How to Prevent Dry Nose, Throat, and Mouth on Oxygen

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!

Dry Nose


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!

Educate yourself with our Free Oxygen Therapy Guide

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.

Edited: 2/7/18

43 thoughts on “How to Prevent Dry Nose, Throat, and Mouth on Oxygen”

  • Judith Tannehill
    Judith Tannehill October 18, 2017 at 11:10 pm

    Thank you. This was informative and very helpful.

    Reply
  • al

    THIS ARTICLE WAS VERY HELPFUL. THANK YOU

    Reply
  • Richard Ringler

    Excellent article.

    Reply
  • William Holmes

    Very helpful and timely as weather changes I find dryness, particularly at night, common. Thanks

    Reply
  • Alicia Osmera

    As a DME provider and a Respiratory Therapist we encourage our patient's to change nasal cannula's once a week and tubing and humidifier bottles once per month. Otherwise very well done.

    Reply
  • Marie smith

    I heard of sesame oil, but never knew it could help in germ control as well. Thanks for all your informative articles

    Reply
  • Roger

    on top of dry mouth and throat I have been noticing my teeth seem to be more deceptive to hot and cold mixtures. Is this normal????

    Reply
    • Danielle Jason

      Thank you for your comment, Roger. We have not encountered patients complaining of teeth sensitivity via a nasal cannula. We suggest contacting your doctor and inquiring with them. Your doctor will have the inside information regarding what would be considered "normal" for your condition, your style of oxygen therapy, and the solutions available to you.

      Reply
  • Carol

    Well done article. I wish it solve the problem.

    Reply
  • Mary

    I do use the bottle on the concentrator when my nose starts bleeding,it helps a lot,I run a de-humidifier.most of the day,maybe that is the wrong one?I find that a Himalan Salt Rock cleans the Air&Prayers for something to HEPL.

    Reply
  • Diane

    Do you know if Medicare pays for replacement of canulas and tubing?
    Can I add a humidifier to my home unit?

    Reply
    • Danielle Jason

      Thank you for your comment, Diane. Each Medicare provider is different and may provide different accessories and tubing. We suggest contacting them directly and inquiring with them. As for your home unit, you may absolutely add a humidifier depending the on the unit you have. Feel free to give our specialists a call at 877-303-9289 if you'd like more information on purchasing a humidifier.

      Reply
  • John

    What kind of sesame seed oil do you recommend? Pure, organic, refined? Or does it matter?

    Reply
    • Danielle Jason

      Great question, John. In this case, it would not matter which form of oil you selected just as long as it is truly and purely sesame seed oil.

      Reply
  • William Silva

    I have dry mouth quite bad. I've been using a dry mouth spray. It helps, but the dry mouth comes right back, so I keep on using the spray. Also, I have a serious problem just inside both nostrils. It is quite painful, specially when I blow my nose. My Doctor prescribed an ointment, and it helps, but doesn't prevent the painful irritatio from returning. I will now take your advice and clean my cannula once a week. My oxygen provider isn't very happy when I ask for new cannula and tubing on a quarterly basis, let alone weekly. I continue to use this provider because it doesn't "cost me a cent out of my pocket" for my oxygen needs. I'm 71, soon to be 72 around Thanksgiving. I have Medicare Part A and Part B, as well as Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, and a third insurance which is a supplement plan (Hartford Healthcare) through AARP. I guess I should be thankful that I pay nothing for my oxygen and supplies. No other oxygen provider, that I know of cannot, for some reason, do that. Either I have to pay a monthly rental fee out of my pocket or buy the concentrator's and supplies outright. Just cannot afford to do that. Your above thoughts and good information have helped out a great deal. I thank you for that. I'm sorry that I rattled on so long. I apologize for that.

    Reply
  • Barbara kight

    Thank you very help info

    Reply
  • David fryer

    Why does some tubing seem to relax more and stay flat on the floor more than others ?

    Reply
    • Danielle Jason

      Excellent question, David. There are many forms of tubing available on the market today. Some tubing can be softer and more flexible than others, while some tubing is meant to curl such as "Tidy Tubing." If you're looking for flatter tubing feel free to give one of our specialists a call at 877-774-9271!

      Reply
  • Linda Barnard

    My ENT Dr. recommended to use saline gel or spray for my nose!!! Works great always have some on hand.

    Reply
  • Mary

    I asked before if I'm using the wrong Machine,I'm using a.Dehumidifer should it be a Humidifier?Thank You.Mary

    Reply
    • Danielle Jason

      Thank you for your comment, Mary, please reach out to our Service department to determine the right accessories for your machine. You can reach them via 877-303-9289.

      Reply
  • Joseph Hawks

    I've tried the sesame seed oil, with good results.

    Reply
  • Dennis A Rosemier
    Dennis A Rosemier November 19, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    A friend of mine passed away. His wife gave me his eclipse 5 and accessories. I have been trying to find a local service center for annual service and maintenance. Can you help?

    Reply
    • Danielle Jason

      Thank you for your comment, Dennis. You are welcome to contact our Service department at 877-303-9289 and they can assist you in troubleshooting the machine.

      Reply
  • Joseph R. Hawks
    Joseph R. Hawks December 4, 2017 at 3:21 am

    I tried using Sesame Seed Oil, with good results.

    Reply
  • Michelle

    I have severe pulmonary hypertension. I use a c-pap every night with oxygen bled into it. My nose is extremely dry with bloody scabs. Been using saline nasal spray with no results. Any suggestions?

    Reply
    • Danielle Jason

      Thank you for your comment, Michelle. Have you tried the suggestions listed above namely the natural oil remedy?

      Reply
  • Christine Osberghsus
    Christine Osberghsus February 7, 2018 at 11:26 pm

    I use a humidifier. Sometimes it shoots water droplets through the tubing. And no, it is not over filled. Why is this? Does it have anything to do with the temperature?

    Reply
  • Barb

    Prior to needing O2 therapy I had a problem with nasal dryness and nosebleeds from an old chemistry accident. Now that I need O2, it is almost unbearable. I have found that Ayr nasal saline gel is my favorite combined with lip balm and mouth rinse and sinus saline spray. We have tried multiple whole house humidifiers with additional room humidifiers. I have also tried various cannulae, masks, and other delivery devices.
    When I ask my Drs, they say I have tried what they normally recommend. I am looking for any ideas.

    Reply
    • Danielle Jason

      Thank you for your comment, Barb. Do you currently have a humidifier on your oxygen concentrator that helps to add moisture to the oxygen you're receiving?

      Reply
    • Debra

      I currently have a vicks vaporizer in my bedroom. I love the medication smell, and at times I also put it on my chest so I can inhale during the course of the night. It's worth a try. Also, put your waterbottle on the concentrator.

      Reply
  • Pat K

    When I sleep with full face CPAP with attached heated humidifier, and oxygen feed, moisture is just right and there are no nasal problems. Using the daytime nasal cannula and o2 concentrator with the humidifier bottle attachment, I get lots of nasal problems. If they could redesign the o2 concentrator to have a "heated" distilled water reservoir similar to CPAP machine, I think it would solve a lot of the nose/throat discomforts that most people experience. It is how they designed the system. The long hoses eventually have a moisture buildup that becomes a breeding ground for mold, which in turn can cause respiratory issues. I think it is a fixable issue that requires a little redesign.

    Reply
    • Danielle Jason

      Thank you for your feedback, Pat. We agree, that would be a wonderful option that we hope to see our manufacturers include in the future! Do you currently use a watertrap for your tubing to help with excess moisture?

      Reply
  • Pat K

    I did not use a water trap. Even with a trap, the hose would still be a place for unwanted bacteria and mold to grow over time, and changing the hoses is the only control we have to deal with it.

    Reply
  • DeLois J. Gordon
    DeLois J. Gordon February 10, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    Very informative!

    Reply
    • Danielle Jason

      We are glad you found our blog post informative! Let us know if you have any other topics or inquiries you'd like to see written about next!

      Reply
  • Faye Supley

    I am on 3 LPM of oxygen I find that using the saline solution spray recommended for dry noses actually dries the nose out up in the sinus area and makes it worse. I've had good luck using a small Vicks personal steam inhaler twice daily. Being on oxygen when you have about every form of sinusitis, rhinitis and rhinosinusitis doesn't help either. Breathing can be a chore! When I use the distilled water in the water bottle on the oxygen concentrator it does have a water trap but for some reason when I breath in the moisture for long periods, the moisture accumulates in my lungs and feel like I'm drowning.. almost like pneumonia. It's strange that I can take a steamy hot shower and my nose and sinuses moisten up nicely but the prolonged use of moisture from the concentrator seems to work against me. I must be weird.

    Reply
    • Danielle Jason

      Thank you for your inquiry, Faye. We suggest consulting your doctor to discuss your "drowning" feeling. If you are uncomfortable using the humidifier for extended periods, we recommend using it short periods - as needed.

      Reply
  • Ruben Lopez

    using sesame oil for dry noses because 24 hours oxygen use is it safe the oil will not ignite??

    Reply
    • Margaret Goodman
      Margaret Goodman March 9, 2018 at 6:23 am

      Sesame oil is a natural moisturizer and can be used in place of a moisturizing balm. If you are concerned however I would recommend that you consult with your doctor on options that are best for you.

      Reply
  • Maxwell Smith
    Maxwell Smith June 2, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    We used the lip balm and that helped , thank you ,maybe we need a humidifier too , the air is dry here.

    Reply

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