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Who needs Oxygen therapy?

Who needs oxygen

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Are you short of breath or have a persistent cough? Do you feel tired and have a hard time focusing? We can help. VitalAire is Canada's leading supplier of home oxygen therapy services.

Who needs oxygen therapy?

Oxygen (O2) is essential for life. The air you breathe contains 21% oxygen. Once inhaled into the lungs it diffuses through small sacs called alveoli into your bloodstream, and travels to all your different organs and tissues.

Sometimes certain medical conditions can prevent some oxygen in your lungs from getting into your blood. Your blood oxygen level is referred to as your oxygen saturation level (Sa02).

When your Sa02 is too low it can lead to symptoms such as difficulty breathing, lack of energy, and trouble concentrating. "Extra" oxygen from oxygen therapy becomes important in increasing your Sa02, or oxygen levels in your blood, to help with your day to day activities and allow you to stay active and healthy.

Chronic bronchitis

Bronchitis is an inflammation of the lining of your bronchial tubes, which carry air in and out of your lungs. This inflammation will lead to reduced airflow, mucus production, coughing and shortness of breath.


Emphysema is present when the air sacs (alveoli)  in your lungs lose their elasticity and collapse, preventing oxygen and carbon dioxide from moving in and out of the lungs and into your bloodstream properly.

Heart conditions

Heart conditions may interrupt the heart’s ability to properly pump blood to and from your lungs. This can result in less oxygen reaching your bloodstream, and from there to your organs and tissues.

What is COPD?

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is the most common lung disease that can be effectively treated with home oxygen therapy.

COPD is an umbrella term for two of the major breathing or respiratory diseases that cause airways to become obstructed – chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

You are not alone if you have COPD.

COPD is much more common than was once thought - about 10% of Canadians are suffering from it - and over one half of them are undiagnosed. 1

Symptoms and causes

The main symptoms of COPD are shortness of breath, persistent mucus, and cough. It is also common to feel fatigue and brain fog-like sensations, where it’s harder to stay focused.

Smoking is the major cause of COPD, 2,3,4 although indoor and outdoor air pollution and exposure to pollutants in the workplace are also risk factors.

Why is home oxygen therapy helpful?

Oxygen is fundamental to your health. If you have COPD, even if you do not feel breathless some of your muscles and organs — including your heart, brain and kidneys — may not be getting enough oxygen and can become damaged as a result.

If your condition worsens it can become more and more difficult to enjoy simple daily activities. Home oxygen therapy can be prescribed by your healthcare provider to help you with activities of daily life while increasing your overall quality of life5.

Oxygen therapy is a drug. Home oxygen therapy increases the oxygen levels in your blood and can help you: 6,7 

  • Live longer
  • Improve your breathing and feel less tired
  • Increase your ability to move about and keep a social life
  • Improve  your sleep and quality of life
  • Reduce hospitalizations



Learn more about oxygen therapy

  1. Statistics Canada. “Health Fact SheetsChronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease under-Diagnosed in Canadian Adults: Results from Cycles 3 and 4 (2012 to 2015) of the Canadian Health Measures Survey Health Fact SheetsChronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease under-Diagnosed in Canadian Adults: Results from Cycles 3 and 4 (2012 to 2015) of the Canadian Health Measures Survey.” Government of Canada, Statistics Canada, 12 Jan. 2017,
  2. Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease. Global Strategy for the diagnosis management and prevention of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Updated 2014; available at
  3. ERS. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in: European lung white book. available at
  4. WHO, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Fact sheet N°315, January 2015. Available at; consulted on 05/11/2014 B, Xuan 
  5. Petty, T L. “Home Oxygen--a Revolution in the Care of Advanced COPD.” The Medical Clinics of North America., U.S. National Library of Medicine, May 1990,
  6. Nocturnal Oxygen Therapy Trial Group. Continuous or nocturnal oxygen therapy in hypoxemic chronic obstructive lung disease: a clinical trial. Ann Intern Med 1980; 93: 391-398
  7. Report of the Medical Research Council Working Party. Long-term domiciliary oxygen therapy in chronic hypoxic cor pulmonale complicating chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Lancet 1981; 1: 681-686

Why choose us

  • 01


    Our knowledgeable staff listens to your comfort and therapy needs and focuses on meeting them

  • 02


    We follow the most current studies & procedures, and will educate you throughout your oxygen therapy journey

  • 03

    Clinical leaders

    We offer the best clinical expertise in the country, so you can fully benefit from a clinical home oxygen experience

CPAP accessories that can make your cpap therapy more comfortable.

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