Oxygen therapy

8) How to use oxygen – do’s and don’ts

Home oxygen is usually prescribed for a minimum of 15 hours a day.
This sounds like a lot but if used overnight it may give you some oxygen free time during the day.

Do Don’t
  • Do keep nose and mouth healthy. Drink at least 6 to 8 cups of water or juice to keep hydrated. Your mouth and nose may feel dry when on oxygen.
  • Do stay active with oxygen. Portable oxygen cylinders are available. Most people with oxygen can maintain an active lifestyle. If you need oxygen to get out and about, this will be considered as part of your assessment.
  • Don’t get sore ears. You may have to adjust the position of the tubing behind your ears. Padding and an aqueous cream may help.
  • Don’t use open fires. Your home will be checked for safety reasons. Any open fire or flame is a potential explosion or fire risk.
  • Don’t smoke or use E-cigarettes. It is recommended that people who are still smokers are not prescribed oxygen as there is a risk of combustion and severe facial burn. If smoking, you will be given smoking cessation advice. If you manage to stop, then oxygen will be considered if needed. It is also essential that others do not smoke in the same room when you have your oxygen on.