When you first heard the phrase oxygen therapy, you probably immediately imagined an oxygen machine. While a home or portable oxygen concentrator is the most important part of oxygen therapy, it doesn’t work alone. You need additional pieces of equipment to effectively use your concentrator and get all the benefits of oxygen therapy. Tubing and cannulas are some of the most important pieces of equipment oxygen users need to know about and use during therapy. We provide some important information about these accessories below.
Tubing and Cannula Specifics
All tubing and nasal cannulas are not the same. You’ll need to know the differences between the various tubing and cannula options so you can use the right one your doctor prescribed.
The tubing specifics relate to the length of the tubing itself. Most tubing is about 7 feet long, but there are longer and shorter options available. The length of the tubing shouldn’t affect your oxygen, only your mobility while using your concentrator. Many people choose longer tubing to allow them more mobility no matter where their concentrator is.
Cannula specifications differ based on high- or low-flow oxygen. Your doctor should prescribe high- or low-flow oxygen based on your health needs. When buying the equipment for your oxygen therapy, make sure you order the correct cannula for your prescribed oxygen.
Tubing and Cannula Side Effects
While oxygen therapy can have certain side effects, such as oxygen toxicity, the tubing and cannula can also have negative side effects. Fortunately, just as there are tips to avoid thee side effects of oxygen therapy, there are ways to avoid discomfort from tubing and cannula.
Tubing can cause facial irritation when it rubs against your cheeks and neck. While this isn’t as dangerous as oxygen toxicity, it still causes discomfort. You can use facial tape to tape the tubing in place, so it doesn’t rub.
Some cannulas, especially low-flow ones, can dry out your nose and nasal passages. This can cause nasal irritation or bleeding, which is uncomfortable and can make it difficult to carry out the therapy. Using a humidifier bottle and nasal spray can mitigate these side effects.
Checking Your Tubing and Cannula
When you first remove your tubing and cannula from their packages, you should check them for problems. You should continue to check them every day to make sure no cracks or holes appear, depleting your oxygen.
However, since this equipment is clear, you may struggle to visually detect these cracks or holes. The best way to check this equipment is to attach it to your concentrator and turn the concentrator on. Then, place the cannula in a glass of water and watch for bubbles. If the bubbles don’t appear or you only see a few, you may have a crack or hole in your equipment.
Oxygen users need to know the specifics, side effects, and care of tubing and cannulas. If you need these accessories or are looking for an oxygen machine to buy, Bridge to Care can help you. Our concentrators and accessories are high quality and affordable.