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How Oxygen Therapy Helps?

Sep 10, 2018

Here are some warning signs to watch for when it comes to hypoxia.

  • Lightheadedness and dizziness

  • Fatigue and lethargy

  • Confusion

  • Breathlessness

  • Headache

  • Rapid heart rate

  • Increased respiratory rate

  • Tingling sensations in the body

  • Lack of coordination

  • Cyanosis or bluish discoloration of extremities (a sign of severe hypoxia)


Oxygen therapy is the first line of defense in the fight against hypoxia. Once the oxygen level in body is maintained, the symptoms of hypoxia, like breathlessness, fade away automatically. Oxygen therapy can be administered using a nasal cannula attached to an oxygen concentrator. These concentrators take oxygen out of the surrounding air and purify it making it medical grade. Oxygen therapy is the best treatment for hypoxia, but its efficacy depends on the type of hypoxia. This therapy is 100% effective in hypoxic hypoxia (COPD) but, its efficacy reduces to 75% in anemic hypoxia and 50% in stagnant hypoxia. However, in histotoxic hypoxia, oxygen therapy is of no use because defect is with the cells ability to use oxygen, not with the oxygen availability.

Type of Hypoxia Efficacy of Oxygen Therapy (%)

  • Hypoxic hypoxia: 100%

  • Anemic hypoxia: 75%

  • Stagnant hypoxia: 50%

  • Histotoxic hypoxia: 0%