When it comes to treating chronic ailments like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and more, the first thing that a physician suggests is oxygen therapy among other treatments available to ease the symptoms.
Oxygen therapy works by providing you a constant supply of oxygen directly to the nose so that you won’t have any breathing or oxygen issues.
In fact, those suffering from severe lung disease can attest that an oxygen cylinder is a necessity for them.
However, while the standard route of delivering oxygen to the patient is by using an oxygen tank, the oxygen concentrators have also come into the frame.
What Are Oxygen Concentrators?
An oxygen concentrator is an electronic device, which concentrates the oxygen through a gas supply by removing nitrogen so that you get a huge amount of oxygen in the gas stream.
Air is made of 80% nitrogen and 20% oxygen; this means when the concentrator receives nitrogen, it purifies it and distributes it to the patient. The air that comes from the oxygen concentrator is 90-95% pure oxygen, with only 5-10% of Nitrogen.
Oxygen Tanks Vs. Oxygen Concentrators:
Oxygen tanks are metal tanks or oxygen cylinders that contain pressurized oxygen. To use these tanks, you would need a line of tubing connected at the end of the tank. The line of tubing is then connected to the nasal cannula or an oxygen mask to the other end.
Doing this will allow oxygen present in the tank to be delivered directly to the patient nose. Moreover, some oxygen tanks are also mounted on a trolley with the wheels connected to it, making it easy for the patient to transport it.
They dispense oxygen in the same way as oxygen tanks, using the same delivering process in which the oxygen is supplied directly to the patient via an oxygen mask or the nasal cannula.
However, one important difference is that while the oxygen tank contains a fixed amount of pressurized oxygen, the oxygen concentrator collects oxygen from its surroundings, then concentrate it and deliver it to the patient. Also, there’s no need for refilling or replacing the line of tubing.
Pros And Cons Of Oxygen Tanks And Concentrators:
Oxygen Tanks: Oxygen tanks are filled with pressurized oxygen, which is continuously released at different flow rates to offer medical-grade oxygen to the required person.
- Don’t Need Any Power Source: the one thing that makes oxygen tanks unique is the way they take advantage of pressurized oxygen to operate. They release oxygen at several flow rates and don’t use any battery or electrical outlet. This also means that the patient will get enough supply of oxygen until it becomes empty.
- They Are Silent: Since oxygen tanks are just for delivering oxygen at specific rates, you won’t hear any beeps or sounds from them. This makes them the best cylinders to be used in silent environments like libraries, movie theatres, or around people who want silence around them.
- Bulky And Unwidely: One of the major disadvantages of oxygen tanks is that they are heavy and are non-portable. Of course, the wheel mechanism makes rolling these tanks easy and simple; they are very heavy.
- Contain Limited Amount Of Oxygen: Oxygen tanks contain a limited amount of oxygen, which means, once the tank becomes empty, you have to replace or refill it with the fresh one.
Oxygen Concentrators: Oxygen concentrators are more advanced as they use a filtering system to bring out the excess air to bring it to medical-grade standards. Here are the pros and cons of oxygen concentrators:
- No Need Of Refilling: oxygen concentrators offer an unlimited supply of oxygen, which means the ability of the concentrator to draw in oxygen never runs out.
- Lightweight: Since the concentrators don’t rely on pressurized oxygen, they won’t need any dense metal tank. This makes them lighter and more portable than other oxygen cylinders.
- Offer Great Versatility: Oxygen Concentrators Are Available In Various Sizes, Styles, And Models, Each Of Which Is Designed To Withstand Everyone’s Needs.
- You Need An Extra Power Source: Since there’s no pressurized oxygen required in the tank, the oxygen concentrators rely on batteries and power to perform the air filtering an oxygen flow. Just keep in mind to charge the battery, as if they will run out of power, the concentrator will shut down. This scenario would be dangerous for someone who completely relies on oxygen all the time.
- They Are Noisy: oxygen concentrators are quite noisy as they collect oxygen from the air to filter and compress it for the user. This process can be noisy because of so many components working together.
So, now that you know the difference between the two decides which is for you!