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Embarrassed to Wear Oxygen in Public? You’re Not Alone

by | Sep 19, 2022 | Oxygen Therapy, Oxygen Therapy Equipment | 1 comment

Lady with Inogen One G4 in supermarket

Walking around with oxygen in public can feel like you’re holding up a bright neon sign that says “I have an illness”. Many oxygen users report feeling embarrassed, ashamed, and vulnerable —leading many to avoid using their oxygen in public all together out of fear of negative attention from strangers. We want you to know that you are not alone.

Why are so many oxygen users embarrassed to wear oxygen in public?

  • Vulnerability: Wearing oxygen exposes an obvious sign of illness, and often makes users feel as though they are weak and vulnerable. 
  • Shame: Oftentimes wearing oxygen could be perceived as a consequence of smoking. Users perceived as having a condition they were responsible for may feel shame being seen as such in public. 
  • Attention: Large and loud oxygen machines can draw unwanted attention to the user, and make them feel like they stand out too much in a public setting.

What’s wrong with not wearing my oxygen in public?

Without wearing oxygen, you are missing out on all the benefits it provides. Those benefits may include: 

  • Better quality of life
  • A more active and mobile lifestyle
  • Decrease in shortness of breath
  • Extended life expectancy
  • Improved sleep
  • Improved mood
  • Increased stamina
  • More mentally alert
  • The ability to carry out normal, everyday functions

Talk to your doctor to learn more about the many benefits of oxygen therapy.

How do I combat embarrassment in public?

Find community with others who feel the same way you do. There are many oxygen support groups where you can share your story and hear from others. Connection allows us to learn to accept ourselves and other people as well. 

Be compassionate toward yourself. You are valid in your feelings, and it’s okay to feel embarrassed at times. You can recognize that and not let it get in the way of you wearing the oxygen you know you need to live a safe and fulfilling life. 

Use a more discrete oxygen concentrator. At OxiMedical we offer a full range of portable oxygen concentrators that are compact with discrete carrying accessories. Check out the Inogen One G5, it is quieter compared to many other competing concentrators on the market. 

Feeling embarrassed is very commonly reported among oxygen users, you are not alone. Wearing your oxygen proudly not only gives you a better quality of life, but it also shows others who may feel the same way permission and confidence to wear their oxygen in public too. Feeling empowered to perform daily activities is a key factor to being happy and enjoying life.

1 Comment

  1. William Schwieters

    I use my inogen g5 to do everything from playing golf to east coast swing and west coast swing dancing at least once a week. The cannula never bothered me playing golf but did while dancing. I got a pair of OXY-VIEW glasses which makes wearing the cannula almost invisible. The tube just goes up my back and then thru the glasses frame. Anyway now the people that do notice the concentrater usually congratulate me for not letting my lung problem be a handicap.


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