Can I become dependent on supplemental oxygen?
There is a common misconception that you can become dependent or addicted to supplement oxygen. Fortunately, this is untrue. Using oxygen does not create an increased dependency upon it.
Your body needs oxygen for it to function properly. Oxygen is delivered to your cells and tissues through your lungs in order to keep your organs healthy. Normal blood oxygen levels are between 93% to 99%. If you have a respiratory condition such as COPD or the flu your oxygen saturation level can decline and supplemental oxygen can be used to treat the condition. Oxygen is normally prescribed when it falls to 90% and below. Insurance companies along with Medicare do not pay for oxygen equipment if your levels are above 88%. If your blood oxygen level while sitting is 91% you may need supplemental oxygen while walking or other physical exertion. Use a fingertip oximeter to check your oxygen while walking to determine if you need supplemental oxygen to keep the level above 90%
Your baseline oxygen saturation level will not decrease with regular use of supplemental oxygen.