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How to Care for Your Nasal Cannula


nasal cannulaPhysicians and other medical experts agree that people with chronic (ongoing) lung diseases like COPD should remain as active as possible, despite their need for oxygen therapy.[1] Thanks to advances in medical technology that have made it possible to create oxygen delivery sources with mobility and portability in mind, it’s never been easier to stay connected to an oxygen source like your Inogen One G4, wherever you may be.

Why Choose a Nasal Cannula?

Choosing a nasal cannula as your primary oxygen delivery solution assures you’ll get the right amount of oxygen while maintaining an active, healthy lifestyle. Nasal cannulas are the right choice for you if your condition is stable and your health care provider determines you need low-flow oxygen therapy at low to medium concentrations. Some of the benefits of using a nasal cannula include:[2]

  • Supports comfort.
  • Lowers the risk of carbon dioxide rebreathing.
  • Less intrusive than oxygen masks.
  • Grants you the freedom to eat, drink and speak without restraint.
  • Can be used in a wide number of settings, including hospitals, doctor’s offices, at home and on the go.

Types of Nasal Cannulas

To date, the nasal cannula is the most commonly used medical device providing supplemental oxygen to large numbers of patients in a wide variety of settings. Over the years, it has been adapted to meet the needs of numerous age groups, including infants, adolescents and adults.  To follow is a list of the various types of nasal cannulas on the market:[3]

  • Standard nasal cannula low flow devices that deliver oxygen concentrations of 24-40% at flow rates of 1 to 6 liters per minute (LPM).
  • High flow nasal cannula – high flow oxygen delivery at concentrations of 60-90% and flow rates of 10-40 LPM.[4]
  • Soft cannula (Soft Touch)made with softer, more pliable plastic that minimizes the irritation and discomfort often associated with standard nasal cannulas.
  • Reservoir cannula (Oxymizer and Oximizer Pendant) – stores oxygen in a reservoir during exhalation delivering 100% oxygen with the next breath. Saves 2 to 4 times the amount of oxygen used with continuous flow oxygen.[5]
  • CO2/O2 nasal cannula provides supplemental oxygen to both nostrils while simultaneously obtaining samples of carbon dioxide during regular breathing.

What Is the Maximum Flow Rate for a Nasal Cannula?

That depends on the type of nasal cannula you use. A standard nasal cannula’s maximum flow rate is 6 liters per minute, while a high flow nasal cannula can deliver up to 40 liters per minute. Your doctor will help you choose the flow rate that is ideal for your oxygen needs.

Talk to your doctor, respiratory therapist or oxygen supply company about which nasal cannula suits you best.

Care and Cleaning of the Nasal Cannula

Depending upon your insurance benefits, your oxygen supply company may or may not provide you with a free supply of nasal cannulas when they set up your oxygen concentrator or deliver your monthly supply of oxygen. Nasal cannulas are usually available for purchase at your local pharmacy. Although most are disposable, nasal cannulas should still be kept clean in between replacements. The following guidelines are recommended for care and maintenance:3

  • Clean Your Nasal Cannula Daily – in general, you should clean your nasal cannula daily, in between replacements, with a sanitizing solution to keep it free from bacteria that may cause infection. Another option is to wash in warm, soapy water, rinse in a vinegar solution and allow to air dry. When in doubt, check with your oxygen supply company or the manufacturer to obtain their advice.

Ideally, you should have at least two nasal cannulas available at all times so that you have one to use while washing the other, or have a spare in case your cannula is somehow misplaced. Those using oxygen all day may want to consider keeping more that two on hand.

  • How Often Should You Change Your Oxygen Tubing?
    How often you change your nasal cannula and extension tubing depends upon the manufacturer, as well as how frequently you use your oxygen nasal cannula. Some recommend changing your nasal cannula every 2 weeks, while others say changing it every month works just as well. If you are only using your nasal cannula for a few hours a day, you should be able to use it for the longer period, but with frequent or constant use, replacing your nasal cannula every two weeks is ideal. Extension tubing should also be replaced regularly – usually every 3 months – or according to the manufacturer’s recommendation.

    Do keep in mind that if you have been sick, you should replace both your nasal cannula and your extension tubing right away. Bacteria and viruses can live within the tubing, reinfecting you and causing your illness to last longer. While you are sick, and during the few weeks of recovery following your illness, changing your nasal cannula at least once a week is recommended by experts.

Dealing with Complications

Oxygen therapy, prescribed by a doctor and used according to that doctor’s instructions, is generally a safe and effective gas to administer in the home setting. Although minor complications may occur, most can be managed at home. Check out the following to get a better idea on how to cope with complications, should they arise:3

  • Nosebleeds – occur as the result of the drying effect of oxygen and can usually be managed with saline nasal spray and/or asking your oxygen supply company to set you up with humidified oxygen.
  • Skin irritation – untreated skin irritation may lead to skin breakdown, which is often unsightly and painful. If you begin to notice skin changes while wearing your nasal cannula, it may be that your device isn’t fitted properly. Speak to your oxygen supply company to see if they can send a respiratory therapist to your home to be fitted with another type of nasal cannula. There are also a number of protective accessories that you can purchase to help safeguard the more vulnerable spots on your face and ears.
  • Dry nose and nasal passages – a common complication caused by the drying effect of oxygen. Can be managed with saline nasal spray and/or humidified oxygen.

What Is the Proper Way to Wear a Nasal Cannula?

In order to ensure that you are getting the maximum benefit from your nasal cannula and to reduce potential complications, it is important to make sure you wear it properly. First, ensure that you have the right size nasal cannula for you. If it is the right size for you and you have inserted it properly, your nasal cannula should rest comfortably, but snuggly, inside your nostrils without chafing or discomfort. It should not pinch or fall out, both of which are signs of the incorrect size, nor should it go too far back into the nostril.

Once you have found the correct size for your nasal cannula, place it in your nostrils as far as it will go. The prongs should sit comfortably inside your nostrils. Then, lift the tubes and place them over your ears, just as you would a pair of glasses. Make sure the tubes of your nasal cannula fit snugly over your ears and against your jaw and chin, using the sliding adjuster to modify the fit. It should be snug enough to fit two fingers between the tubes and your chin, but no tighter. If it is not bothering you after a few uses with your oxygen concentrator, you are wearing it correctly.

If the feel of your nasal cannula is still bothering you or you are experiencing friction, here are a few tips to help make wearing it more comfortable:

  • Use fabric medical tape to help with any friction between the tubes and your skin.
  • Use fabric medical tape to tape the tubes in place behind your ears.
  • Try using softer or thinner tubing to relieve the pressure or irritation on your face or ears.
  • Try adjusting the slider so the tubes are tighter and higher on your cheeks, reducing friction from moving around.
  • If you are unable to solve discomfort with the tubes looped over your ears, try turning your nasal cannula so the tubes go from your nostrils down toward the back of your neck with the sliding adjusting resting behind your head at the base of your neck.

Do be aware, however, that you may need to adjust the fit of your nasal cannula from time to time with changes in weather and in your skin. Once you have learned what it feels like to wear the cannula comfortably, you should be able to make adjustments quickly and easily.

A Nasal Cannula Can Help You Get the Oxygen You Need

With a nasal cannula and an oxygen delivery source like The Inogen One, you can regain your independence, enjoy more freedom and continue to enjoy an active, healthy lifestyle. Receive the oxygen therapy you need in a variety of settings, without the intrusiveness of wearing an oxygen mask.

For more information about nasal cannulas and oxygen therapy, contact your primary health care provider and find out whether a nasal cannula is right for your oxygen needs.


[1]Cleveland Clinic. COPD: Exercise & Activity Guidelines. Last Reviewed June 8, 2017.

[2] American Thoracic Society. “Oxygen Delivery Methods”. Updated 2015.

[3] David Heitz. “Nasal Cannulas and Face Masks”. Healthline. Medically Reviewed by George Krucik, MD, MBA on January 21, 2014

[4] Jeffrey J Ward, MEd RRT FAARC. “High-Flow Oxygen Administration by Nasal Cannula for Adult and Perinatal Patients.” Respiratory Care. January 1, 2013 vol. 58 no. 1 98-122.

[5] Cheryl Plate Dumont, RN, MSN, CCRN and Brian L. Tiep, MD. “Using a Reservoir Nasal Cannula in Acute Care.” Crit Care Nurse. August 2002 vol. 22 no. 4 41-46.


108 thoughts on “How to Care for Your Nasal Cannula”

  1. Avatar Marge Clark says:

    Does Inogen supply humidified oxygen? This is becoming an issue this ultra cold winter.

    1. Inogen Inogen says:

      Hi Marge, Typically nasal cannula oxygen does not need to be humidified but we do understand how you're feeling. It's been a very cold winter and we hope you and your loved ones are safe and warm.

      1. Avatar Maureen says:

        Hello! I'm a long-time Inogen patient and big fan. I'm curious where your information is from regarding "Nasal cannula oxygen does not need to be humidified."

        I can see where saying that humidifying the portable Inogen is not necessary because it is pulse-delivered oxygen and is much less apt to dry out the user's nasal passages. But for me, that doesn't connect to the delivery device of a nasal cannula, rather it's about the amount of oxygen moving through the user's nose.

        I also use Inogen's home concentrator with a nasal cannula and it has a humidifier bottle on the unit as well. I could not imagine making it through the winter without it being humidified. It's a life saver for my nasal passages and deeply appreciated. But from experience, I believe this is necessary because it is continuous flow oxygen rather than pulse, and without it, I have dry, bloody noses every day.

        It would make more sense to me to say pulse-delivered oxygen doesn't need to be humidified rather than it purely being about the nasal cannula. Would that be the case?

        1. Inogen Inogen says:

          Hi Maureen, We apologize for the confusion we may have caused. Typically low flow oxygen (1-4L) does not need to be humidified while high flow oxygen (5L and above) should be humidified if the patient needs it for more than 24 hours and reports dryness or discomfort. The reason why your Inogen At Home unit has a humidifier with it is because it is higher flow.

          For more information, please visit: https://www.nursingtimes.net/clinical-archive/respiratory/does-oxygen-need-humidification/5009649.article

      2. Avatar Marshall Young says:

        Come on guys! The article just 10 lines above this question recommends humidified oxygen!!

        1. Inogen Inogen says:

          Hi Marshall, We apologize for the confusion we may have caused, typically low flow oxygen (1-4L) does not need to be humidified while higher flow oxygen (5L and above) should be humidified it the patient needs it for more than 24 hours and reports dryness or discomfort.

          For more information about whether or not you need your oxygen to be humidified, please visit: https://www.nursingtimes.net/clinical-archive/respiratory/does-oxygen-need-humidification/5009649.article

      3. Avatar Lawrence Wagner says:

        I Have the Inogen 3 and the home unit. I have a humidifier attached to the home with a 50' hose with it set to 2 liters. My problem is that many times I wake up at night from a noise coming from the canula and find the lione is filled with moisture. What causes this?

        1. Inogen Inogen says:

          Hi Lawrence, What kind of noise is the cannula making? If it's a hissing noise the cannula may be slightly disconnected or ajar, in which case you should reconnect your cannula tubing to your At Home unit. The moisture you're seeing in the cannula tubing is from the humidifier. If you have any additional questions, please reach out to our Customer Care Department at 1-877-466-4364.

          1. Avatar rosanne horn says:

            water condensing in lines makes a noise that can be heard

          2. Avatar Lawrence Wagner says:

            The noise I here is almost a gurgling noise and when I remove the cannula if I squeeze the end you can actually feel drops of water coming out. On inspection of the line I can see moisture within the clear line mostly at the distal end. I am removing the humidifier during the day and letting the air flow dry out the line as much as possible.

  2. Avatar Richard Brow says:

    Good Info!

    1. Avatar Mary Jane Clark says:

      Need water when live in air conditioning. Even at 2 or 3 nose feels dry and can bleed. When go out on portable, no problem.

  3. Avatar Datemasch Dorothy says:

    I’m glad to see a more informative Inogen input into all phases of oxygen. I am a happy Inogen user. Does oxygen cause hair loss?

    1. Inogen Inogen says:

      Hi Datemasch, Thank you for the kind comments. We're happy to hear that you are a happy Inogen user. To answer your question, no there is no direct link between oxygen therapy and hair loss.

  4. Avatar Barbara Ostrander says:

    I have a single cannulas I just love it why don't Oxygen places sell them

  5. Avatar Datemasch Dorothy says:

    Also, could Inogen be the pacesetter to place the connection to tubing at waist high rather than at 4 ft or
    7 ft. This would keep the connection off the floor preventing tie ups and sudden stops…help!!!

    1. Avatar Virginia says:

      I bought a simple caribiner, a quick release large clip that will allow you to loop extra tubing out of the way when walking around or active. It is easy to release to extend, and keeps from getting tangled in things, or you tripping over it!

      NP in Hawai’i

    2. Avatar Barbara Reva says:

      Check the various online outfits that sell cannulas. I have been using a coiled line that stretches to 5 feet. It eliminates the dragging and snagging but will extend when needed.

      1. Avatar Wendy Sue says:

        Wow! I have never heard of a coiled cannula. Thanks for the information !

    3. Avatar william Nelson says:

      Great Idea. Or design connectors so one can trim their own hose to fit their needs.

    4. Inogen Inogen says:

      Hi Dorothy,
      The accessories that we sell and recommend using with our units have a velcro strip to secure the excess tubing. We do not recommend using 2 ft because it would be inconvenient and difficult to use at a restaurant, movie, etc. I hope this helps answer your question.

      1. Avatar Marcia says:

        interested in tubing with velcor strip

    5. Avatar Mary Jane Clark says:

      It would be wonderful if you could adjust your flow level on cannula. By the time I get to my big machine to turn up for activity I desat.

  6. Avatar john w gay says:

    Inogen ought to create a secondary market for units that are no longer suitable. My wife started at 3 liters so the small unit was fine. She had to move to 4 liters so we bought the larger unit. Now we are 'stuck' with a small unit which works fine. We are told we cannot offer it for sale via Craigs or eBay because it is and Rx item. Inogen needs to address this issue in a constructive and positive way.

    1. Inogen Inogen says:

      Hi John, Thank you for your constructive comment. I will address your concerns with upper management.

  7. Avatar Mary says:

    Is there any way to recycle used tubing? I've been saving mine since I am very concerned about ocean pollution and fish and other marine life getting tangled in the tubing.

    1. Inogen Inogen says:

      Hi Mary, Please contact your local recycling center to see if they can take plastic tubing like used oxygen cannulas. There are also some interesting craft ideas on Pinterest on how to recycle/reuse used tubing. We've seen some very creative bracelets made out of nasal cannulas. Hope this helps!

      1. Avatar Donna says:

        Our recycling does not take the cannula (some do). They suggested that I cut them down to make tiedowns, and I've done it. Will call places like Habitat or thrift stores to see if they can use them.

        1. Avatar rosanne horn says:

          wow thats a great idea ,maybe the hoses too ,i will start storing mine for non medical uses thanks

    2. Avatar Betty Greene says:

      In answer to the question about recycling, I found a pet store with many many aquariums. They use lots of tubing and are happy to get my used tubing. I just can't throw away good stuff.

  8. Avatar Carol Shipman says:

    I've had my Inogen since August and love it! Alot of people have ask me about it because of its small size.
    I hope I have sent you more business!

    1. Inogen Inogen says:

      Hi Carol, Thank you and we're happy to hear you love it. 🙂

      1. Avatar JoanneDiCenzo says:

        Hi I bought my gen 4 in June of last year and got message of service soon. Within 2 weeks I wasn't able to return it because of bad weathe, holidays and a need for it to trip get to Fl. As soon as I got here I paid to rent a machine and was told to ship mine to Texas where it was to be seen by Inogen. I shipped it out on the 10 th and you still didn't get it on the 19( because of inclement weather). Will I be charged for service? She is only 7 or 8 months old! Is this usual? Inquiring minds want to know. I had to pay out of pocket. Sent it to mymedicare supplement insurance and was totally turned down. Please contact me asap.

        1. Inogen Inogen says:

          Hi Joanne, From our records it looks like you purchased your Inogen One G4 through a reseller, First Medical Supply. When oxygen concentrators are purchased from a third party, charges, warranties, services, and repairs typically come from the third party.
          It looks like someone from our Customer Care Center was in contact with you yesterday. Please let us know if you have any additional questions. You can call our Customer Care Center at 1-877-466-4364.

  9. Avatar Kitty Evans says:

    Has Inogen considered supplying the Station Master oxygen delivery system? Will Medicare pay for it?

    1. Inogen Inogen says:

      Hi Kitty, Inogen is a manufacturer of oxygen concentrators so generally speaking we do not purchase oxygen products from other vendors, but I will send your comment to our product team so that they can research the Station Master oxygen delivery system. Since it is not a product of ours, we cannot speak to whether or not Medicare will pay for it.

  10. Avatar Robert Bailey says:

    Can a cannula shorter than 4 ft. be found? When carrying the unit on your shoulder, there is too much length. Does Inogen supply cannulas?

    1. Inogen Inogen says:

      Hi Robert, Usually 4 feet is the shortest length for a nasal cannula, but we have seen some online claiming to be as short as 2 feet long. Generally speaking, when we send out oxygen concentrators we include a nasal cannula. If you got your unit through insurance and you are considered a rental patient, we do supply cannulas. If you purchased a unit directly through us, after you use the initial cannula we sent you, you will need to purchase additional cannulas. You can purchase additional cannulas by either calling us, going to your local pharmacy (most pharmacies carry nasal cannulas), or online through a website like Amazon.

  11. Avatar Tom Culver says:

    I am allergic to most PVC cannulas so had to switch to silicon plastic

  12. Avatar Richard Cameron says:

    Considering the care and feeding of the cannula, would it be appropriate to use a small alcohol swab on the unit after each use…..or would alcohol destroy the tubing?

    1. Inogen Inogen says:

      Hi Richard, We recommend that you follow the manufacturer's instructions. Alcohol can dry out the plastic and cause cracking over time. Also if you use alcohol to clean your nasal tubing the next time you use your nasal cannula it'll smell like alcohol and that might be uncomfortable.

  13. Avatar linda says:

    I purchased the larger battery and although it is heavier it has given me a second life.
    I dont have to worry about recharging and am free.
    There is no better felling that knowing you can go out and not be afraid.

    1. Inogen Inogen says:

      Hi Linda,
      That is wonderful to hear! Thank you for sharing this with us. Have a great day.

      1. Avatar Joanne DiCenzo says:

        I too bought the extra battery, also the outside extra battery charger to go with it. I used it on my cruise. Never feared not having my Gen 4 up and running! Love this unit. Hope I don't get charged for service on a 7-8 month old unit though.

  14. Avatar linda gruskin says:

    i gave them

  15. Avatar John Mesiti says:

    I have tried numerous times to contact you with no response back after leaving voice mails.

    I need info on the process to purchase a Genesis 4 and what Inogen would recommend.

    1. Inogen Inogen says:

      Hi John, We will have someone follow up with you today.

  16. Avatar Nicole Emanuel says:

    Sometime I travel to Europe where they use 220 instead of 120 in the US …
    to recharge the battery, is there a possibility to have a way to use their electric current???
    while going on a plane, do we get problems with security???
    Can the machine be used at night?

    1. Inogen Inogen says:

      Hi Nicole, You can use a US-Europe power adapter to power your portable oxygen concentrator or to use the external battery charger. Most airlines are familiar with portable oxygen concentrators and you shouldn't have any problems with major airlines like Delta, American Airlines, and Northwest. All our portable and stationary oxygen concentrators can be used at night and should be used as your doctor has prescribed.

  17. Avatar Datemasch Dorothy (again ) says:

    I am hoping Inogen will replace or provide a smaller backpack. I was able to convert a biking backpack which is so much easier to wear than your heavy duty one. I can slip mine on and off and walk, shop, clean, cook , entertain and garden with free arms and hands. I do believe as Inogen becomes popular more women would be looking for a smaller/petite backpack.

    1. Inogen Inogen says:

      Hi Dorothy, Thank you for the feedback. Although this is not our product, O2 Totes makes backpacks and bags that may be suitable for your needs. For more information, please visit: https://www.o2totes.com/collections/inogen-one-g2-g3-bags?afmc=1h

    2. Avatar Lawrence Wagner says:

      You must be careful when buying an aftermarket backpack. I bought one at a local sporting good store and after having mu G3 in it for a short period of time it overheated because of poor ventilation. I found a company that makes packs for many Inogen products as well as others and it is perfect. It has a zipper on the bottom to change batteries and side compartments for water bottles or other items. It's not bulky like the G3 bag.

  18. Avatar Al Johnson says:

    I’ve found a cannula made in Switzerland that lasts for over a year, although expensive, over the long run it’s not. All that is required for it to last that long is boiling it every week or so. Do you have any product like it with curved nose pieces witch the long lasting ones only have straight nose pieces?

    1. Inogen Inogen says:

      Hi Al, Availability depends on what we have in stock. Please call us at 1-877-466-4364.

  19. Avatar Rosemary says:

    Have you're considered making a small backpack?
    I have the Inogen 3 and currently own the backpack but it is so large. It would be great to ave something more compact for work, similar to the case that comes with the unit but with the ability to be a backpack. Thanks for considering!

    1. Inogen Inogen says:

      Hi Rosemary, Thank you for your feedback! I will pass your suggestion along to our product team so that they can investigate further.

    2. Avatar Duncan Fowler says:

      Go on-line and checkout O2Totes.Com They make a variety of backpacks and slings for Inogen's. I have one for the G4 and find it really handy.

  20. Avatar Steve Bodine says:

    After a week of constant use my cannula becomes very stiff and uncomfortable, especially around my ears. What can I use to extend the life of the cannula so it will make it for 2 weeks without irritating?

    1. Inogen Inogen says:

      Hi Steve, Regular cleaning and maintenance of your nasal cannula should help extend the life of your cannula.

  21. Avatar Jeanne Tanner says:

    How do you get the loops and curls out of 50' tubing?

    1. Inogen Inogen says:

      Hi Jeanne, There isn't really a way to prevent loops from forming when you have such a long tube. You may want to use shorter tubing for trips outside the house. If the 50' tubing is what your provider sent you, you may want to ask your provider for shorter tubing. For a quick fix, most pharmacies carry shorter nasal cannulas – please contact your local pharmacy to inquire whether or not they have cannulas available for purchase.

      1. Avatar Lawrence Wagner says:

        Many of us use the 50' hose so we can get the unit out of the bedroom at night so we don't hear the unit running. No good way to get the kinks out.

  22. Avatar Esther says:

    Is the new 2.5 pound G4 available on monthly payments? I have the InogenOne G3 and find it fairly heavy.

    1. Inogen Inogen says:

      Hi Esther, The Inogen One G4 is 2.8 pounds with a single battery. To review your finance options please call an Oxygen Specialist at 1-800-374-9038.

    2. Avatar Lawrence Wagner says:

      I understand companies need to make a profit, but sometimes it just gets crazy. I thought of purchasing an additional car charging cord so I wouldn't need to move from car to car, When I check you web site and saw the price of $65.00 I said no way.

  23. Avatar Ellen Flynn says:

    Is your portable Inogen One G3 unit covered by Medicare or can it be purchased using United Health Care private insurance plus cash?

    1. Inogen Inogen says:

      Hi Ellen, Depending on the medicare region you live in, your coverage level, and how long you've been on oxygen the Inogen One G3 may or may not be covered by Medicare or your private insurance provider. An Oxygen Specialist can review your Medicare, private insurance, and purchase options. Please call an Oxygen Specialist at 1-800-374-9038 to learn more.

  24. Avatar Joyce Wade says:

    What is the norm time a battery will run before it has to be re-charged? Just don't want to caught with dead-battery.

    1. Inogen Inogen says:

      Hi Joyce, The amount of time a battery will run before it has to be recharged depends on what portable oxygen concentrator you're using, which flow setting you're on, and what battery (single or double) you're using. For the Inogen One G4 on a flow setting of 2 the single battery will last up to 2.7 hours; on the same flow settings a double battery will last up to 5 hours. On the Inogen One G3 on a flow setting of 2 the single battery will last up to 4.7 hours; on the same flow settings a double battery will last up to 10 hours. On the Inogen One G2 on a flow setting of 2 the single battery will last up to 5 hours; on the same flow settings a double battery will last up to 10 hours. I hope this helps!

  25. Avatar Jerry Costanza says:

    I recently bought an Inogen G4 system. I'm finding the battery life to be much shorter than stated. Also, find the battery to be losing strength when it sits over night. Last night I charged my single battery to "Full", this morning it read 96%. I started using at 10:05 am today, on setting 1, at 12:03 pm it was empty and needed to be charged again. This seems to be a repeating pattern for both the single and double battery, which was an hour shorter than expected.

    1. Inogen Inogen says:

      Hi Jerry, Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We will have a Customer Care Representative reach out to you shortly.

  26. Avatar Carl Mullen says:

    Just purchased my Inogen G4 one month ago love it and no problems to date

  27. Avatar Duncan Fowler says:

    It is 8 degrees outside today. In late December I send you a letter looking for cold weather advice and never heard back.
    My letter said:have send these questions to you via Email but never received a response. I am hoping that you will respond to a letter.

    I have asked respiratory therapists as well as distributers of Inogen products. None seemed to have a fact-based answer, or they would just say they didn't know the answers to my questions

    I am the owner of the Inogen One G4 and also have a rental of the Inogen One G3. I have been diagnosed as having slow progressing IPF. I currently live in Minnesota and at the moment it is -9F (-17 wind-chill) outside. I am trying to learn just how far I can successfully push the use of these two units in cold weather. I have tasks such as snow blowing or chain sawing etc. that I want to do. I would like to exercise our dogs too. I need your information so I can make rational decisions on just how far I can push myself in colder weather.

    You list the environmental range for use for both units as 41F and a storage range as low as -13F.

    My questions basically relate to the operating range.
    1. What happens to the concentrators when they are operated at temperatures below 41 degrees?
    a. Does it gradually become less efficient as it becomes colder or just quit concentration oxygen?
    b. Is your temperature rating based on the ability of the concentrators to work or more on the capacity of the batteries?
    c. What if I found a way to keep the concentrator warm say with an electric stocking hat such as the Cabela ActionHeat Men's 5-Volt Heated Beanie or hand warmer?
    d. Is there an issue with moisture freezing in the concentration columns?
    e. If so does the moisture damage them, or do they just need to be thawed?
    f. When driving my car, I have been turning the seat heater on to keep the G4 warm and keeping it in the seat with shoulder straps. Any thoughts on that?
    g. What if I wore one of my units under my jacket, and kept it warm with body heat? Would it not get enough fresh air in order to concentrate oxygen?
    h. Do you have any cold weather tips for Inogen users?

    I look forward to hearing from you. I plan to share your responses with my respiratory therapists too.

    1. Inogen Inogen says:

      Hi Duncan, Thank you for your questions. I have forwarded them to our product team so that they can further assist. Please be patient while we look into your questions.

      1. Avatar Duncan Fowler says:

        Thanks Inogen!
        I am really looking forward to getting the information

        1. Inogen Inogen says:

          Hi Duncan, Thank you for your patience. I've done my best to answer your questions below. If you have additional questions, please let me know and I will put you in contact directly with our Product Team.

          Our POCs can be used below 41 degrees Fahrenheit for a short time. However, if it is below 41 degrees for hours at a time, there is a strong chance that the concentrator will get too cold and will give an error code. However once the unit has warmed up back up to room temperature, it will operate normally. The temperature range is based on the ability of the concentrator to work in colder temperatures (not the capacity of the batteries). We would not advise that you try to keep the concentrator warm with an external electric power source. We do not have an issue with moisture freezing in the concentrator's columns, as the concentrator does not have moisture in the columns. When driving your car, we do not advise you to keep your POC warm with the seat heater as the Inogen One G4 has exhaust vents at the bottom on two sides. If one of the sides is blocked by the seat, overheating could occur. Please do not restrict the flow of oxygen to your POC by putting your POC under your jacket. For cold weather tips, please visit our blog post: https://www.inogen.com/blog/preparing-for-winter-with-copd/

          1. Avatar Duncan Fowler says:

            Thanks for the info.

  28. Avatar Eugenia Lind says:

    I find when I use my cannula, my nose drips after a short while.
    Have to have a Kleenex ready all the dime.

    1. Inogen Inogen says:

      Hi Eugenia, Occasionally cannula use can result in nasal drips or nasal dryness. Keeping tissues around you is a good idea. If your nasal drips continue to get worse, you may want to consult your doctor to see if there is anything they can prescribe you. For more information about oxygen therapy side effects, please visit: https://www.inogen.com/blog/side-effects-oxygen-therapy/

  29. Avatar margie mccoo says:

    How often should you change your cannulas and how often for the concentrator long cord?

    1. Inogen Inogen says:

      Hi Margie, It depends on how much you've used your cannula or if you were sick recently. If you've been sick recently or you just got over a cold you should change your cannula immediately. Otherwise about once a month is appropriate to change your nasal cannula. Again, it depends on how much you've used the cannula and whether or not you were recently sick.

  30. Avatar Carol Panagos says:

    I have a canvas bag with handles that slip over the back of my wheelchair. I want to place my portable unit inside when we are out and about. My daughter advises me not to as the unit would not get enough circulating air and become too hot, even with the zipper (across the top) left open. Do you agree with her?

    I wind up setting it on my lap or between my thighs, when I'm wearing slacks, which is not very convenient and, yes, it does get hot.

    If I punched some holes in the canvas bag's side (facing away from the chair), and lined up the mesh side of the unit with the ventilated side of the bag, would that be enough air circulation to keep the unit working safely?

    1. Inogen Inogen says:

      Hi Carol, We would not recommend that you make any holes in your Inogen One G4 bag. We do have a new style of bag available for the Inogen One G4, please visit: https://www.inogen.com/product/bag-g4/

  31. Avatar Ken Stiebohr says:

    You didn't answer Carol's question–can you carry the portable in another bag and how; I read her question as punching holes in her wheelchair bag, not the Inogen bag.

    1. Inogen Inogen says:

      Hi – I apologize if we did not answer the question fully. We do not recommend putting a Inogen One POC that is in a bag in another bag regardless of whether or not you have cut holes in one of the bags.

  32. Avatar Carol Panagos says:

    Sorry; let me make it clearer. I have a canvas bag I purchased to hang from my wheelchair handles. I would like to insert my Inogen unit into said bag rather than holding the unit on my lap.

    If I poked holes in my canvas bag and left the top of that canvas bag unzipped do you think the Inogen unit would have enough air circulation to operate safely?

  33. Avatar george ballantine says:

    do you have any continuous flow inogens available??

    1. Inogen Inogen says:

      Hi George, We do not have any portable continuous flow oxygen concentrators available but our stationary unit, the Inogen At Home Oxygen Concentrator, is continuous flow. For more information please visit: https://www.inogen.com/product/inogen-at-home-oxygen-concentrator/

  34. Avatar Karen says:

    For the Inogen one G4, if it is plugged into the wall, will it work without the battery attached to the unit?

    1. Inogen Inogen says:

      Hi Karen, Yes it will work if plugged into the wall. However, we always recommend that you leave the battery in while plugged into a wall, as you will charge the battery while also powering your unit.

  35. Avatar Gilbert Black says:

    I need some cannulas for my inogenone g3,,,,,how do I buy them from inogen…you don't advertise them

    1. Inogen Inogen says:

      Hi Gilbert, Please call our Customer Care Department at 1-877-466-4364.

  36. Avatar David S. Abercrombie, Jr. says:

    What is the cost of nasal cannula and how many in a package as I can’t find it listed on your site. I only want the soft ones.

    1. Inogen Inogen says:

      Hi David, Please call our Customer Care department at 1-877-466-4364. They will be able to assist you.

  37. Avatar Lynn says:

    Hi Ive recently started using oxygen I have the canisters on flow 3 , I find them difficult whilst out , and the run out quickly ,I am looking to purchase a portable concentrator would a pulse one be okay to use , as I don't need it whilst I sleep or when I'm not making bile

    1. Inogen Inogen says:

      Hi Lynn, Research has shown that when appropriately titrated, Inogen One oxygen concentrators are essentially clinically equivalent to continuous flow oxygen. For more information about Pulse Dose technology please visit: https://www.inogen.com/oxygen-therapy/pulse-dose-vs-continuous-flow/ and https://www.inogen.com/oxygen-therapy/clinical-efficacy/

      Additionally, our Oxygen Specialists are knowledgeable and can discuss your oxygen therapy options with you. Please call 1-800-374-9038 to speak to an Oxygen Specialist today.

  38. Avatar Tawee. says:

    Dear sir,
    Can Klebsiella Pneumonia caused by bacteria colonization at the cannula ?

    1. Inogen Inogen says:

      Hi Tawee, Please consult your primary care doctor.

  39. Avatar Dave says:

    I’m looking for daily wipes that I can purchase to clean just the cannula. I don’t mind soaking the tubing once a week but don’t want to do that every day. Anyone found anything that works well?

  40. Avatar steffie says:

    If I was told not a good idea to wash my cannulas/tubing, just change them. How often would I have to use new ones if I just wiped the nasal prongs with 70% alcohol daily?

    1. Inogen Inogen says:

      Hi Steffie-
      That really depends on how much you use them daily. I would consult with a doctor on this, but every couple weeks is what is recommended in the article. Also, if you get sick and congested, you should change them out more frequently.

  41. Avatar Pam says:

    Recently, I became my mother's caregiver. Fortunately, she has both Home and G4 equipment. However, I sure wish Inogen published more thorough directions in their User Guides for maintenance and cleaning. Elderly folks (who may generally be using Inogen products) want to read something on paper, have it readily available for review and reminder, not have to search a website. It also becomes frustrating when you search for a Inogen item by name and/or part number and Imogen's website response says "not found." Only by reading a years worth of questions and responses, have I discovered other VERY pertinent information I have not seen written in either the Guide or the website, which is now the preferred method for companies.
    For example for the Air Inlet Filter:
    WHAT is the average usage period?
    WHAT is the maintenance alert ("visual indicator" is nonspecific)?
    HOW is maintenance performed?
    WHERE is the replacement part found? How can I replace if it's not readily available to order from Inogen? (Note: this question was asked some time last year too with no response shown).

    1. Inogen Inogen says:

      Hi Pam,
      The particle filter should be cleaned weekly on both devices. The inlet filter on the G5 has a 5+ life and there would be an indicator when this filter was required to be changed. The output filters for both devices also have a 5+ life expectancy but could require replacement earlier if in dustier environments such as a farm with lots of soft dirt being plowed around on a regular basis. Our devices are designed and intended for minor maintenance such as the weekly particle filter cleaning. Please refer to the manuals section on our website for more details on the particular unit your mother owns.
      If her mom is a patient with a home health oxygen care provider she should contact them and or us (if we are her provider) for hard copies of the user manuals if they have been lost since the original shipment arrived.
      If you have any questions, please feel free to call our customer care department at 877-466-4364.

      Thank you!

  42. Avatar Tom Haas says:


    1. Inogen Inogen says:

      Hi Tom,
      The nasal cannulas are $14.99-$24.99 and available here-https://www.inogen.com/product/oxygen-cannula/.

  43. Avatar Joan Strosin says:

    My cannulas always bend (kinks) right at the connector, and I only use the 6 foot cannula. Is there a gizmo that I can use to prevent it from happening?

    1. Inogen Inogen says:

      Hi Joan,
      Please call us and we can offer some advice on this. 866-466-4364 There is a trick that some oxygen users have been successful at. Basically you take a straw and cut it down to a couple of inches or so and then split it down the side so it can open and surround the silver nozzle and above it enough to support the canula where it is kinking. Next you can place some tape to close it and keep it on. Another option is to use a shorter hose with your cannula.

  44. Avatar Brenda shirriel says:

    Hi Joan Strosin
    I had the same problem I put transparent tape around it no more problem

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