Oxygen might only make up 21 percent of the air we breathe; but for some, it’s far more important.
At U.S. Oxygen Sales, we understand the vitality of a quality concentrator. With options ranging from portable to permanent and everything in between, we’re here to make sure you get the equipment you need to live a fulfilling life.
However, we also know how confusing medical jargon can be. Between battery life, LPM, and pulse and continuous doses, it can be hard to decide what device will best fit your needs.
Buying the perfect oxygen concentrator doesn’t need have to be so complicated. Need help? Look no further. Read on to learn the difference between these pulse and continuous flow settings.
Simply put, this device does exactly what its name implies — it pulses. Every time you breathe, the machine sends a puff of oxygen up into your nasal passageway.
Today’s technology allows the concentrator to automatically gauge how much oxygen you need. Reacting to variables such as your rate of breathing, pulse concentrators adjust the amount of oxygen you receive in each burst. In addition to being more convenient, these machines are typically more energy efficient and, in turn, smaller in size than their continuous-flow counterparts.
However, they don’t come without their fair share of drawbacks. Every pulse device features a slightly different delivery mechanism, and it may take some time to find out which feels most comfortable. Furthermore, unlike continuous concentrators, pulse-dose machines can’t deliver exact liters-per-minute (LPM) measures. This also increases variability between brands.
In short: Pulse concentrators are small and efficient, but require plenty of testing before settling on a final purchase.
Like their name suggests, continuous-flow concentrators steadily pump a set percentage of oxygen into your airway. While they don’t boast the convenience of a variable oxygen stream, these machines have their own unique advantages.
For one, they’re easier to set. Since they don’t react to changes in breathing rate, their LPM measures are more accurate and translate well from machine to machine. You also don’t need to worry about malfunctioning technology that could interfere with oxygen flow.
On the other hand, these machines are larger, clunkier, and less efficient than their pulse-flow relatives. Because oxygen is constantly streaming from the machine to your airways, there’s bound to be excess oxygen wasted during the process. However, it’s not all bad. There are aftermarket optimizers available that can cut down on waste and save energy.
In terms of easy use, continuous concentrators reign supreme. The perfect fit, though, varies between people. Talk to your doctor to see which machine is right for you. If you still have questions, feel free to reach out: We’d be more than