Oxygen and lung functionality

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Hi, I am a 50 year old male recently diagnosed with COPD. I have a FEV1 reading of 31%.

Going through the reading material on COPD on this site it stresses that Oxygen should only be used in Severe or Very Severe (less that 30% FEV1) stages of COPD.

However, looking through the posts I see people with 70% FEV1 using Oxygen therapy?

Can someone please enlighten me - Thanks. Great site.

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  • Posted

    Hi Blade65,

    I am soon 57 and born with severe asthma and by my early 30's, lost 70 % of my lung capacity. Now my condition has the diagnosis of COPD tagged onto it. My doctor says that my particular condition would not benefit from oxygen therapy, however, while in the hospital, I am given oxygen.

    My opinion is that we are all different, pulmonary specialists can vary in opinions of treatments and the lungs are complicated. In this forum I have noticed many people using too much oxygen which is also dangerous.

    Take care,

    💛 Dawn, USA

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the feedback. I realise that each case and treatment would differ but I feel if I was lucky enough to have FEV1 at 70% I would be fine.

      Even with a FEV1 reading of 31% I get around OK and only get shortness of breath when I do some strenous exercise. I don't believe I need Oxygen especially with the inherent risks and side affects.

      I seem to be having a problem equating my test results with how I am physically feeling.

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    • Posted

      I do not care about my numbers. I just do a lung function study every year to keep watch over changes. I ask my doctor if there are any significant changes. For my survival at only 30% lung function, all I want to know is which helpful medications I should be using.

      I am doing well too despite my numbers. In fact, I am like a walking miracle. If you are doing well at your level, try not to boggle yourself down with your numbers vs how well you feel or shouldn't be feeling. Just enjoy how well you feel and use proper medications to avoid exacerbations. I too have researched my condition, however, it tells me that I should be dead, but I am not even after nearly dying 4 times.

      Go figure. Try not to over think it.

      Take care,

      💛 Dawn, USA

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    • Posted

      Lol. I was also amazed that I should be making final arrangements according to the data out there on the web.

      My wife just gave birth 7 weeks ago to our little surprise package so she would not have been amused.

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    • Posted

      Hi Blade65,

      I'm questioning this in my case too and posted it recently. I didn't post the fev numbers from the test but when diagnosed in Sept with severe COPD, they told that as long as I was breathing I would need oxygen all the time. However I recently had a lung function test and all the tech could tell me was that my function was about at 50%. I do go by using my pulse oximeter which stays at about 93 or 94 with my medication all the time and so I go without oxygen a lot. but I keep wondering if I'm going against the doctor's orders by not using oxygen all the time and I cannot get into the doctor anytime soon because they are so backed up. I am on County insurance here in the United States, so I have not been using oxygen but I also feel like my COPD has improved since I left the hospital in September and got that diagnosis. So I am looking for the same answer as you I guess. I'm thinking only a doctor can tell us. I also seem to function fine except for getting out of breath when I exert. In the same boat with ya.....ladyjack51

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  • Posted

    Hi Blade, I think the concentrated oxygen levels go by what the oximeter readings are, regarding our blood saturated oxygen percentages. For example, my oxygen saturation while sitting is around 88%, so my concentrated oxygen (machine) is set at level 2. Normal range for saturated oxygen is 90% to 100%. It can be dangerous if we continue living every day life having low sat oxy % levels, since having low oxy% levels are hard on other organs, such as heart, brain, bladder, etc. This is my main reason for using oxygen, I use it 24/7. I hope I've helped!
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    • Posted

      Hi Brenda, if I may ask what is your FEV1 reading?

      When they first tested me the saturated oxygen level was reading 89% and so when I went to the consultant they were alarmed but that reading was after a stress test and I was gasping for breath. The normal resting reading was taken at 95%.

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    • Posted

      Hi Blade, I am 33%, given after taking a spiritomy test (fev1). Your normal resting sat oxygen reading at 95% is good. I can see why you would not need cocentrated oxygen, especially while at rest....at rest, mine is (88% to 90% requiring oxygen). :-) ♡♡♡
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    • Posted

      Blade, also, congratulations to your new bundle of love n joy..baby! ♡♡
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  • Posted

    Hi Blade it is to do with your oxygen levels.  If your levels fall below around 88% to less than 84% then you will be given oxygen,  not to help you breathe but to support your organs as less then 84% means they could start shutting down.   You would probably breathe better on it as an indirect result of your organs getting more oxygen. 

    It also depends on which you primarily have - emphysema or chronic bronchitis.  Many with emphysema even at the severe stage don't need oxygen.

    You can buy a good oxymeter at Amazon to keep an eye on your sats and pulse rate for around £20.  x

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