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Experiencing Tokyo Narita Airport's Oxygen Lounge

Experiencing Tokyo Narita Airport's Oxygen Lounge


Tokyo's Narita International Airport has an Oxygen Lounge in its arsenal. While the concept may not be new, it is interesting. For $6, a passenger can get 10 minutes of high-grade oxygen to help de-stress after a long flight. The airport even offers different flavors, should you want to avoid breathing bland air.


Get Lost
Photo: Get Lost 


What are the Benefits?


Most claims about the benefits of oxygen bars have yet to be scientifically proven. Proponents of oxygen bars claim purified oxygen can help:


  • Increase energy levels
  • improve mood
  • improve concentration
  • improve sports performance
  • reduce stress
  • provide relief for headache and migraine
  • promote better sleep




In an older study from 1990, researchers surveyed 30 participants with chronic pulmonary obstructive disorder (COPD) who used oxygen therapy over several months. The majority of participants reported an improvement in well-being, alertness, and sleep patterns.


The 'Oxygen Bar' at the Narita airport. Thought it is a jo… | Flickr
Source: Flickr


However, the participants used oxygen therapy continuously for several hours a day over an extended period. And while the patients felt an improvement, the researchers needed to figure out how much of the perceived improvement resulted from a placebo effect.


Evidence shows that supplemental oxygen may improve sleep in people with sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition that causes a person to stop breathing during sleep periodically. There doesn't appear to be any aid to sleep in people without this condition. There's limited evidence that oxygen therapy may help cluster headaches. No adverse effects were noted, though more research is needed.


Get Lost
Source: Get Lost


If you don't have any medical conditions that can be worsened by extra oxygen, you may experience an improvement in the effects of stress. Tokyo's Oxygen Lounge may be the perfect rest after a long flight. 




Even so, the positive effects reported by people who frequent oxygen bars may be psychological, or some benefits still need to be studied.


Narita Airport (Tokyo) | Oxygen bars are still around in Jap… | Flickr
Source: Flickr


Are Oxygen Bars Really Safe?


The benefits of oxygen bars have yet to be studied, and neither have the risks. A healthy person's normal blood oxygen is between 96 and 99 percent saturated with oxygen when breathing normal air, which makes some experts question what value extra oxygen could have.


Some medical conditions benefit from supplemental oxygen, but even for these people, getting too much can be harmful and even deadly, according to research. Administering oxygen to people admitted to the hospital with acute illnesses is a long-held standard practice. 


Photo: Matthew Hefferon | AeroXplorer


However, a study published in 2018 in The Lancet found evidence that oxygen therapy may increase the risk of death when given liberally to people with acute illness and trauma.




The scents are delivered by bubbling the oxygen through a liquid containing either an oil-free, food-grade additive or an aroma oil such as an essential oil. Inhaling oily substances can potentially lead to a serious inflammation of the lungs, known as lipoid pneumonia.


Photo: Tejas Bhatia | AeroXplorer


The scents used in scented oxygen can also harm some people, especially those with lung diseases. According to the Lung Association, the chemicals in scents and even those made from natural plant extracts can cause allergic reactions that can range from mild to severe. Reactions to scents can include symptoms such as:


  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Worsening of asthma


Surprisingly, fire is also a concern whenever dealing with oxygen. Oxygen may be nonflammable, but it does support combustion.


Photo: Daniel Mena | AeroXplorer


Who should avoid oxygen bars?


Avoid oxygen bars if you have a respiratory condition, such as:


  • COPD
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Asthma
  • Emphysema




It would be a good idea to ask your doctor before using an oxygen bar if you have a heart condition, vascular disorder, or other chronic medical condition.


Photo: Nicholas Williams | AeroXplorer


If none of these apply to you, then the Narita International Airport Oxygen Lounge may be the perfect place to relieve your tension and relax a little more.

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Adnan Shaheed
Hi! I'm an aspiring engineering student with an interest in aviation. I really took an interest in Aeroxplorer because it lets me do what I love: talk about planes to people.

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