Why doesn't supplemental oxygen prevent me from getting short of breath?

When you have chronic obstructive pulmonary (COPD), low oxygen levels are actually caused by the failure of blood vessels in your lungs to connect with the air sacs that contain oxygen. Your lungs may still be able to support that connection, but you may be short of breath due to other factors, such as hyperinflation, retained carbon dioxide and a flattened diaphragm, increasing your work of breathing. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.