Many health conditions require oxygen therapy as treatment. If your doctor recently prescribed supplemental oxygen or oxygen therapy to help you breathe better through your medical condition, you’re not alone. Over a million people in the US use oxygen to breathe better every day.
Of those people, each has their own flow rate prescription from their doctor. Learning what the most common oxygen flow rates are can give you an idea of what flow rate prescription you can expect from your doctor and what type of oxygen concentrator you may need.
2 Liters Per Minute or Less
Your doctor’s oxygen flow rate prescription will be noted in liters per minute (LPM). The most common LPM prescriptions are for 2LPMs or less, which almost all oxygen concentrators can provide. Needing less or more than 2LPMs isn’t an objectively good or bad thing. This common prescription simply describes your oxygen needs, which may change throughout your life or even throughout your day. Some people need different flow rate prescriptions when they’re exerting themselves, awake and at rest, and when they sleep. Consult with your doctor if you think you need different prescriptions or whether your breathing feels best at one flow rate.
2–4 Liters Per Minute
While a prescription falling between 2–4 liters per minute isn’t as common as less than 2LPMs, experts still consider this an average flow rate. Most home and portable oxygen concentrators can easily fulfill this oxygen prescription. This slightly higher flow rate simply denotes that you need slightly more oxygen than the average person. Each liter per minute you increase your oxygen flow increases your oxygen intake by 3–4 percent. Some people only need this slight increase at specific times, such as when they’re exercising, while some people may need it all the time.
4–10 Liters Per Minute
Any prescription above 4LPMs is considered higher oxygen flow. People need this higher flow rate for various reasons, one of the most common being scarring in the lungs. Regardless of why you need this higher flow rate, you will need a high-flow oxygen concentrator to fulfill this prescription. Higher oxygen flow rates also come with more oxygen therapy side effects to avoid, such as nasal dryness. You will probably need a humidifier to help alleviate this common side effect and can discuss other side effects with your doctor if you experience problems.
The most common oxygen flow rates are 2LPMs or less, although some people receive prescriptions up to 10LPMs. Regardless of what flow rate prescription you receive, you will need a home oxygen concentrator to deliver it. Our home oxygen concentrators are quiet and reliable, and many come with financing options so that you can breathe easier on a budget.