Nebulizer – An Effective Solution for Respiratory Problems

People with asthma, pneumonia or pulmonary disease are familiar with a special device known as Nebulizer. It is basically an apparatus that provides relief to the people with breathing problems by facilitating adequate inhalation of medicine. It is inevitably compared to inhalers, but a nebulizer can be more convenient is some cases, such as when children or old people need assistance for breathing. People belonging to these age groups respond to nebulizers in a better way because they cannot use inhalers properly on their own.

Nebulizer consists of a compressed air source that is connected to a cup-like instrument through tubes. Medicine is poured into this instrument. The cup is attached to a mouthpiece that patients breathe into. Nebulizer turns the medicine into mist that is capable of traveling deeper into the patient’s airways and providing comfort in case of a breathing problem.

Nebulizers can be both portable and non-portable. It is, however, recommended that you look for a doctor’s prescription before starting the treatment with any kind of a nebulizer.

A portable nebulizer is also referred to as travel nebulizer. It is operated by a battery and can be carried anywhere by patients. People who travel a lot prefer this type of nebulizer due to its small and handy units.

A non-portable nebulizer is what is most commonly used at homes. It is bulky and requires an A/C power source. Non-portable nebulizers are best for people who can use them properly at home and prefer an inhaler while traveling.

There are following types of nebulizers:

  1. Standard Jet Nebulizer

This is the most commonly used nebulizer. It uses compressed air to convert medicine into mist that is inhaled by the patient through a mask or mouthpiece.

  1. Ultrasonic Nebulizer

An ultrasonic nebulizer uses vibrations to convert medicine into mist. This mist is finer than what compressed air nebulizer produces. Ultrasonic nebulizer works faster and more efficiently and allows better aerosol penetration into the lungs. Respiratory condition like cystic fibrosis can be treated with ultrasonic nebulizers only.

  1. Spacers for Metered Dose Inhalers (MDIs)

This type can be used to increase the space between mouth and the metered dose inhaler. Spacers are useful because they allow more penetration of medicine into the lungs without depositing the medicine on the back of the user’s throat. Users of metered dose inhalers are often advised to use spacers, especially the people who face coordination problems while breathing and depressing the inhaler gradually at the same time.

Avoid using nebulizers if:

  • You suffer from autonomic hyperreflexia or high blood pressure
  • You have increased pulse
  • You have a history of harmful reactions to medications.

Tips for Care

  • After each usage, remember to rinse the mouthpiece and the tube. Use warm, soapy water. After rinsing, shake off excess water and leave it on a clean towel to dry.
  • It is important that you disinfect the apparatus with disinfecting spray suggested by the supplier or use vinegar and water solution for that purpose.
  • Compressor should always be covered with a clean piece of cloth, when not in use.