British Lung Foundation
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Can anyone solve the problem of getting sore nostrils as a result of the oxygen nasal cannula ?

Hi my mum is now on oxygen 24 hours and is coming to terms with this but she is finding the nasal spectacles are making her nostrils sore.

Has anyone found a softer version on the market that might be more comfortable?

Or any top tips to avoid this problem? She is very small and petite I wonder if there is a children's version that has slightly smaller prongs ?

Well Thankyou anyway this is my first blog I hope I can get my mum to join too !


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32 Replies

hello Jane, KY jelly is a good , safe lubricant.It was recommended to me., but, be very careful not to use petroleum jelly. sorry, i cant help with the cannula ,but ,i am sure you will get help very soon,M x

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anyone out there know why to use Ky and Not to use petroleum jelly?

It is unlikely that anyone will see your question on such an old post. Why not click "Write a post" (green button, top right) and ask on the more recent forum? Welcome to the BLF.

Just today joined. Thank you for your reply.


Petroleum products should not be used by anyone using medical oxygen. This should be explained in your home pack supplied by your oxygen provider.

There's another product available ask at your local pharmacy, remember to mention non petroleum.

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lol yeah Ive now seen the reason is that it is flammable, yikes. Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. Ill specifically ask at my pharmacy as you have suggested. Thanks again.

KY jelly is what was recommended to me lol I'm 71 years old never had to use KY and now it sits on my bedside table

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Petroleum jelly is flammable


How do you use it, please help me my mother in law on 24hrs and has such problems , nose bleeds , dryness, etc you know! I would appreciate it Thank You!

Petroleum jelly is flammable and combined with the oxygen machine it's dangerous.

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No petroleum based products because petroleum is combustible

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Petroleum jelly is oil based KY is what my supplier of oxygen told me

Yes use KY not petroleum jelly as it is oil based is what I was told by my oxegyn supplier

Hiya Snippet.

Maruth is right, KY jelly is excellent or you can use any water based lubricant, not a spirit based one. Your local chemist can help you out there.


Oh thank you very much Maruth and Bobby .

You can have all the hassles that copd brings but it's the little irritating things like sore nostrils that can just push your buttons on a bad day !

I will pass the info to mum !

Thanks again


Hi Jane

Sorry to hear about your mum. My husband is on oxygen 24/7 so can understand what she is going through. It sometimes depends on what level of oxygen she is on ,my husband is on 7 at present. He gets a sore nose and nosebleeds.

The doctor prescribed Beconase which really helps. He also suggested he tried try a mask for some of the day but my husband cannot get on with it.

I hope that you find this site helpful. Keep in touch.


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Hi Jean

Thank you for that.I will look up Beconase and ask mums G P.

I really think the site is great suddenly don't feel alone with everything.I hope your husband is doing ok.Mum would agree with him about the facial mask I think she found it awkward too ! We both have joked that there should be a little discreet feed similar to the tiny microphones the stars use.

I will keep in touch .

Best wishes


I get sore nostrils and have just started using KY Jelly to lubricate my nose, the oxygen makes my nostrils very dry and uncomfortable. I also use Sterimar salt water spray which helps. My biggest problem is blocked sinuses. I also think changing from the curved canulas to the straight ones every so often helps, The oxygen hits a different spot.

Lib x

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Thanks Lib

That was going to be my other question .My mum often feels her nose /sinuses are blocked and she can't clear it.Do you use anything else to try clear your sinuses?

Jane x

You asked if you could get a child's cannula, yes you can. Ring the oxygen company and they will send you some. Also if anyone one is interested you can get 2 metre long ones to fit portable cylinders, which make it easier when you put it in a rollator, shopping trolley or when you are driving the car, but you have to fit ask the oxygen company for them. Keep smiling

Carole x

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Hi Jane, when I'm desperate I use nasal spray which shouldn't be used too often, also inhale Olbas Oil which you can use as often as you like, the Sterimar salt water helps , it loosens the gunge (for want of a better word) and makes blowing easier. Hope you find a solution for your mum. I am going to look into Beconase as Jean suggests. I need to do something as my sinuses block up so badly it adds to my breathing problems.

Lib x

Hi Lib and Carole

I was wondering about olbas oil ! My mum has always had a fear that anything with a strong smell might take her breath away.....I think it goes back to a fairly stringent cold product she used that sent her into a coughing session.Olbas oil on a tissue should be reasonably gentle though .I will try some .

I will also order a child's cannula ....will report back on how we go !

Thank you again.


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Hi I really suffer with a sore nose with using oxygen 24/7. I get huge dried blood clots I call them gremlins and they completely block my nose it is horrible!!! I do use my steamer a lot lately it is a great help . I also use Sterimar spray,K jelly ,and an oxy arm at night when watching TV or reading .It does give your nose a rest but you can't really move around much!! It will end up in you eye on your forehead ,on top of your head wherever !!! Has anybody else got more ideas !! I will try anything at all!!! Dime

Hi Dime

I didn't know the oxy arm existed ! I have just had a look on the Internet do you mind me asking where you bought yours from ?jane

Hi Jane I acquired my oxy arm from the oxygen assessor at the hospital , don't think you can buy them but who knows!!!!Hope you manage to get one for your Mum, I do sympathise with her and Libby. Dime

Try. Triple antibiotic creme.

Wrong pharmacy told me triple antibiotic I said NO Petroleum. Just read for my comment on that you can get a prescription or find something I Will check cause I have the problem again.

I use a saline nasal gel, it is also good for a bloody nose, and I bought it on the internet, also for a inhaler I use Olbas ihaler it is like the old fashion vicks plastic but all natural~~~being on oxygen 24/7 can be tough sometimes~~~~Good luck and know your Mom is not alone

I am new this is my first respond and I am looking forward to seeing more helpful information thank you all for the much needed information on nose sores I am on oxygen and not knowing what to do about the issue has really taken a toll on me . Again thank you all so very much and may God bless and keep you always !!!

I read that Sesame Oil works. I'm desperate--giant painful sores. I have been using a jell that the oxygen company gave me--pretty useless. I ordered the Sesame off of Amazon, will let you know. I am glad I read this post, because my next step was Vaseline! I can envision waking up my roommate. "Uh -- excuse me -- my nose is on fire."

Because petroleum jelly is highly flammable when using oxygen

They make a real soft nose peace for children check you oxygen supplier to see what they might have. The one I got was at my Drs office as they supply me with oxygen when they see me so I don't run my small tank out They just happened to have this one and gave it to me as they have to dispose of them once I use it. I keep it for my portable tank. I am going to check with my supplier to see if I can find more

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