Hershey Medical Center Hershey Medical Center Geisinger Health System Geisinger Health System Univ of Penn Univ of Penn Temple University Temple University University of Pittsburgh UPMC Simmons Center
PA-IPF Registry home  

The Daniel and Joan Beren
Pennsylvania Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
State Registry

A project of the University of Pittsburgh, University of Pennsylvania, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Temple University, Geisinger Medical System

PA-IPF Hotline  1-866-922-4IPF (4473)


Risk factors for IPF
Diagnostic test for IPF
I've been diagnosed with IPF, now what?
What if I need oxygen?
Exercise and IPF
Find a support group
How will IPF affect my diet?
I'm afraid of death, what can I do?
Will my children get IPF?

What if I need Oxygen?

This is one of the greatest fears of IPF patients.

We have all seen people carting along oxygen tanks with tubes hooked up to their noses, and it is frightening to think that we may be required to do that as well.

One man says, "I was afraid I would become dependent on oxygen and I was afraid of how I would look in public. But I told the doctor that I needed to go on it. I had a very active life because I was in college and I didn't want to depend on anybody, and the oxygen freed me up to do the things I needed to do."

What is remarkable is how the benefits of oxygen therapy so greatly outweigh the inconveniences or fears of social stigmatization. When asked how he overcame his fears, this patient answered, "I just learned to deal with it. After a while, I just realized that nobody was looking. The big thing was going to class for the first time, and everybody was staring. But I stopped caring because I felt so much better on oxygen. It was a very freeing experience getting out of the house. I recognized that without oxygen I was hurting my other organs, and I was stagnating in the house."