Can mouth breathing affect supplemental oxygen therapy gas and electric credit union


• Another study involving 10 healthy subjects compared aspirated gas samples of both open and closed-mouth breathers from the tip of a nasal cannula resting in the nasopharynx. The study concluded that not only did the delivered fraction of inspired oxygen (FIO2) increase with increasing oxygen flow rates but, compared to closed-mouth breathers, open-mouth breathers realized a significantly greater FIO2. However, in an editorial disputing the validity of the aforementioned study, Dr. Thomas Poulton, Chief Resident of the Bowman Gray School of Medicine’s Department of Anesthesia, explains that gas samples taken from this area are not likely to be accurate because they contain only oxygen-enriched gas—not gas mixed with room air. Gas Samples taken from the trachea, which is further down the throat, would yield a more accurate gas concentration.

• Clear your nasal passages – Some people have no choice but to breathe through their mouths because their nasal passages are blocked. A stuffy nose may be caused by allergies, illness, prior trauma or even weather changes. Over-the-counter antihistamines are available to keep allergy symptoms at bay and open up clogged nasal passages. Saline nasal spray is a natural alternative to medication and helps lubricate the nasal passages, often relieving congestion. If over-the-counter antihistamines and/or saline nasal sprays don’t work for you, talk to your ​healthcare provider about using a prescription nasal spray such as Flonase.

• Make an appointment with your dentist – Dentists are sometimes more knowledgeable than doctors when it comes to understanding mouth breathing. If your dentist determines that a facial or dental abnormality is the root of your mouth breathing, she may fit you with a functional device to help correct the problem.

• Switch to a simple face mask – The easiest solution to mouth breathing, if medically appropriate, is to switch to a simple face mask. Generally, this is not very practical for many people and must first be approved by your oxygen-prescribing health care provider. One alternative is to consider using the nasal cannula during the day and switching to a simple face mask at night, so at least you’ll be getting the full benefit of oxygen therapy during the hours in which you are asleep. Talk to your healthcare provider for more information about alternatives to the nasal cannula.

• Nasal surgery – If your nasal passages are blocked because of a deviated septum, talking to an Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) Specialist about the surgery that may help correct the problem and allow you to breathe better. Remember, people with COPD should be especially cautious when undergoing surgery, because of the potential post-operative complications associated with anesthesia.

• Transtracheal oxygen therapy – Transtracheal oxygen therapy (TTOT) is a method of administering supplemental oxygen directly into the trachea (windpipe). As an alternative to the nasal cannula, it delivers up to six liters of oxygen per minute through a small, plastic tube called a catheter. TTOT is generally reserved for people who have low blood oxygen levels that don’t respond well to traditional methods of oxygen delivery.

Whether you breathe through your mouth or nose, a pulse oximetry monitor is a must-have for anyone who receives in-home oxygen therapy. Pulse oximeters detect rapid changes in oxygen saturation levels providing you with a warning that you’re low on oxygen. Compare prices on pulse oximetry monitors and never be in the dark about your oxygen saturation levels again. Bottom Line on Mouth Breathing and Oxygen Therapy

There are some concerns about mouth breathing and supplemental oxygen therapy as outlined above, but the important point is that you are taking the time to research this topic and ask important questions—questions that the majority of people with lung disease are not asking.

We are learning that one of the most important factors in the quality of life and survival, not only with lung disease but with a multitude of health conditions, is being your own advocate in your health care. We have reached a point in medicine in which there is no single physician who can stay abreast of all of the new research and findings, even within a specific field such as pulmonology. At the same time, there are few people who are as motivated to find the answers to these questions than those who are coping with the diseases that prompt the questions.

Take the time to ask your physician the question you are seeking the answer to here. There are likely a number of different approaches that haven’t necessarily yet been published but have been grappled with by those who face these concerns every day. Don’t underestimate the respiratory technicians and therapists you work with either. These are the people who work with the nitty-gritty of how supplemental oxygen gets to the people who need it along with the plethora of questions that arise.