After a tracheotomy you will have a tracheostoma, with a tracheostomy tube entering your windpipe (trachea). This will change your way of breathing and speaking.
Breathing through a tracheostoma means breathing in dry, cold and unfiltered air. This will irritate the mucosa of your lungs, and as a result you might experience increased mucus production and coughing. By using an HME, you will help to restore the lost functions of the nose and mouth. TrachPhone, Dual Care and XtraCare will heat, humidify and filter the inhaled air, reducing mucus production and coughing.
Speaking will be possible again by occluding the tracheostomy tube, provided there is enough space between the windpipe and the tube. By occluding the tube during exhalation you will breathe out via your nose and mouth. The air from your lungs will pass your vocal cords, producing your voice. You can occlude the tube directly with your finger, or via an HME. TrachPhone is an HME containing a lid with a spring, that easily can be occluded with a finger.
To speak without using your hands you can use a speaking valve to occlude the tracheostomy tube during exhalation. Freevent DualCare combines a speaking valve with an HME. By twisting the lid of the valve you can switch from speaking mode to HME mode and back.
Rink, from the Netherlands, had a tracheotomy and now uses Freevent DualCare, which is the combination of a speaking valve and an HME. He talks about which role Freevent has in his daily life, regarding family, work and sports.
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Sylvia is 45 years old and lives in the Netherlands. Sylvia is very sporty and likes to ride her race bike. During the winter months she is an active ice skater. Sylvia has had a tracheostoma for three years. Below Sylvia shares her experience with the Freevent DualCare.
“About a year ago I learned about the Freevent DualCare. If I have to describe the Freevent DualCare in one word it’s ‘freedom’. It is freedom that this innovative speaking valve offers me. Because of the tracheotomy, speaking was not so self-evident anymore. With the Freevent DualCare this has greatly improved.
The advantage of the DualCare is that you do not need to place your finger on the HME cassette. This saves energy and you literally have your hands free for other things. From my surroundings I hear that the sound of my voice is better with the Freevent DualCare than with a Provox HME. The Freevent DualCare occludes the stoma well when it is in speaking mode. When I don’t speak it is an advantage that I can switch the DualCare into HME mode, contrary to my previous silver speaking valve that did not have this possibility. The silver speaking valve stuck out far and you heard the valve while speaking. I wear the DualCare the whole day without getting tired and also the annoying sound is in the past. I use 1 to 2 HME cassettes per day and these are easy to replace. In conclusion: I will definitely keep using the DualCare.”