft use.  The SeQual Eclipse, slightly larger, yet easily portable, is also approved by the FAA, battery or car operated and even provides continuous flow when powered by a standard electrical outlet.

Let’s Look at Some of the Typical Myths Being Circulated About Portable Oxygen Concentrators:

Myth #1 – Oxygen concentrators are bulky, cumbersome and embarrassing.

Reality –Portable oxygen concentrators like the Inogen One and SeQual Eclipse are compact, lightweight and unobtrusive.  The SeQual Eclipse comes with a telescoping handle cart for easy mobility.  The trim Inogen One is only 11.62” long, 6” wide and 12.39” in height, including handle.  The lightweight Inogen One weighs less than 10 pounds, including battery!

Myth #2 – The more oxygen I take, the better I’ll feel.

Reality – Oxygen is a prescribed drug and your physician’s instructions should always be followed closely.  Never adjust the flow rate on your oxygen concentrator without your physicians consent.

Myth #3 – If I start using oxygen, I’ll have to take it the rest of my life.

Reality – Not all oxygen therapy patients require treatment for the duration of their lives.  Many discontinue use after other appropriate treatments have taken effect.  Oxygen therapy gives your body what it needs to heal.

Myth #4 – Oxygen therapy patients must be confined to their homes.

Reality – Portable oxygen concentrators give users the freedom to lead active and mobile lives.  These compact and innovative units are designed for mobility.  Place the Inogen One or Eclipse behind the front car seat; plug it into the cigarette lighter and away you go!  You have endless oxygen anywhere you can plug in, plus 3 or 4 hours of battery life to go anywhere you wish.

Myth #5 – Portable oxygen concentrators gobble up electricity.

Reality – Today’s energy efficient portable oxygen concentrators use about as much electricity as a television.  In fact, the newest portable oxygen concentrators can run for 3 or 4 hours on battery life alone.

Myth #6 – Using an oxygen concentrator can be dangerous.

Reality – Unless mishandled, oxygen concentrators are perfectly safe.  Of course, oxygen is flammable, so you need to keep it away from smokers or open flames.  But altogether, oxygen concentrators are by far safer than oxygen cylinders or tanks.  Unlike tanks or cylinders, oxygen concentrators do not store large amounts of pressurized oxygen.  Concentrators create oxygen as it is needed and only store enough to provide the correct liters per minute flow.  As strict as airlines have become concerning explosives, the FAA and most airlines have deemed several of the newest oxygen concentrators safe for planes.

Just Follow These Simple, Common Sense Tips For Safe Oxygen Use:

  • Never smoke around oxygen cylinders or concentrators
  • Avoid alcohol and other sedating drugs when receiving oxygen therapy
  • Never use oil-based lubricants on your mouth or nostrils, always use water-based products
  • Notify your electric company if you are using an oxygen concentrator so you can receive priority service during power interruptions

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It is important to remember that all portable oxygen concentrators are not the same.  What may apply for one product can be vastly different for another.  If you are researching portable oxygen concentrators online, look for websites that offer product brochures and specification sheets.  These are valuable tools in helping you to determine the correct portable oxygen concentrator that meets your requirements.

It is also helpful to find websites like this one, that are staffed with professional health care providers, not just salespersons.  On other websites, you will also find a good deal of outdated information regarding portable oxygen concentrators.  There have been huge advances in recent years that are not reflected in much of the information available on other sites.  For accurate information on the newest, state of the art oxygen concentrators, go to our homepage for oxygen concentrators.

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