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The Impact of Aging on Lung Health

Senior on portable oxygen

The lungs are an incredible part of the human body. These elastic and spongy pair of organs work with other organs and tissues in your respiratory system, whose primary job is to move fresh life-sustaining oxygen into your body and remove waste gases with every inhale and exhale. This automatic process is called gas exchange, and it’s one of several vital roles of the lungs and respiratory system.

As you age and your body changes, so do your lungs. In this article, we’ll cover what can happen to your lung health with age and how a home oxygen concentrator can benefit a respiratory system in need of extra support.

What can happen to lung health with age?

The natural aging process triggers several body changes that may affect your lung health, including: 

  • A weakening of the diaphragm and other muscles
  • Loss of lung tissue elasticity can compress the airways
  • Thinning and shape changes to the rib cage bones can decrease lung expansion
  • Reduced airway nerve sensitivity can increase particle buildup in the lungs
  • Lung air sacs called alveoli can lose their shape and become baggy
  • The immune system can weaken, increasing vulnerability to respiratory infections like the flu and pneumonia

As a result of these natural changes to your lung health, some people may feel tired or experience shortness of breath during exertion, sleep, and rest.

Beyond a natural diminishment in lung capacity that can come with age, other factors can influence your lung health, either in the short- or long-term, including: 

  • Illnesses, such as COVID-19, flu, pneumonia, or a cold
  • Surgery
  • Accident or injury
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Emphysema
  • Asthma
  • Lung cancer
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Other lung diseases

In some cases, your doctor and case manager may recommend supplemental oxygen at home to give your lung health a helping hand. In the following sections, we’ll outline how respiratory therapy with a home oxygen concentrator can make a difference.

How a home oxygen concentrator can help your lung health

At Home Oxygen Concentrator

If your doctor has recommended supplemental oxygen at home, they may prescribe a home oxygen concentrator. Whether you need it around-the-clock, or merely for specific activities, such as exertion or sleep, these compact units provide instant access to concentrated oxygen to support your lung and overall health. 

A home oxygen concentrator can help:

  • Reduce fatigue
  • Increase stamina
  • Decrease shortness of breath
  • Make it easier to remain healthy and active inside and outside of your home

Continue reading to learn more about how a home oxygen contractor works and the ways it can benefit your life.

What a home oxygen concentrator does & ways you can benefit

A home oxygen concentrator takes in the air from your surroundings, extracts the oxygen, and filters it into a high concentration of purified oxygen for you to breathe. It uses a nasal cannula to send concentrated oxygen gently through your nostrils, so it can work its way into your lungs and throughout the rest of your body’s cells. Many patients do not even notice the nasal cannula after wearing it for only a few minutes. The nasal cannula attaches to a line of tubing connected to the concentrator, where a professional will help you set the flow rate (liters per minute) as prescribed by your doctor. 

Some of the benefits of our home oxygen concentrators include:

  • Most health insurance providers cover the cost 
  • Direct delivery to your home and professional how-to training with an expert respiratory technician
  • Simple set-up process, easy operating instructions, and minimal maintenance required
  • High-quality and reliable manufacturers, including Invacare®
  • Include 25- to 50-foot line for easy mobility at home and a portable oxygen concentrator for when you’re on-the-go
  • 24/7 support available for after-hours questions and emergencies seven days a week

Tips for improving lung health as you age

Whether you need a home oxygen concentrator or not, there are many things you can do to protect your lung healththroughout the aging process, including:

  • Avoiding smoking
  • Limiting exposure to indoor and outdoor air pollutants
  • Maintaining a regular exercise routine
  • Keeping a healthy weight
  • Avoiding lying in bed too long
  • Seeking routine healthcare
  • Asking your doctor about vaccines to help prevent the flu, pneumonia, and COVID-19

When you’re looking for a trusted source for home respiratory equipment to support your lung health, choose us. With unparalleled clinical skill, industry-leading equipment, and 24-hour emergency support, we deliver high-tech solutions directly to your home. We’ve served case managers, pulmonologists, respiratory therapists, and their patients throughout the Delaware Valley for over 30 years and look forward to the opportunity to breathe new life into your oxygen therapy regimen. Contact us to learn more about our home oxygen concentrators and how they can help your lung health as you age.

The Impact of Aging on Lung Health