What is oxygen?
Oxygen is a gas that your body needs to work properly. Your cells need oxygen to make energy. Your lungs absorb oxygen from the air you breathe. The oxygen enters your blood from your lungs and travels to your organs and body tissues.
Certain medical conditions can cause your blood oxygen levels to be too low. Low blood oxygen may make you feel short of breath, tired, and confused. It can also damage your body. Oxygen therapy can help you get more oxygen.What is oxygen therapy?
Oxygen therapy is a treatment that provides you with extra oxygen to breathe in. It is also called supplemental oxygen. It is only available through a prescription from your health care provider. You may get it in the hospital, another medical setting, or at home. Some people only need it for a short period of time. Others will need long-term oxygen therapy.
There are different types of devices that can give you oxygen. Some use tanks of liquid or gas oxygen. Others use an oxygen concentrator, which pulls oxygen out of the air. You will get the oxygen through a nose tube (cannula), a mask, or a tent. The extra oxygen is breathed in along with normal air.
There are portable versions of the tanks and oxygen concentrators. They can make it easier for you to move around while using your therapy.Who needs oxygen therapy?
You may need oxygen therapy if you have a condition that causes low blood oxygen, such as:
Oxygen therapy is generally safe, but it can cause side effects. They include a dry or bloody nose, tiredness, and morning headaches.
Oxygen poses a fire risk, so you should never smoke or use flammable materials when using oxygen. If you use oxygen tanks, make sure your tank is secured and stays upright. If it falls and cracks or the top breaks off, the tank can fly like a missile.What is hyperbaric oxygen therapy?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a different type of oxygen therapy. It involves breathing oxygen in a pressurized chamber or tube. That allows your lungs to gather up to three times more oxygen than you would get by breathing oxygen at normal air pressure. The extra oxygen moves through your blood and to your organs and body tissues.
HBOT is used to treat certain serious wounds, burns, injuries, and infections. It also treats air or gas embolisms (bubbles of air in your bloodstream), decompression sickness suffered by divers, and carbon monoxide poisoning.
But some treatment centers claim that HBOT can treat almost anything, including Alzheimer's disease, autism, cancer, and Lyme disease. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not cleared or approved the use of HBOT for these conditions. There are risks to using HBOT, so always check with your provider before you try it.
What are peripheral nerves?
Nerves are like wires that carry messages back and forth between your brain and your body. Your peripheral nerves branch off from your brain and spinal cord and connect to all parts of your body, including your muscles and organs. Peripheral nerves carry messages from your brain that control your movement, breathing, heartbeat, digestion, and more. They also carry messages from your body to your brain, so you can feel things, such as pain, heat, and cold.What are peripheral nerve disorders?
Peripheral nerve disorders happen when one or more peripheral nerves are damaged. Damaged nerves may not carry messages correctly, or they may not work at all. As a result, you may have pain, trouble walking, or a variety of other problems, depending on which nerves are involved.
Peripheral nerve disorders are very common. There are more than 100 different types.What causes peripheral nerve disorders?
Many things can damage nerves and lead to peripheral nerve disorders:
In certain cases, the cause of peripheral nerve disorder is not known.What are the symptoms of peripheral nerve disorders?
The symptoms of peripheral nerve disorders depend on which nerves are affected, what is causing the damage, and how serious it is:Types of nervesPossible symptoms of nerve damageMotor nerves control your muscles and all your movement, such as walking, talking, and using your hands.
Symptoms may range from mild to very strong. They may develop quickly over days or slowly over months and years. But they are rarely life-threatening.How are peripheral nerve disorders diagnosed?
To find out if you have a peripheral nerve disorder, your provider will:
It's important to treat any conditions that are causing nerve damage. In certain cases, that will allow your nerves to heal over time.
Treatment for symptoms depends on the type of peripheral nerve disorder you have, where it is, and how severe. Treatment options include:
You can help prevent peripheral nerve disorders by:
NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
What is respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)?
Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, is a common respiratory virus. It usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms. But it can cause serious lung infections, especially in infants, older adults, and people with serious medical problems.How is respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) spread?
RSV spreads from person to person through:
People who have an RSV infection are usually contagious for 3 to 8 days. But sometimes infants and people with weakened immune systems can continue to spread the virus for as long as 4 weeks.Who is at risk for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections?
RSV can affect people of all ages. But it is very common in small children; nearly all children become infected with RSV by age 2. In the United States, RSV infections usually occur during RSV season, which is usually fall through spring.
Certain people are at higher risk of having a severe RSV infection:
The symptoms of RSV infection usually start about 4 to 6 days after infection. They include:
These symptoms usually appear in stages instead of all at once. In very young infants, the only symptoms may be irritability, decreased activity, and trouble breathing.
RSV can also cause more severe infections, especially in people at high risk. These infections include bronchiolitis, an inflammation of the small airways in the lung, and pneumonia, an infection of the lungs.How are respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections diagnosed?
Your health care provider may use many tools to make a diagnosis:
There is no specific treatment for RSV infection. Most infections go away on their own in a week or two. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help with the fever and pain. However, do not give aspirin to children. And do not give cough medicine to children under four. It is also important to get enough fluids to prevent dehydration.
Some people with severe infection may need to be hospitalized. There, they might get oxygen, a breathing tube, or a ventilator.Can respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections be prevented?
There are some vaccines to protect against RVS illness. Two of them are for people ages 60 and older. If you are in this age group, talk to your provider about whether an RSV vaccine would be right for you.
There is also a vaccine is for pregnant people. It is given between 32 and 36 weeks of pregnancy. It helps protect their newborn babies from RSV illness for the first 6 months of life.
There are two medicines to help prevent severe RSV illness in babies and young children. These medicines may help prevent severe RSV illness, but they can't cure or treat children who already have RSV. And they cannot prevent an RSV infection. Both medicines are given by injections (shots).
One medicine is given to infants who are younger than 8 months during their first RSV season. This includes infants who are born during RSV season. This medicine may also be given to some children between the ages of 8 and 19 months who are at high risk for severe RSV illness. For example, they might be at high risk because they:
The other medicine is given monthly during RSV season. It is for children under 24 months of age who are at high risk for severe RSV illness.
There are also some steps you can take to lower your risk of getting or spreading an RSV infection, including:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) causes a powerful urge to move your legs. Your legs become uncomfortable when you are lying down or sitting. Some people describe it as a creeping, crawling, tingling, or burning sensation. Moving makes your legs feel better, but not for long. RLS can make it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep.
In most cases, there is no known cause for RLS. In other cases, RLS is caused by a disease or condition, such as anemia or pregnancy. Some medicines can also cause temporary RLS. Caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol may make symptoms worse.
Lifestyle changes, such as regular sleep habits, relaxation techniques, and moderate exercise during the day can help. If those don't work, medicines may reduce the symptoms of RLS.
Most people with RLS also have a condition called periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD). PLMD is a condition in which a person's legs twitch or jerk uncontrollably, usually during sleep. PLMD and RLS can also affect the arms.
NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Seizures are symptoms of a brain problem. They happen because of sudden, abnormal electrical activity in the brain. When people think of seizures, they often think of convulsions in which a person's body shakes rapidly and uncontrollably. Not all seizures cause convulsions. There are many types of seizures and some have mild symptoms. Seizures fall into two main groups. Focal seizures, also called partial seizures, happen in just one part of the brain. Generalized seizures are a result of abnormal activity on both sides of the brain.
Most seizures last from 30 seconds to 2 minutes and do not cause lasting harm. However, it is a medical emergency if seizures last longer than 5 minutes or if a person has many seizures and does not wake up between them. Seizures can have many causes, including medicines, high fevers, head injuries and certain diseases. People who have recurring seizures due to a brain disorder have epilepsy.
NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke