As you may already know, oxygen therapy can be a big help if you have certain respiratory illnesses such as COPD. Oxygen therapy can allow you to go through your day better and help optimize your energy. But for those who are new to it, getting comfortable with oxygen therapy can be a nuisance-- especially if you’re trying to get a good night's sleep through it! Thankfully, there are solutions for making the most of supplemental oxygen therapy, even when you have to use it while you sleep.
If you’re new to using supplemental oxygen, or if you have been using it for a time but have trouble sleeping while on oxygen, these tips can help you make the experience a lot better.
Dealing with the noise
One of the biggest concerns people have when it comes to using oxygen therapy is that the noise level can be unbearable when trying to sleep. If you encounter a problem with a noisy oxygen concentrator, it may be because your machine is not built for light sleepers. Before you shop for a machine, see to it that the sound emitted by the machine is below 48 decibels so you can have a good night's sleep. Also you can buy a5 meters prolong oxygen pipe to put the machine in another room.
Nasal dryness and skin irritation
After using oxygen therapy regularly throughout the night or for long periods of time, you may begin to experience side effects such as skin irritation and dryness in your nasal passages. These two aren't uncommon as they can occur to anyone using oxygen. To help deal with the side effects, first for long time oxygen therapy, humidifier is a must and aslo you can use a moisturizing product like a saline nasal mist or nasal gel to provide lubrication and lessen dryness. This can help make using oxygen therapy more comfortable in the long run.
Use the right oxygen rate
Before you start with oxygen therapy, it’s normal that your doctor will have you go through a test called arterial blood gas (ABG) test or oximetry. This test measures the oxygen in your blood and helps figure out the correct oxygen flow rate for you. Once your doctor prescribes you your recommended flow rate, you need to set your concentrator to that setting and stick to it! If you use too little oxygen while you sleep, it could produce damage to your brain and heart. On the other hand, going over this oxygen flow rate can also have adverse effects. You need to follow your doctor's orders.
Do regular maintenance
To make sure that your machine continues to work without any hiccups, you need to make sure it goes through the right maintenance check and procedure. There are some oxygen concentrators that require their filters to be cleaned regularly. You need to follow through with the maintenance guide listed on the manual so you can make sure your machine is working optimally.
Be mindful about usage
Depending on what your doctor says about this, you may need to use oxygen therapy regularly. You may encounter low oxygen levels while you rest. Others need to oxygen therapy all the time to supplement them the oxygen they need. Either way, you need to follow what your doctor says about this so you can get the best results.
Keeping the oxygen mask or cannula in place
When you're shopping for a cannula or mask, make sure that you find one that easily fits your chin and jaw. If you encounter the rubber chaffing against your face, you can wrap it with white first aide tape so it serves as padding to the tube. Another common issue is when the nasal prongs rub the insides of your nostrils, causing them to become sore. If this is something you encounter, you can apply a thin layer of water-based lubricant to the prongs'ends. Additionally, you can use a saline nasal spray regularly to keep your nasal passages moist throughout the therapy and lessen soreness.
No matter how tempting it may be to remove your mask or cannula, don't! Keep it on. Oxygen therapy may be uncomfortable at first but once you get used to it, you'll start to see improvements in your breathing. It can also greatly improve your quality of life! The important thing is to follow your doctor's orders which will surely pay off in everyday activities as well as in the long run.
Do you have tips to share when sleeping while on oxygen? Share them with us in the comments below!