Supplemental oxygen may be prescribed if your body can’t get enough oxygen on its own.

Some conditions that may require oxygen therapy include:

Long-term home oxygen use has been shown to improve and extend the lives of those affected by lung disease.  It can decrease other health complications and when used as prescribed, it is also shown to decrease hospital admittance and duration of stay. 

Other ways to manage breathlessness

One of the best ways to manage shortness of breath is to slow down.  Take your time doing your everyday activities and rest if you need to.  You can also practice pursed-lips breathing by breathing in  deeply and quickly through your and out slowly through your mouth keeping your lips pursed.  Enrolling in pulmonary rehab can also help. 

In addition to oxygen therapy, a pulmonary rehabilitation program provides education and exercises to improve your breathing.


Pulmonary rehab provides advice and support so you can live better with your lung or heart condition.

Pulmonary rehab can help participants:

  • Experience less difficulty with breathing
  • Increase muscle strength and endurance
  • Improve their ability to cope with daily activities
  • Understand how to use medications and oxygen appropriately
  • Improve quality of life
  • Reduce hospitalizations
  • Improve depression 

The American Association for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR) has many great resources for patients looking for an exercise to improve their breathing.

The American Lung Association also has information on pulmonary rehabilitation and how to find a program.  For more information check out their website or call 1-800-LUNGUSA.

You can find a program through the AACVPR here or check our local hospital systems for a program convenient for you.