3 doctors weighed in:

Is it safe to breathe pure oxygen?

3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Aaron Milstone
Internal Medicine - Pulmonology
2 doctors agree

In brief: Yes and No

Breathing 100% oxygen can be harmful over time.
Symptoms may include disorientation, breathing problems, and vision changes. Prolonged high oxygen doses cause damage to cell membranes and can cause seizures. However, sometimes breathing pure oxygen is necessary for treatment of carbon monoxide poisoning or in adult respiratory distress syndrome (ards).

In brief: Yes and No

Breathing 100% oxygen can be harmful over time.
Symptoms may include disorientation, breathing problems, and vision changes. Prolonged high oxygen doses cause damage to cell membranes and can cause seizures. However, sometimes breathing pure oxygen is necessary for treatment of carbon monoxide poisoning or in adult respiratory distress syndrome (ards).
Dr. Aaron Milstone
Dr. Aaron Milstone
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1 comment
Dr. Douglas Arenberg
While I agree that "pure O2" can be safely used to treat very serious and life threatening medical conditions, it should be pointed out that oxygen is, in fact, a toxin, that life first evolved to tolerate long before it evolved to thrive in it. Just like water, precise levels of oxygen are needed for life, and just like water, too much can be just as harmless as too little.
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