Is Inhaling Recreational Grade Oxygen Harmful?
Recreational grade oxygen which is less than 95% and inhaled with ambient air is not harmful.  Above 95% oxygen can be harmful if not mixed with ambient air and consumed for a prolonged time.  However Recreational oxygen is less than 95% and does not require a medical prescription to purchase.

I most cases, recreational oxygen is consumed in small quantities to catch one's breath or prepare for physical workouts.  With recreational grade oxygen, one is not connected to an oxygen line for an extended length of time.  Breathing recreational oxygen is similar to being at high altitude and dropping to sea level where the concentration of oxygen is thicker.  It is easier to breath at sea level compared to high altitude because the amount of oxygen available is greater.

Recreational oxygen is also used by people traveling to high altitudes above 6000 ft that are susceptible to altitude sickness.  A can of oxygen per day will help one adjust to the high altitude and reduce the symptoms of altitude sickness.

Seniors that do not qualify for medical grade oxygen enjoy a breath of recreational oxygen to give them that boost of energy they need to finish their chores or while exerting themselves.  Many of these big box department stores involve considerable walking while shopping.  This can be a challenge to many seniors with limited breathing ability.

Athletes also enjoy short breaths of recreational oxygen to improve their performance.  They are known to use recreational grade oxygen before, during and after their workouts or competition.  It increases the percentage of oxygen in their blood to near 100% capacity enabling them to exert themselves longer before needing a rest.

Airplanes have the agility to dispense oxygen in emergencies.  This is recreational grade oxygen.  Also pilots flying small planes without oxygen equipment are known to breath oxygen from a can when they are at higher altitudes.  It is commonly sold at pilot supply outlets.

Recreational grade oxygen is also used to cure hangovers.  Also when oxygen is consumed while drinking, it will generally prevent a hangover the next morning.  Back in WWII, pilots were known to drink all night then go down to a hanger in the morning for oxygen to cure their hangover.  Alcohol depletes the amount of oxygen in the blood causing the hangover symptoms.  A few breaths of oxygen replaces the depleted oxygen in the blood.

Oxygen is also known to improve ones cognitive abilities, or improve their mental focus.  Students have been known to breath oxygen before final exams to improve their thought process resulting in higher test scores.

When one is hospitalized, they are frequently given medical grade oxygen thru a nose cannula.  The nose cannula is designed to mix oxygen with ambient air as one breaths.  When one breaths oxygen from a can, they are also mixing oxygen with ambient air.  When mixing oxygen with ambient air one is protected from damaging their brain or any other part of their body.

Many studies have been reported on the subject, and in most cases they fail to distinguish between medical grade and recreational grade oxygen.  Medical grade oxygen is 100% while recreational grade oxygen is below 95% and the effects are different.  UCLA has published results of MRI tests using 100% oxygen and it highlights the need to mix ambient room air or carbon dioxide with oxygen to prevent damage to the brain and heart

When one needs oxygen for whatever reason, the benefits of the "recreational" grade oxygen are far better than any negative side effects in most cases.

To answer the question, "Is inhaling recreational grade oxygen harmful?  NO it is not harmful and is usually beneficial.


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