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What are the types of oxygen breathing devices?

Each device is connected to the oxygen supply with tubing. The tubing should be long enough to let you move around your house. You may need a humidifier to moisten the oxygen. This may prevent dryness in your nose, mouth, and throat. Ask your healthcare provider if you need a humidifier, and how to attach it to your oxygen supply.

  • A nasal cannula is a 2-pronged plastic tube that fits inside your nostrils. Place one prong in each nostril. Loop the tubing around your ears, or attach it to your eyeglasses to keep it in place. Make sure your cannula fits you well and is comfortable.

  • An oxygen mask is attached to a plastic tube and covers your nose and mouth. It is usually held in place by an elastic strap that wraps around the back of your head. You can use an oxygen mask if you need a lot of oxygen. Your healthcare provider may tell you to use a nasal cannula during the day, and a mask at night. A mask may help if your nose is dry or stuffy.

  • Transtracheal oxygen is given through a small, flexible catheter inserted into an opening in your trachea (windpipe). A necklace holds the catheter in place.