While there is currently no cure for PAH, following a treatment plan and undertaking self-management strategies will help to improve your condition and quality of life.
One of the key treatments available is oxygen therapy.
After oxygen is breathed into the lungs, it is dissolved into the blood then delivered to body tissues and organs. With PAH, your lungs may not be able to deliver enough oxygen to the blood. Low levels of oxygen for long periods of time can lead to problems for your vital organs.
Oxygen therapy may help with shortness of breath and staying active. Talk to your treating healthcare team to understand if oxygen therapy is right for you. If you have been prescribed home oxygen, you may have questions about how it works and what it can do for you.
Here are some tips to help your understanding:
- Regular reviews: Have your oxygen prescription checked by a respiratory specialist at least once a year. If you feel your condition has changed, see your doctor; do not adjust your oxygen flow rate on your own.
- Breathlessness: Oxygen does not always relieve breathlessness but it will still be helping your body by delivering more oxygen to your vital organs.
- Oxygen is not addictive, nor will it weaken your lungs. You should use oxygen for the amount of time and at the flow rate prescribed by your doctor.
Try to keep a positive mindset. Remember that while oxygen therapy may feel frustrating and inconvenient while you adjust, can improve your quality of life. If you are feeling anxious or overwhelmed, talk to your doctor. You can also access Lung Foundation Australia’s mental health support resources here.
This information comes from our Living With Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension booklet which covers a range of topics including diagnosis, management and your healthcare team. Download your free copy via the link below.