Q & A

Whichever online search engines you use to ask your questions concerning oxygen, oxygen equipment, daily activities while using oxygen or concerns about those who use oxygen, I’m dedicating this page to those questions. If you have any questions that are not listed below, please post them in the comment section and I will do my best to answer them. Below are some questions & subjects that I’ve been asked about:

Q. Does a bipap machine indicate end of life?

A. No. To me, a bipap machine is just another way to improve the quality of life that we all deserve. I certainly hope no one has ever been told that having to use a bipap machine is an “End of Life” step. Something that indicates “end of life” would be that someone is dead. We are not dead. We are adapting to the way our body can function to stay alive by participating in life and if that means we must use a bipap machine, then so be it.

Q. How much O2 can you use with a home Bipap?

A. The amount of oxygen to be used, if necessary, should always be determined by your doctor, usually a Pulmonologist who orders a sleep study to determine this amount.

Q. Can I drive while using oxygen?

A. Well, I can drive while using oxygen. My oxygen needs to be strapped securely. If you drive, when you park, be sure not to leave your backup tank in your vehicle for more time than absolutely necessary. The heat within your vehicle will rise and that will begin to build up pressure within your oxygen backup tank. If you have a liquid oxygen reservoir like I do, the tank should be equipped with a pressure relief valve which will cause the tank to hiss when there is excess pressure. If your backup oxygen supply is an e-cylinder (a tall, skinny tank that’s under pressure), you should always keep that covered to keep the sunlight from the tank. There are now battery-powered portable oxygen concentrators that are perfect for those who use oxygen at a lower liter flow (3LPM). Check here: http://www.inogenone.com/ Above all else, safety first. If you don’t think you should drive, if you are tired or do not feel well, have someone else drive you.

Q. Do you have breathing problems after you eat?

A. In my personal experience with eating (and everyone can have different experiences), I tend to have 2 problems. The first problem is that eating makes me tired. When I say “tired,” I mean that after I eat a meal, I feel like I need to take a nap because I usually feel ‘sluggish.’ In fact, when my husband, K, and I are out doing errands and I start to get hungry, we both know that there is a fine line between getting me fed before my crankiness kicks in and wanting to get the errands finished because we know eating will pretty much end the afternoon. I simply run out of steam. The Second problem that I have with eating is that I’m very sensitive to things such as black pepper, the smell of cooking celery – oregano – anything spicy like jalapenos. Eating these things or smelling them causes my throat to feel inflamed which makes it hard for me to breathe. In a restaurant, I have to order things without black pepper (such as how they cook steak), bell peppers, and I always have to ask the waiter if the thing I want is going to be spicy. I know what I can’t eat and I try to stay away from them but if there is a time when I accidentally eat too much of pepper or whatever that has me reaching for my throat, I use my inhaler and drink lots of water. Check out this blog post I did to see the picture of how I enjoy the beach with my oxygen.

Q. How to keep portable oxygen tank dry while at the beach?

A. This is a great question and here’s what I’ve done. It’s not an easy task when you are carrying your portable while wading in the ocean but I don’t go in deep waters. (I have a water phobia) I also do NOT go in alone. My husband always carry my portable oxygen when I want to walk with him in the water. However there is another way to protect your portable tank when set up on the beach with a beach chair and portable oxygen tank. First, put your oxygen portable in large plastic bag, such as a trash bag. Do NOT seal it closed tight. (I DO NOT RECOMMEND DOING THIS WITH A PORTABLE OXYGEN CONCENTRATOR.) It still needs ventilation. Next pick a spot on the beach away from the ocean tide to set up your beach chair. Remember the tide will come in eventually if you are going out during the evening. Tie the bag to the beach chair securely, using stakes on the chair if necessary. This is to help keep the tank from falling over if you get overly excited about being in the water and pull your canula tubing too hard. Then place a beach towel over the tank to provide shade, even if you have a beach umbrella. You should us a 50ft oxygen tubing with your portable so that you go into the ocean with minimal problem. You can even try burrying the tubing in the sand to keep people from tripping over the tubing if you want but I always keep an eye on it. Most people on the beach seeing me and my oxygen are super nice about the tubing on the beach. The key is to be friendly to others so they will be friendly to you and your needs. If you want to see a picture of how I set up my oxygen at the beach, go to this post. Remember to drink plenty of water to keep yourself from dehydrating. | If you have a portable oxygen concentrator that runs on battery, try securing it on a beach chair so it won’t fall off or over and lightly cover the top with a beach towel so that it is out of the sun if you aren’t using a beach umbrella. Use a long oxygen tubing to reach from the chair to the water.

Q. Sinus problems while using the Bipap. What can I do?

A. This is a problem that I absolute hate when I try to lie down to rest or go to bed for the night. It’s like the instant I’m lying flat, my nose gets all stopped up. How is a person to breathe through the bipap mask with a stuffed up nose? What I do, is to add an extra pillow (stack 2 pillows) under my head until my sinuses clear. It usually takes a good 10 – 15 minutes. If that doesn’t work, I will roll over to the side while using 2 pillow under my head and one pillow propped behind my back so I can lean against it. If any of this doesn’t work, there is another option. One I have yet to try. So, if you try it, let me know how it works for you. The Breathe Right Nasal Strips really look promising! No pills or prescriptions.. just old fashion ingenuity! Update: The Breathe Right Strips work really well for me! Even the generic ones too!

Q. Can I wear any kind of makeup while using oxygen?

A. I have never had any trouble wearing makeup. You should be able to glamorize your beautiful self with makeup of any kind. The only thing that I do is I make sure to wash off my makeup prior to resting or sleeping with my bipap mask on. I don’t want makeup to make my mask dirty or contaminated. But wearing makeup while wearing an oxygen canula tubing on your face is fine.

Q. Is 5 liters/min of oxygen a lot?

A. I use 6 L/min of oxygen 24/7 and that’s what was prescribed for me based on my medical needs. So, for me, no it’s not a lot, but what I need to keep my level of quality of life optimal. There are other people with other diseases which may require more or even less. Everyone’s needs may be different. Though, in a general sense, 5 L/min is quite a bit of oxygen. But don’t let that get you down because if that’s what is prescribed for you by a doctor and it makes you able to function without shortness of breath, then, that’s what you need. Remember, quality of life should be yours and your doctor’s main goal.

Q. Can I go on a hot air balloon ride while wearing 5 liters of oxygen?

A. This is an event that I hadn’t even thought of doing before. I thought of riding in a helicopter in Las Vegas though. To ride in a hot air balloon sounds very exciting and to answer your question, there are few things you need to check out. First, having oxygen within proximity of an open flame is very dangerous. Do some research and ask questions. You must determine whether or not the company who provides the ride allows oxygen using passengers. Remember, you must also be strong enough to withstand a hard landing within the basket of the balloon. If you find a company who allows oxygen onboard, you need to make sure you have plenty of oxygen for the ride. From what I discovered, most companies say the whole event can last anywhere from 3 to 4 hours, start (airing up the balloon) to finish (landing). You should also talk with your doctor about taking this ride. You could go pretty high (500-3000 ft) in the sky which means the altitude could cause problems for your ability to breathe. If you do find company who allows oxygen users and your doctor permits your hot air balloon adventure, make sure you the company is accident free. Do some research. It would be a risky adventure that I personally would not do.

Q. Having problems getting my oxygen tanks refilled.

A. Nothing frustrates me more when I hear this. If you are having problems with getting your oxygen refilled, you should get on the phone and call the DME (durable medical equipment) company who supplies your oxygen needs. Ask them why there is a problem with getting your oxygen refilled. Do your best to be as nice a possible. If they give you a problem, inform them you will be calling your doctor and your insurance company. You should do just that. Remember though, every year, the DME needs you to be re-certified by the prescribing doctor (usually your Pulmonologist) on the continuing need for oxygen. If you continue to have serious problems such as the DME company not refilling your oxygen in a timely matter, giving you a hard time with an attitude, inform your insurance company and ask if you could switch DME companies that they have a contract with.

Q. Oxygen refill in Las Vegas?

A. I’ve been to Las Vegas and needed a liquid oxygen refill. There is actually a Lincare (who I use as my DME company) who is located about a mile or two from the Vegas strip. Lincare is a national company. I love them because all I have to do when I go on vacation is notify them 2 weeks in advance with my itinerary and where I think I will need oxygen refills, and they handle everything for me. I actually will go to them for the refill early in the morning (about 8am) with my tanks in my vehicle to make it easier on the company. However if you plan to be at one place on vacation, they can arrange a set up at that place. With Lincare, it gets billed to my insurance just as if I were at home. If you don’t have Lincare as your DME company, contact your DME company to see how they can help you.

Q. Can you use acrylic nails while on oxygen?

A. Yes you can. I get my nails done. I get Solar Nails which are acrylic. One warning though. Make sure the salon is well ventilated. If you can smell the chemicals when you walk in the door, try another place.

Q. Mom too proud to wear oxygen.

A. I hear this a lot. I didn’t have a choice about wearing my oxygen but I sure didn’t like having to wear it when I first had to start using oxygen 24/7. Are you wondering why she feels this way? Perhaps it’s because she feels like she is losing her sense of independence. Maybe it’s because her oxygen setup isn’t the best for her needs. Is she stuck on those E-cylinders that are too heavy? There are many other oxygen equipment options now; even lighter portable types of oxygen tanks for when she leaves the house. If she needs to wear it, then encourage her to wear it without harping (not that you harp!). Remind her that it will make her life so much more easier and enjoyable.

Q. Smoking while using oxygen.

A. Really, really, really not good. Not only is this a dangerous thing to do, it’s also not helping the person using the oxygen get better. STOP SMOKING! If you smoke and you are not the one using oxygen but live or visit with someone who does use oxygen, DO NOT SMOKE AROUND THE OXYGEN USER. If the oxygen user comes to your house, do not smoke around them. GO OUTSIDE! People who have breathing problems are very, very sensitive to cigarette smoke. This may be an inconvenience to you but think of the oxygen user because cigarette smoke can cause all sorts of breathing problems for them.

Q. Why does my liquid oxygen tank hiss?

A. Usually the liquid oxygen tanks hiss because they’ve either just been refilled by your DME company, the pressure inside the tank has gotten too high and the built-in pressure release valve will relieve some of the excess pressure. The hissing should stop within a short time. If it doesn’t, call your DME company to let them know so they can come check it out. It could be a possible leak.

Q. What lotion is not recommended for oxygen users?

A. Based on the recommendations of the COPD Foundation, it is not recommended to use a lotion that is petroleum-based. Instead, you should use water-based products. Just look at the ingredients on the bottle to know. Petroleum based products tend to lead to accidental fires if caution is not used. Do not use these products near an open flame or sparks from a fire.

Q. Fire, fireplace, grills and oxygen users. And what about gas stoves?

A. First and foremost, Oxygen feeds fire. Oxygen will make a nice fire become a potentially bad moment and big dangerous problem. Use EXTREME caution when oxygen is in use around any type of flame including a gas stove. All oxygen, including the person who is  using the oxygen, should remain at least 5 feet away from any fire. My personal belief for Liquid oxygen tanks is that they should be as far away from any flame as possible (15 feet or farther). Again, on WebMD, the COPD Foundation has some really excellent information including notifying the fire department and the utility companies to inform them of your oxygen use and request a “priority service listing.”

77 thoughts on “Q & A

  1. Hi Christine, great blog! Very cool, so good to see someone use their experience to help others x My mum’s on oxygen and we can’t seem to find out about face creams that are allowed with it, or if there’s any way round the fire risk, and even wether its a real risk or just insurance hysteria?!? Any tips very welcome!!! Many thanks Lynne (UK)

    • Hello and Welcome Lynne! It’s great to see your post. Your questions are really good ones and I’ve heard them often. I will post an official Answer to your questions (on the Q&A page) later today but also here in my reply.

      I have never had a single problem with the use of any lotion product for my body or face. However, there are issues with petroleum jelly or petroleum products that must be considered where safety is concerned. I found a great link that explains what those potential dangers are and you can find it here: Ask a Scientist – Petroleum Jelly and Oxygen.

      If your mom has a computer, have her check out my blog. Please continue to stop by and ask as many question as you need. Don’t forget to sign up for notification emails of when I post more on my blog! More of my answer to your question to come soon today! *hugs*

    • Has anyone heard of a place called The Lung Institute doing stem cell work to
      Help lung patients. They are saying 15 to 30 per cent improvement

      • Denise,

        I, personally, haven’t heard of them but I know that there are some people printing? lungs. I don’t know how functional it is but I hope they get it to work! Think of the possibilities!!

      • Yes, the stem cell work is progressing such that our Alpha-1/COPD group in Canada are talking about the future.

      • I’ve communicated with this company but haven’t heard from them in awhile. I think they gave up on me! They want $7,000 up front! It’s a good option and I wish I could do it! They give you a shot in an area where they can take fat out of your body and they put it where your illness is, in the lungs. The fat from your body makes the dead cells regenerate and your illness cures itself.

  2. Hello, I have a question for you – it’s about breathing while sleeping. Basically, I have a terrible time with sleep. I have pulmonary hypertention as a result of congenital heart defects, and my heart is in failure. I’m on salt and water restrictions, lots of diuretics, but even with this my abdominal cavity often gets full of fluid and has to be drained once a week. When I lie flat, I can’t breath very well at all. My heart beats faster, I can stay down there for a little while, but before long I am breathless and have to haul myself up. When I was a bit healthier, a few pillows helped, but now I have to sleep in a hospital bed with the back up almost vertical. I prop big pillows all around myself to try to stop myself slumping over, or sliding down the mattress. Yet invariably, I wake each morning, breathless and feeling terrible, half slumped over and not breathing properly. In hospital I used a bipap and it helped clear some water that had got onto my lungs, but the doctors wouldn’t let me use one long term as they said my lungs would forget how to breath by themselves. I also have the sinus problem you talk about, as I’m on 3Lpm. I ‘fix’ it by inhaling water into my nose and trying to clear it out that way, and using tissues soaked in hot water to try to remove the ick. It doesn’t seem to be a great solution and could be making things worse. Do you have any suggestions for me? I know you’re not a doctor, but you clearly have figured out a way to sleep with PH symptoms. I would appreciate any advice. I just want to sleep and not wake up feeling horrible!!

    • Hello back… I read your comment about an hour ago and got very upset with your doctor. Breathing is a conscience and sub-conscience body function controlled by your diaphragm, the intercostal muscles between your ribs and your brain. You can not “forget” how to breathe. It’s like blinking. You sub-conscientiously blink without thought to moisten your eyes or conscientiously batt your eyelashes to flirt. Your brain automatically takes over complete control of breathing when you are asleep or unconscious. You are right. I’m not a doctor but I have a lot of experience with the bipap and the difficulties of sleeping without one. When you sleep, do you have bad dreams? Do you wake up gasping for air or find it hard to wake up? Do you wake up with headaches with or without nauseation? These were my signs of needing to be tested for a bipap. Sleep apnea is another condition for needing a bipap or cpap.

      I have been using a bipap since 1994 and I have yet to “forget” how to breathe without it. I use it to sleep or rest in bed with and when I get out of bed, I take the oxygen off my bipap machine and go about my day with just the oxygen. It truly breaks my heart to hear all the trouble you are having just to sleep and the trouble with your doctor. My recommendation would be to find another pulmonary doctor and ask to have a sleep study done with a bipap to prove that you definitely need one. Insurance companies need proof. You could also ask for an at-home sleep oximetry test that monitors and records your oxygen saturation while you sleep. Explain in detail the problems you are having to the new doctor and take your medical records with you. Find a Pulmonologist who will go to bat for you.

      Do you have a pulse oximeter? If you don’t, I suggest getting one from your pharmacy. It will let you know when your oxygen saturation is dropping. When that happens, it puts a strain on your heart. We don’t want that to happen. So rest when it drops. About the sinus problems, it makes me cringe when I hear about water in the nose. I always fear, if I tried that (which I wouldn’t.. personally preference!) the water would slip down into my lungs. Have you tried the Breathe Right Strips? Keep in touch. I hope this helps.


    • Great advice Christine!

      Heartlungthing – Even though I wore nasel pronged oxygen while I slept, my shallow breathing, coulpled with mouth breathing or knocking the chord off my face would have me waking up with horrible headaches. So I totally sympathize. I brought this to my doctors attention and he suggested a bi-pap machine, which I tried over a 10 day trip. Each day’s activity would usually put me out of commission for an extra couple days….but surprisingly each morning I woke up rested and full of energy! Definately look into getting a Bi-Pap. Though it may not effect sleep breathing as much, practice deep breathing- in your nose and out your lips- pushing as hard as possible. My pulmonary therapist told me that people with lowered lung capacity can collect carbon dioxide in their lungs. NOT GOOD! Surprisingly, pasta can add to this problem….boo! 😦

  3. Thanks for your reply! When I was in hospital I did a sleep study and they took an arterial blood oxygen sample (ouch!) and had me hooked up to all kinds of things. Paradoxically, that one night I slept really well, and thus showed no problems in the study.

    We basically found out we couldn’t get a bipap machine as no doctor would prescribe it for me, once it had worked to get the water off my lungs (their fault it got there – my PH doc forgot to write specific instructions and the nurses gave me a whole bunch of saline fluids with an IV iron infusion I was having, and I had so much water that some of it went onto my lungs). The doctors insisted I didn’t need it, and if they won’t prescribe it, we can’t get it on the PBS, which means forking out a lot of dough that I don’t have for a machine. I’ll give the nasal strips a try – just have to remember to ask for them at the chemist. Some nights I sleep fine, others I don’t. And on those nights, yes, I have bad dreams, and wake often, gasping for air. and sometimes have headaches. I hate it. Thanks very, very, much for your help. This is a terrible problem, and I really need as much advice as possible. Perhaps I will try to pull some strings in the health department to get hold of a bipap.

    • Wow! Your health care system is different from American’s health care. You know, I’m not a doctor but, if it’s been some time between when you went to the hospital and now, perhaps you can ask for another sleep study due to having even more trouble sleeping. Don’t give up. I know what you mean about those ABGs (Arterial Blood Gas drawls). Ouchie Ouchie Ouch! Can you purchase a bipap without a doctor’s prescription?

  4. I don’t know if you can buy one without a prescription, but I will look into it. It could definitely be a solution. Last night I slept with the 02 mask on (strapped on tightly with an eye-mask backwards and and stuck to the nose part with micropore tape so it wouldn’t come off) and I put the 02 up to just under 4L, partly because I have a really long 02 tube at the moment. Unfortunately, even after all that, I woke up feeling terrible and de-oxygenated again. 😦 I was very surprised that I’d had two good nights on the mask, and then a really bad one. Weird. In fact I often have mysteriously good nights and then several bad nights. I don’t understand why it is different on different nights. My diet is the same pretty much every day, and it doesn’t seem to matter if I’m on 24 hr slow-release morphine, or not on it; I get breathless just as often – if anything, a little bit less often in the day time. It could be related to anxiety and PTSD after getting very breathless and sick while taking Flolan, which I have to consider as a factor before buying a bipap, as I don’t have a lot of money. Bipap sounds really good, and part of me wants to just get one so that I can start sleeping properly, but I think I need to make sure the SOB is not anxiety related first, before putting myself through another hospital sleep study, blood tests, and the cost and difficulty of obtaining the machine.

    • Hi, Is it possible for you to take a picture of your oxygen setup so that I can understand the type of oxygen equipment that you are using to sleep with. Also, I know that, for me, when I take anything that has codeine, morphine, hydrocodone, etc… it will slow my breathing and cause me serious trouble with shortness of breath. It was also different for me too in the beginning just before starting to use the bipap. Some nights I was ok and woke up feeling just fine and others it was awful. Can you not get rescheduled for another sleep study? When I had my sleep studies, I was at either a hospital sleep lab or a separate building that does sleep studies. At all but one of them I had no I.V. and no medicine given to me. I was there only a total of 10 hours (2 hours to hook me up to the wires & do paper work).

      • Hello again, gosh this is a long thread. My ‘not breathing at night’ saga continues, but I have used 02 and been breathless, and not used it and not been breathless, so I’ve stopped using the mask because it doesn’t seem to be making any difference. It’s interesting what you said about codeine and morphine, because a lot of doctors have that notion, but when I first used palliative services the doctor in that department put me on slow release morphine because he said morphine helped people breathe. A PH nurse had told me this as well, so I just believed it. It did seem to help, but lately I’ve been getting healthier, and I’ve slowly dropped the morphine until I was just taking 5mg of Endone (sort of like codeine) every four hours. At first I was scared that I wasn’t breathing because it would leave my system at night if I didn’t happen to wake up at some point and take it, but since I’ve been home from the hospice, I’ve gone off it completely, and haven’t been SOB in the day time once. At night, I still wake up breathless, but my Aunt, who is a nurse, and has been helping me get off these drugs, thinks it might be more to do with digestion and the fact that my kidneys are starting to work again so my body sort of wakes me up for those functions, and I feel breathless because my stomach or my bladder is full. Anyway, I don’t really know. I could have a completely new theory tomorrow, who knows? But it kind of seems to be what she said, going on last night, anyway. I don’t think I’ve actually been episodically breathless since I’ve stopped taking Endone, which is great.

      • Are you taking into account the issue of the open flame that fuels the hot air balloon? Seriously – this was not addressed in your answer! What were you thinking about a landing causing a problem? The problem is the open flame. You need to address THAT in your answer. Do your research!

      • Hi Jan,
        I actually did do research. There is a hot air balloon company that tours at the Grand Canyon in Arizona that even provides supplemental oxygen if needed since they go up to a high altitude. Personally, I would not do it myself with my oxygen. I will add the oxygen concern to my answer. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

    • This is a great question for which I have been thinking about writing a post on my blog. I’ll answer your question here as part of the Q&A. So look above. 🙂 Thanks Demetria for such a wonderful question and topic!

  5. Hi Christine I have mineral powder foundation that is a powder, can I wear any kind of makeup I feel sad without it sometimes when I go out! I’m on oxygen

    • Hi, if you will look at the list of questions on the Q&A page, you’ll see that I answered your question tonight. It’s a fabulous question!! Thanks for asking. I like the powder kind of foundation but I don’t use it as much as the liquid form. When I need a quick and light makeup job, I’ll reach for the powder foundation. I definitely look healthier while wearing makeup because I get bruising under my eyes a lot.

    • Hi Chantal! Thank you for reading my blog and for your question. I have been to the nail salon many times to get solar nails (acrylic). I haven’t had any trouble because I make sure that the place I go is well ventilated. If you enter the salon and you’re blown away by the chemical smell, go somewhere else. Taking your oxygen inside a salon is safe because it isn’t going to around any flame or heat source. So enjoy yourself at the salon. Just be sure you’re not subjected to too much chemical fumes. The salon I go to have little 4 inch round fans at each station. You can ask to have the fan turned on for you to keep the air circulated in front of you if you need it. I hope this helps you. If not, let me know if you have another question.


  6. I was sitting in my chair in a local nail salon in Georgia. A middle age lady walks in with her personal oxygen bottle. Looks to be a medium size bottle, is this safe with all the flammable chemical in tha nail salon?

    • Hi Dayle,

      Good question! Thanks for asking. As long as there is no accidental fire started near this lady’s oxygen tank, she should be fine. I would be more worried about whether or not the salon had good ventilation to circulate the fumes out to help her breathe easier. When I go to a nail salon to get Solar Nails, I have to make sure there is good ventilation in the salon. If I smell a heavy chemical smell when I walk in to the building, I will go somewhere else. Oxygen feeds a fire that has already been started.

  7. When we add the water tank to my mom’s portable oxygen machine she gets too much water like she is drawing . What could I be doing wrong?

    • Hi Wendy,

      Take a look at the bottle that you are filling with distilled water to make sure you are not filling it past the fill line. If that’s not the problem, try filling it with a little less water. Does she use a higher flow rate? In all honesty, I do not like the water bottle for me. I haven’t used one for over 20 years and I’m on 6 lpm of oxygen. There are water traps that you can get to attach to the tubing that collects any water that flows into the oxygen tubing. I always had that problem when I started using oxygen. That’s why I stopped using the humidifier and used oxygen straight from the machine.


  8. Christine, you seem to be a pretty amazing individual and I admire you greatly. I am an extreme pain (neuralgic) patient suffering from rare severe pain syndromes, and despite neurosurgery in Houston and some 25 procedures in hospital (Cleveland Clinic), including an ineffective IT pain pump, my situation only keeps getting worse. I understand what a bummer chronic medical issues can be.
    My 91-year-old Mom was recently diagnosed with a combination of ILD and congestive heart failure, requiring continuous oxygen.What source books do you recommend I read that would help with daily living as she is tethered to an oxygenator at home? I know we have to be careful even with taking her to hair salons. We live in Dayton, Ohio.
    I hope that you have a long and wonderful life.

    • Hi Phil,

      I don’t know of any books, though I’ve never looked for any. I have thought about writing a small book but turned to blogging instead. I did turn many of my blog posts into a booklet but it was kinda expensive. I’ve used oxygen for many years. It’s ok to go to salons as long as there isn’t an overwhelming smell of fumes from perms. Just make sure it’s well ventilated. Email if you have questions. Goredrider@gmail.com *hugs*

      • Thank you so very much. We met with my Mom’s pulmonologist for an hour last night ( he is my 2nd cousin and is department head of Pulmonology in the region’s largest hospital), and she will also require continuous O2. She is 91, and really bummed about this issue (who wouldn’t be?), but we should get her a portable battery operated unit very soon. Maybe our doc is over cautious, but, actually, there are state restrictions about O2 in hair salons in Ohio. We’ll see, I am on my way back to the Cleveland Clinic by ambulance next week as my own situation is deteriorating. See you again soon.

      • Phil,

        Are doing ok now? Do the doctors not know the source of your pain? My thoughts are with you and your mom. I hope she gets that Portable concentrator soon. I think she’ll like it.


  9. My wife 64 is diagnosed as bronchiolitis patient after she was treated twice within a month for severe breathlessness while admitted ICU of a hospital.She has fibrosis in lungs (left side) after an operation in year 2004.
    Her SPO2 was coming down to level of 77% and slowly it regained to 98% with 2 liters of oxygen.
    Now she is at home with BIPAP and oxygen support. In night while in sleep, she is using BIPAP for 4 to 6 hrs when oxygen saturation is 90%. After BIPAP is removed , she remaining with 2 liters oxygen support for half an hour and she is maintaining 98% oxygen saturation .

    In morning, while in toilet or in kitchen , if she remains for an hour or so , her oxygen saturation is falling 85/86 %. then if she sits or takes rest for an 5/6 minutes she regains oxygen saturation 93/94 % without any support.

    How it is harmful to her health or she can manage her life with this BIPAP and oxygen support. Will she improve in future.

    Her height is 5ft 3 inches and weight is 80 kilograms. She has reduced her weight by 5 kilogram within a month ..

    Please suggest

    • Hi… Have you talked with your wife’s doctor about what’s going on? You should contact her Pulmonologist about this. Does she use Oxygen 24/7? Why does she not use her Bipap all night long? It’s really important for her to get quality sleep with using her Bipap all night. This will allow her heart and lungs a chance to not have to work so hard to oxygenate her whole body on its own. Does she use oxygen with her Bipap machine? I use oxygen with my Bipap. The Bipap and oxygen are what helps your wife maintain a steady health outlook so that she can be more mobile. I would call her doctor tomorrow first thing and tell them about her Saturation dropping and what she does or doesn’t do that makes the oxygen Saturation drop. You can email me at goredrider@gmail.com

      I’m not a doctor. So the only thing I can recommend are things that I would do in this kind of situation.

  10. Thank you so much. Found all the information useful! Espicially Hot Air Ballooning! Will check with Dr to see if I’m sble to do yhis. Again, thank you for the information.

  11. I’m not on oxygen I just found out I have copd and we were going to do a hot air ballon ride was wondering of I could with copd thanks for help

    • Hi Cindy! Even though you aren’t on oxygen the balloon altitude may give you trouble. I’m not a doctor. So I couldn’t say if it’s safe for you. You might discuss this with your doctor before going on the balloon. Just to be on the safe side. If you go…have some fun for me too!!! ☺️

  12. If wearing petroleum based lotion is not advisable while wearing oxygen…what about lipstick that has petroleum. I know that some Chap Sticks are nothing but petroleum and lipsticks too. Grease ! That cannula is right under your nose and I’d think one spark and I don’t even wanna go there. What do you think about lipstick and oxygen ?

    • Hi Deb. I can honestly say that I have never had a problem with wearing lipstick. I’ve used oxygen for the past 29 years without a fire incident. If I need to blow out a candle, I just skip off my oxygen for a few seconds and blow it out. Just don’t blow any candles out with your oxygen on, lipstick or no lipstick. *hugs*

  13. Hi. I just got results from ABG test and it says po2 is 79 with a comment “oxygen dependent.” I have not seen a doc yet for followup as results just posted to med portal today. Will share more later but for now want to say it do nice to see your site to help me overcome the new challenges ahead. Cpap since 2009 and night time oxygen concentrator with cpap since 2012. Thank you. Rachel. Over 50, ohio

  14. Hi Rachel. I am a newcomer and have only been on oxygen at home for one week. I have a quick question. My Pulse/Ox keeps me in range of 97 to 99. My question is can I ever take the hose off to make a quick meal or to give my nose a break or is this really 24/7?

    • Hi Jean… The reason why your pulse ox reads your oxygen saturation at 97 – 100 is because of the oxygen you wear. By taking it off, it would make your saturation drop causing your heart to work harder to pump whatever oxygenated blood you have out to your body. It’s better to leave it on as the doctor prescribes so that health doesn’t decline. Your doctor should be closely monitoring your condition. It took me a little while to get comfortable with a cannula. *hugs*


  15. I’m so glad I decided to hunt the internet again before a sleepless night. I have sleep apnea I have a bi pap. I’m on third machine from Respironics. I have been to pulmonologist’s and dme, technicians, and I’m losing this battle. I don’t know if my machine breathes as you described, with me. My pulse ox has been at 55 during tests. It’s affecting my mind, my body and my life. I feel like I can’t win this. I have the same problems Christine as you do. I sleep with my mouth open, it’s ruining my teeth, face, etc. I have a nasal pillow and a v strap under the chin. I have clausterphobia from it too. Forgive me spelling I’m not able to think either. I’m so happy I stumbled across this web site tonight. Finally someone who is making sense. I believe I need oxygen with my machine. I have severe rheumatoid arthritis which is not helping. I am a former smoker. I wake with headaches can’t get up. So far the advice you’ve given is the first I’ve seen written like this. Do I go to my regular Dr. to get this test, so I can get oxygen with machine? Even if you don’t answer you’ve given me hope and new ideas. Thank You Susan

    • Susan, do you use oxygen at all at home? Have you told the Bipap prescribing doctor that you are continuing to have trouble with low oxygen saturation while on your Bipap and that you’d like to try using oxygen with your Bipap? This doctor is probably a Pulmonologist. If he doesn’t want to listen, tell your primary care physician what’s going on and maybe you can be referred to some other Pulmonologist who will investigate what’s going on with your sleep apnea. Do you have a Pulse oximeter at home to check you O2 saturation? I’m so glad you stopped smoking. Kudos to you!!! *hugs* Do not worry about the spelling. Whatever you decide to do, please keep your Primary Physician (family doctor) informed. Think of him or her as your hub of your medical information. Keep in touch. –Christine

  16. Hi Christine, yes I have a pulse ox. I rush to take it when I wake up it’s been in the eighties. I’m sure it goes much lower. I can’t find a Pulmonologist in my area. There is a practice I’m going to try closer to Baltimore, I live in the many miles from Dc, Or Baltimore where I grew up. I was tested during the tests your fine they look like why are you here? I don’t know what to do. Neurologists same story, you have to go far. I have Ra, & Psa, a chronic condition which also effects your lungs, your entire body. Mine is severe and aggressive I take biologic Humira and other severe medicines.I have a Primary Care Dr. that is good and interested we both know finding good Dr.;s is the key.. This lack of oxygen is making me depressed, lethargic it’s dangerous. When I wake up it’s the most horrible feeling in the world, coming out of hypoxia? During sleep study oxygen level went as low as 55 . Thank you for this web site, I’m so happy you took the time to answering my question. I really need some guidance. I’ve made an appointment with a dentist to get a dental appliance to help solve the dry mount, and help with sleep apnea. I still believe I need help breathing and that oxygen may be necessary. It’s not something anyone wishes for but breathing is essential, hypoxia takes a heavy toll on you, and it’s a risk every time you go to sleep which is I guess why I can’t sleep now. Thank you again for this website for people who are looking for answers. Your story has given me hope, and I’m sorry at such a young age this happened to you, and I’m glad you are living a full life. Sincerely Sue Fisher

    • Hi Ann,
      I don’t think so. I know from my experience that I would have nightmares because I needed supplemental oxygen AND a Bipap machine. This was when I was in my twenties right before the doctors figured out my CO2 was too high when I slept even though I used oxygen at night only. Perhaps there might be more going on while you are sleeping. Have you ever had a sleep study done? For me, the nightmares were horrific and realistic to the point where I felt so scared I was briefly paralyzed from fear sometimes or it was really hard for me to wake up from it.

      Have you talked with your doctor about your nightmares? Sorry that you’re going through this. *hug* The use of my Bipap solved this problem for me. Whew! I hope you can figure this out. —Christine

    • It’s not really safe to leave unattended oxygen, in the form of compressed oxygen such as e-cylinders, or liquid oxygen which both are pressurized, in the heat of a car. If you have to leave the oxygen in the car, crack a window to help allow the interior heat to leave the car. Heat will increase the pressure inside the e-cylinder of oxygen and they are not equipped with a pressure release valve for if the pressure rises to extreme levels like a liquid oxygen reservoir does. Do NOT park your vehicle in the sun. If you go somewhere and need to park your car and can’t take your extra oxygen inside with you, cover the e-cylinder with a towel, park your car in the shade, and lower the window slightly to rid your car of heat. Better yet, take all your oxygen inside and just take with you what you feel you will need when you go somewhere.

      I personally do NOT use e-cylinders. I’m all liquid oxygen for my mobility outside the house. Personally, I would not leave an e-cylinder in the car here in Texas during the heat of the Summer. Ask the advice of your DME (oxygen suppler) the best way to handle the portable oxygen that you do have.

      I have left my travel-sized (75lb tank) liquid oxygen reservoir in my vehicle parked in the shade with the side back windows propped open (hinge type) without too much trouble during vacation. The liquid oxygen will evaporate faster and the pressure will reduce faster due to the heat building up excess pressure.

      Please consult your DME because I don’t know which type of portable oxygen you use. … christine

    • Oooh I hope I was able to help! Oxygen around a gas stove… Be very very cautious. Oxygen should be kept safely away from any fire source. Though, with my 50foot tubing, I’ve cooked on my sister’s gas stove a rare time or two. Makes me nervous. I’m just very careful not to let my cannula fall off on the stove. That would be very bad.

  17. Do you ever wear an oxygen mask? My wife is on 6 lpm oxygen 24/7 with a cannula and sometimes wears one when her nose gets irritated.

    • No… I only use an oxygen cannula. I get a break from my cannula when I use my bipap to rest, nap , & sleep at night. It’s good that your wife has both options to use. If her nose gets irritated, have her change her cannula to a new one. See if that helps too.

      • She doesn’t mind her oxygen mask, she can’t eat while wearing it of course and talking can be hard (I am getting better understanding mask talk) but it isn’t too uncomfortable and she is still getting the oxygen she needs when her nose can’t take the cannula. The irritation comes mostly from her nose getting dry from the oxygen and/or the cannula prongs not being comfortable. We need to find a more comfortable cannula. What kind do you wear?

      • Jon, that’s sort of like having my husband understand what I’m saying when I have my bipap mask on. Though, my mask just covers my nose. I use the typical nasal cannulas by Salter Labs. There are some really super soft cannulas available that feel super light but I don’t know who makes them. If you ask her DME company about them, I bet they could order some for her if they don’t have any in stock. I’ll search for the name of them and get back with you. Sorry this reply took so long. I had a sleep study and then crashed when I got home.

  18. I am an Indian with cops+ phycema , which results in low levels of blood oxygen with CO 2! retention. I came to WA in May on visit visa and was infected by pneumonia in Feb. I was hospitalized from 18/2/17 to 24/2/17 with an advise to be on continuous O2 using between 2 to 4 lpm depending on activity with use of bipap through the night.
    The advise on bipap use is exactly opposite of what my Indian pulmolpgist had prescribed H e had asked me not tp use bipap through night instead use it 4-5 times in day for 45in each time This difference in advise is my problem

    • I think I would feel just as confused by two different doctors telling me how to use my bipap. My curiosity is: How we’ll do you sleep without a bipap if you are continuing to use it just during the daytime? You should DEFINITELY discuss this with your current Pulmonologist since you’ve been hospitalized in Washington, U.S. very recently. I hope you’re feeling better. *hugs*

    • Hi Sandra…You should be able to iron. Just don’t touch the hot iron on your oxygen tubing because it would melt. By the way… I really don’t like to iron. Will you do mine too? Just kidding!!!😉 Thanks for your question. *hug*

    • Hi Diane, I’ve been using oxygen for 30 years and I’ve never had an issue with lipstick and oxygen. However, my personal preference is that I do not like to use lipgloss or glossy types of lipstick. I like matte colored lipsticks. You should be ok. *hugs*

  19. Hi Christine, just found your blog. Out here in the Boston area, oxygen suppliers are divesting themselves of liquid oxygen. When I first went on oxygen, I needed 3lpm, we tried pulse but found that a,continuous flow kept the sats up high enough.
    Went to cylinders, but as I became more active after my lung biopsy, I started using about 24 Ds a week between doctors, visiting family and running errands. We went to liquid oxygen. We keep the 21ltr reservoir in the back part of the car, secured, and windows open. Liquid allows me to spend time with friends, lecture, walk, go off for the day with my wife
    My new supplier has decided to cut out the LOX. Medicare and the five year contract doesn’t help as all companies are looking at the bottom line. Only Apria still does LOX,but they are horrible. My supplier, who is new to the oxygen business, is telling me that he doesn’t like the idea that I carry my reservoir in the car, and is one of the reasons why he won’t supply me. He continues to tell me that a POC will do the trick. When asked about the limited time on one for me , he responded with well plug it into the car then plug it back in when you get to where you are going.
    Is anyone having problem with getting liquid oxygen.
    Are there any companies that sell LOX reservoirs. And companions sell directly to the public as long as they have a prescription. My doctor has written a script so I can fill up the reservoir I have (hasn’t been returned to the company at this time, as we filed a grevience against the company. Any ideas?

    • Hi Don,

      I am so sorry that you are having trouble with your oxygen provider. Yes, a lot of the oxygen providers are phasing out liquid oxygen because it’s expensive to service. Usually, the insurance will pay rental on the tanks but won’t pay for the content of them (IE: liquid oxygen). I think that’s how it goes now. The providers have to apply for Medicare contract to service medicare covered patients. It’s a pain for them. I’ve heard of Apria for a few years but I’ve never used them before. I have been using Lincare for about 20 years now or more. Here’s what I recommend: go to the Lincare.com website and click on their LOCATIONS link to find the location of a Lincare that might be near you. There is one in Boston that serves a few surrounding areas and they have liquid oxygen. You should call them and be as sweet as you can be when you tell them about the problems that you’re having with your current provider. If they have a contract with Medicare, then see if they will offer liquid service to you since you’ve been using it. Tell them you carry a reservoir in the back of your vehicle strapped in securely and will need that permanently. If you use 3LPM or more of oxygen, you aren’t going to benefit from a POC (portable oxygen concentrator). Your oxygen provider is required to give you what the DOCTOR prescribes for you, not what the provider thinks is best for you. So, go to your doctor and explain what’s going on. See if he will prescribe the equipment that you will need in detail [IE: 100lb liquid oxygen reservoir (for house), 50-75lb reservoir (for vehicle), an oxygen concentrator (5lpm for house), and a liquid oxygen portable tank]. Don’t forget you’ll need a 50ft tubing to get around the house, connectors, 7ft cannula tubing… Even with Lincare, I have them fill my liquid reservoir that’s for my vehicle and they will set it in the van but my husband has to strap it himself. I think it’s a liability thing. Try Lincare. They are a great company that is Nationwide and when you go on vacations, they will help arrange your oxygen. Before you think about switching, make sure you understand how much your insurance will cover, if you can get your equipment that you want, and if your doctor will help you get all of it. Okay? The key is to be very, very kind from the beginning. I’ve noticed that it really goes a long way. 😉 I hope this helps you. Email me if you have more questions. Take care and stay cool this Summer! goredrider@gmail.com … Christine

Thank you for posting a comment. All comments will be reviewed for spam before being posted on this blog. It's only to prevent a spam overload. Thank you! .... Christine

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s