oxygen therapy


Oxygen therapy is a prescription treatment in which oxygen is administered in high concentrations to prevent or treat oxygen deficiency (hypoxia) in the body’s blood, cells, and tissues. Although its main indication is chronic respiratory failure.

The therapeutic use of oxygen therapy has become a key part of respiratory therapy. In these circumstances, oxygen is administered under medical prescription. There are two types of oxygen therapy that are used most often:

  • Normobaric oxygen therapy: In this option, the doctor adds oxygen in different concentrations, usually between 21 and 100 percent. Administration can be done using nasal cannulas or masks, among other options.
  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy: In this type of oxygen therapy, oxygen is always administered at 100 percent concentration. To incorporate it, use a helmet or a mask. Administration is done while the patient is inside a hyperbaric chamber.

The goal of this therapy is to increase the supply of oxygen to the tissues using hemoglobin as a transport medium. When the amount of oxygen entering the body is high, it causes some pressure in the alveoli which causes the hemoglobin to become saturated. In this way, the alveolar oxygen pressure increases, the respiratory and cardiac work decreases, and the oxygen pressure is constantly maintained.

This therapy is prescribed in situations where patients have a decreased amount of oxygen in their blood as a result of problems such as anemia or acute or chronic respiratory failure. This can cause hypoxia.

The main problems that this type of therapy can have are derived from an inadequate concentration of oxygen, or an excess of the time in which the patient undergoes the treatment. This can be counterproductive in some pathologies, such as those related to chronic respiratory problems. In these cases, not measuring the doses correctly can cause the increase in the concentration of the gas in the blood to inhibit the stimulation of sensitive receptors and cause respiratory arrest.

In recent years, the use of oxygen therapy as an alternative treatment against mesotherapy and botulinum toxin (botox) is increasing. The reasons are that this option is less invasive for skin treatment as it does not require the use of surgery and is painless.

The main applications attributed to this treatment is the improvement of skin tone combined with alternative treatments. The main aesthetic treatments in which it is used are dry skin, wrinkles, oily or aged skin. The reason why the therapy suits different skin types is that oxygen provides great hydration to the skin and increases collagen production.