How to Prevent Nasal Dryness Caused by Oxygen Inhalation

Oxygen therapy is necessary for many medical situations. Oxygen is used to treat various breathing problems such as COPD, lung infections, and pulmonary fibrosis, among others. However, taking oxygen therapy for an extended period of time can cause some side effects, one of the most common being nasal dryness.

Nasal dryness is a common problem that occurs when the mucous membranes lining the inside of the nose become overly dry. When receiving oxygen therapy, the nostrils need to breathe pure oxygen frequently, which will cause the mucous membranes in the nasal cavity to be easily dried out.

The problem is, nasal dryness can lead to uncomfortable symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, and headaches, as well as epistaxis or persistent nasal congestion, so we need to take steps to prevent this from happening. Below are some effective methods.

1. Use a humidifier

Placing a humidifier next to the bed or next to the oxygen line for easy cannulation can increase humidity in the room and reduce dryness of the nostrils that often receive oxygen. Alternatively, a length of tubing may be placed between the nostril and the humidifier to help regulate the distribution of water vapor within the nostril.

When using a humidifier, you need to ensure that the water source is changed in time every day, because prolonged periods of stillness can lead to the growth of bacteria in the water, which can easily increase the risk of respiratory infections.

2. Use the diaphragm

Putting the patch over the cannula of the oxygen tubing and sending oxygen through the tube into the nose while inhaling oxygen will help keep the nasal area from drying out. This method may not be suitable for everyone, so it is best to seek advice from your doctor or nurse before using it.

3. Lubricate the nasal cavity

Lubricants can help relieve symptoms of nasal dryness and discomfort. Therefore, before and after each oxygen inhalation, it should be lubricated with a suitable lubricating drug, such as an oil-based drug or an alkaline solution that can be bought in a pharmacy.

4. Reduce or suspend smoking

In addition to being very unstable and dangerous compared to the occurrence of oxygen therapy-induced shock, smoking is another common cause of nasal dryness. A large number of chemicals in tobacco can cause irritation to the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, and throat, and even cause nasal dryness.

5. Adjust oxygen flow

In view of the fact that excessive oxygen flow may cause severe dryness of the mucous membrane in the nasal cavity and cause discomfort, the oxygen flow should be adjusted appropriately when receiving oxygen therapy.

If you have access to an oxygen concentrator (the machine that makes oxygen), try putting it near a window so that the cool breeze coming in will help keep everything moistened up nicely!

In general, to prevent nasal dryness from oxygen therapy, you should take one or more of the steps above. If you notice dryness and discomfort on the inside of your nose, report it to your doctor. They can change the oxygen therapy regimen to help relieve symptoms and avoid more discomfort.