People with severe cases of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may develop hypoxia, or low levels of oxygen in the blood. Breathlessness is not necessarily a sign of hypoxia. Hypoxia can only be diagnosed by taking a blood sample from an artery, a test known as arterial blood gas. If you are diagnosed with hypoxia, you may benefit from supplemental oxygen through oxygen therapy. Oxygen therapy is only available by prescription.
Some people with hypoxia only require oxygen therapy when they are walking, eating, sleeping, or during airline flights. Others may have resting hypoxia, and need supplemental oxygen even when they are sitting still. When someone nee... read more