You Might Need Oxygen When You Fly

Not everyone with breathing issues needs an oxygen system. However, what is true under normal circumstances won't necessarily stay so when things change. For instance, you might need oxygen when you fly, even though you don't need it at home. Flying makes it harder for people to breathe. Due to this, you need to consider your oxygen options if you're traveling despite your breathing issues. 

How Does Low Air Pressure Affect Your Breathing? 

Air moves from high-pressure areas to low-pressure areas. When you breathe, you breathe in and out by lowering and raising the pressure in your chest cavity compared to the pressure around you. This process falters in a low-pressure environment because you receive less oxygen while using the same effort.

Pressure is lower at higher altitudes. This is why people sometimes struggle to breathe when climbing mountains. You can expect a plane to have a pressurized cabin to prevent this problem. Unfortunately, it's normal for a pressurized cabin to hover between sea level and 8,000 feet. That means you can still suffer complications seated in a plane if you already have breathing issues.

How Do You Know If You Need Oxygen When You Fly?

Self-diagnosis isn't reliable for finding out whether you need oxygen when you fly. Instead, you should always consult your doctor before you travel, whether you're planning to do so on a plane, a train, or some other means of transportation. Your doctor is best at determining whether you're good to go based on their medical expertise and understanding of your general health. Moreover, they're one of your best sources of advice if you need an oxygen concentrator when you fly.

What Are Your Options If You Need Oxygen When You Fly?

You need to contact your airline about your oxygen needs before you fly. Such companies often require passengers to do so a certain amount of time before the flight, meaning waiting too long can cause complications. By contacting your airline, you can better understand your options.

Some airlines charge for in-flight oxygen, while others offer it free. However, you'll need to buy or rent an FAA-approved oxygen concentrator if you want oxygen available throughout your travel. Other oxygen systems are off-limits because you won't be able to bring compressed or liquid oxygen onto a plane. Remember to bring your nasal prongs. Furthermore, pack enough batteries so your oxygen concentrator won't run out of power at an inopportune time while you're away from home.

Further Considerations

Choosing the right oxygen concentrator is a complicated business. You'd be wise to listen to anything your doctor and other trustworthy sources of expertise have to say. Health isn't something to be gambled, meaning you should carefully plan every aspect of your travels if you have breathing issues.

Contact your doctor to learn more about using oxygen while traveling.