You have to use a nasal cannula if you’re using oxygen therapy. This equipment helps deliver the oxygen you need directly into your nose. The right cannula should feel comfortable—after a while, you might not even notice it’s there. If you’re struggling to get more comfortable with using a nasal cannula, we can help. Keep reading to learn about four ways to improve your comfort with this piece.
Adjust the Tubing
The nasal cannula places the oxygen tube into your nose so that you can breathe easier. Sometimes the discomfort you associate with the nasal cannula comes from that tubing and not the cannula itself. Adjusting the tubing to better fit your face can help diminish that discomfort.
You can tighten the slider on your tubing to keep the tubing higher and tighter on your cheeks. This adjustment is an effective solution if you notice the tubing and cannula rubbing your skin often. If the tubing is already too tight, you can pull the slider down the tubing so that it’s looser and more comfortable.
Tape the Tubing
If you’ve adjusted the tubing as much as possible and you’re still experiencing discomfort from it and your cannula, consider taping it. You can wrap the tubing in first aid fabric tape so that the tubing can still move freely without irritating your skin. Some people prefer to tape the tubing down to secure it. You can tape the tubing to your cheeks or behind your ears to prevent it from shifting.
Sometimes the cause of your discomfort is the cannula, not the tubing. If that’s the case for you, one of the causes of nasal discomfort could be dry, irritated skin. Rub a water-based lubricant around the nasal prongs of your cannula so that the inside of your nose won’t dry out. You can also use a nasal saline spray to help keep your nasal passages moist and comfortable. Speak with your physician to determine if using a humidifier would help remedy your nasal dryness.
Replace Your Cannula
After frequent use and washing, your cannula and tubing may eventually start to crack. These cracks can rub against the skin around your nose and act as a breeding ground for dangerous bacteria. Replacing your cannula and tubing every 2-4 months will help prevent those cracks and bacteria from developing.
Fortunately for those on oxygen therapy, there are many ways to get more comfortable with a nasal cannula. If you need new cannulas and tubing or are looking to buy an oxygen concentrator, Bridge to Care can help. We provide affordable, dependable oxygen concentrators and accessories so that you can get the equipment you need at a price you can afford.