Oxygen Therapy

Assessing Oxygen Needs: Now and in the Future

Over the long term, low blood-oxygen levels (hypoxemia) can lower your quality of life severely — and lead to death. Diagnosing hypoxemia, assessing oxygen needs, and starting oxygen therapy is key to living a better life with Alpha-1 lung disease. Do you have hypoxemia? The most accurate way to determine the presence of hypoxemia is…

Read more

Oxygen Therapy

Oxygen Therapy Saves Lives

As Alpha-1 lung damage progresses, your lungs can’t exchange oxygen well. This results in hypoxemia — low levels of oxygen in your blood. The long-term effects of hypoxemia are severe and life-threatening. To prevent them, your doctor may recommend adding oxygen therapy to your Alpha-1 COPD treatment plan. Effects of low oxygen Low oxygen levels…

Read more

Oxygen Therapy

Home Oxygen Costs and Coverage: What You Need to Know

The American Lung Association estimates more than one million Americans use home oxygen on a long-term basis. It’s a huge national health expense, with home oxygen costs adding up to more than 2.8 billion dollars every year. Home oxygen is the most expensive non-surgical treatment paid for by Medicare as part of its Durable Medical…

Read more

Oxygen Therapy

Oxygen Storage Systems

You can choose from two main types of oxygen storage systems: stationary and portable. Some storage systems may be used to fill portable systems — combining both types. Most people use a combination of storage systems to keep costs down while maintaining an active lifestyle. We’ll highlight the most common systems here. Stationary oxygen storage…

Read more

Staying Healthy

Infections & How to Prevent Them

Of all the environmental hazards you face, bacteria and viruses are the scariest. That’s because they cause infections, which kill millions of people around the world every year. Check out these sobering statistics: Respiratory infections kill four million people worldwide per year. They’re the #1 cause of death of children under the age of five.

Read more

Staying Healthy

Lung and Liver Disease: Know Your Risks

Unless you live in a bubble, nowhere is 100% risk-free. Long-term, repeated exposures to risk factors have dangers. So, reducing them whenever you can may help you breathe better and live longer. Let’s take a look at some common risk factors for lung and liver disease. Risk factors related to Alpha-1 liver disease Risk factors…

Read more

Staying Healthy

Vaccines for Alphas

Alphas are at greater risk for infections of the nose, windpipe, and lungs (respiratory infections) and infection-related liver damage. Vaccines can greatly reduce your risk. Flu vaccine The influenza virus causes influenza or “the flu.” It spreads from person to person when they breathe infected droplets in the air. Similar to other respiratory viruses like…

Read more

Staying Healthy

Risk Factors At Home: Identify and Reduce Them

You might be surprised how many harmful substances exist in your home. Of course, tobacco smoke is the most harmful, but other risk factors at home include: Chemical fumes Spray products Dust and dirt Bacteria Mold and mildew Household cleaners Bug sprays Fireplace smoke Common substances found in your home (cleaning products, soaps, deodorants, and…

Read more

Staying Healthy

Masks and Respirators: Do You Need Them?

Many workers wear masks and respirators when they’re on the job. They may also be a good option for people who want to reduce their exposure to harmful substances in the air. What’s the difference between masks and respirators? A mask is any device that reduces your exposure to harmful things in the air. A…

Read more

Staying Healthy

Quit Smoking: Why and How

Quitting smoking may be one of the hardest lifestyle changes to make. But it’s the most important step you can take to improve and preserve your quality of life. Why quit smoking? The benefits of quitting are numerous, significant, and undeniable. When you quit, you’ll have less Coughing Airway inflammation Risk of heart disease, lung…

Read more

Staying Healthy

Smoking: The #1 Risk Factor for Your Lungs

As an Alpha, many risk factors for lung disease are beyond your control. But you can control your exposure to cigarette smoke. And, you can quit smoking or never start smoking. Cigarette smoke puts smokers on the “fast track” to lung disease. And for Alphas who smoke, that fast track becomes an express train. This…

Read more

You Your Liver and Alpha-1

Liver Function and Alpha-1: An Overview

Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency, or Alpha-1, is a genetic condition that can cause disease of the lungs, liver, skin, and blood vessels. The first descriptions of Alpha-1 pointed to its role in the promotion of lung disease in adults. But, in fact, Alpha-1 is primarily a condition caused by liver problems. And, it can affect your…

Read more