Autumn has finally graced us with its chilly presence and that means a lot of cold and dry air is coming your way! If you or a loved one is on Oxygen Therapy, you may have noticed some uncomfortable dryness in the throat, nose, or mouth. This is a common side-effect for first time oxygen users that most people grow accustom to over time. However, there are many helpful tips and tricks to make the cold weather and dry oxygen conditions much more pleasant and livable!
It’s always important to remember and follow your prescribed oxygen flow rate. This number was likely given to you by your doctor and is imperative for you to follow in order to receive the proper oxygen therapy your condition requires. If you find your current flow rate is uncomfortable and causes skin irritation, nose dryness, and/or nose bleeds there are some tips and tricks you can try to ease this!
Nosebleeds can happen frequently if you're using oxygen therapy and often will occur due to the constant flow of air. The delicate skin inside the nostrils can be easily irritated and bumped with your cannula. This may produce a nose bleed or in most mild cases you’ll see a bit of blood in your mucus when you blow your nose.
To prevent bloody noses and dry nasal skin, you can simply use a moisturizing balm. There are even moisturizing balms on the market specifically made for dry nasal passages due to oxygen therapy.
TIP: For a more natural remedy, try sesame seed oil for the same effect! Sesame seed oil is a natural anti-inflammatory, and can also protect you from any germs hiding in your nose.
Dry Throat & Mouth
A dry throat and mouth can often be treated and prevented by using a humidifier bottle with your oxygen concentrator. These particle bottles attach to your concentrator and force the oxygen through water before delivery. This process will help add moisture into the oxygen provided so you don’t dry out!
If you are still experiencing a dry mouth and throat with a humidifier bottle, we suggest a room humidifier to bring even more moisture into the air you’re breathing. You may find that you need more moisture at night, as many people sleep with their mouths open.
TIP: Always make sure the water you’re using in your humidifier is distilled. This ensures you’re not breathing in any unwanted germs or particles!
Extra Tips & Tricks
- Wash out your humidifier and nasal cannula with mild soap and water once a week.
- We suggest applying any balms or oils to the inside of your nostrils with the tip of a cotton swab, or clean finger. A thin coat is enough, you don’t want to apply too much, or it may become uncomfortable.
- Replace your tubing every couple of months and your nasal cannula at least once a month.
- As always, make sure to speak to your physician if you have any questions or concerns regarding your condition and your treatment.