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What is a Tracheostomy?

A tracheostomy is a medical procedure which consists of creating an opening in the neck for direct access to the windpipe (trachea) to facilitate breathing. A tracheostomy can be either temporary or permanent and there are several reasons for having the procedure, all involving restricted airways. It may be performed during an emergency when your airway is blocked, or when a disease or other problem makes normal breathing impossible.

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.

The function of your nose

Your nose does more than just smell – it heats, humidifies, and filters the air you breathe. In this way, you can be sure the air is at the right body temperature and contains enough moisture when it reaches your lungs for them to function properly. With a tracheostomy, these nasal functions are lost, and you will breathe in dry, cold, and unfiltered air. The lungs react to this by producing more mucus, meaning you have to cough more (similar to having a cold) and your windpipe can feel irritated.

Heat and Moisture Exchangers (HMEs) have been developed to compensate for the lost functions of your nose. They help to rebalance the “climate” in your lungs.

Freevent XtraCare, Freevent DualCare and TrachPhone are all HMEs that heat, humidify and filter the inhaled air, reducing mucus production and coughing.

Speaking with a tracheostomy

Speech is our most important way of communicating. After a tracheotomy you breathe through a tracheostomy tube and the air you breathe out will no longer pass your vocal cords, producing your voice. You will have to learn to speak in a different way.

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 and the air from your lungs will pass your vocal cords, enabling you to speak.

TrachPhone is an HME containing a lid with a spring, that can easily be occluded with your finger.

To speak without using your hands, you can use a speaking valve to occlude the tracheostomy tube during exhalation. Freevent DualCare is a unique combination of a speaking valve and an HME.


Over 30 years of experience focusing on conditions of neck breathers enable us to provide high-quality devices, solutions, and education to people living with a neck stoma.

In our key segment, laryngology, one of the main success factors is how we add value by talking to our patients about how our products improve quality of life. This is also the main concern for clinicians and patients in the long-term tracheostomy care segment.

Freevent is our tracheostomy brand that includes a range of high quality devices designed to meet high standards for comfort, reliability and durability. The Freevent range of products help to restore the lost function of the nose, enabling those with a tracheostomy to breathe better and to speak again, also hands-free.

The Freevent range is divided into the following categories:

HMEs & Speaking valves: Heat and Moisture Exchangers, HMEs, help condition the air for pulmonary rehabilitation through humidification, heating and filtration of respiratory air. Speaking valves make it possible to speak. View our range of HMEs and speaking valves


Neckbands: To hold a tracheostomy tube securely and comfortably in place. High quality customizable neckbands for secure tube positioning. View our range of neckbands


Dressings: Absorb secretions and keep the stoma dry in order to prevent irritation. Comfortable tracheostomy dressing. View our range of dressings


Clothing: Discreet stoma coverage. View our range of Clothing

There are also additional accessories for care and cleaning.

We remain passionate and dedicated to improving quality of life and our Freevent range of products were designed with our patients’ needs in mind.

View our range of tracheostomy products

Here is Sylvia's story

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 Freevent 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 Freevent 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 Freevent 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 Freevent DualCare.”

Learn more about Freevent DualCare

Have a look at our animation to get a better picture on how Freevent DualCare works! The animation explains also how the heating and moisturizing effect of an HME has a positive influence on your lung health.

ProTrach® becomes Freevent®. For more information click here

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