How do you put on and use a Nasal Cannula?

Although a Nasal Cannula is the most common form of oxygen delivery, it can still seem intimidating to anyone new to oxygen therapy. Here are some tips to ensure the right nasal cannula fit and how to put it on and wear it comfortably.

  • Check the size. Although most adult nasal cannulas are one-size-fits-all, some brands provide different size options. There are also different sizes available for children and infants. Since most nasal cannulas appear similar at first glance, ensure you have the correct size. Your cannula should fit snugly into your nostrils so it doesn’t easily move around or come out. You have the wrong size if it pinches or rubs against your nostrils.
  • Attach your nasal cannula to oxygen. On the tubing, at the opposite end of your nasal prongs, there is a connector that attaches to your oxygen source. Attach the connector and then turn on your oxygen to your prescribed setting. Place your nasal prongs against your skin to ensure the flow of oxygen.
  • Place the nasal cannula on your face. Most nasal prongs are curved for a better fit. Turn the prongs to face down on your face, and insert them into your nostrils. You should feel oxygen gently flowing (or feel a puff of oxygen if you use a pulse dose machine). Lift the tubing and place each side around your ears. The tubing should fit around each ear and under your chin. Cannulas include a slider that allows you to secure the tubing. Adjust the slider so it’s snug but leaves room for two fingers to fit underneath.
How to Wear and Use A Nasal Cannula?

Tips For Increasing Nasal Cannula Comfort

Although most nasal cannulas are lightweight and designed for comfort, they can still cause irritation. Follow these tips for comfortable oxygen therapy.
  • If oxygen therapy causes dryness in your nose or lips, use a water-based lubricant in dry areas. Saline nasal spray can also relieve a dry nose. Avoid oil-based lubricants since they can cause skin irritations. Also, talk with your healthcare provider to see if you should use a humidifier with your oxygen therapy.
  • If you experience irritation from the tubing behind your ears, you can purchase ear padding that easily slides around the tubing. Easily find ear padding online or at an oxygen supply store. If you don’t yet have the padding, you can use a piece of gauze or fabric until your padding arrives.

Helpful Information on Nasal Cannulas
How Often Should I Change my Oxygen Cannula?
Making Your Nasal Cannula and Rubber Tubing Last Longer

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