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What is a nebulizer?In medicine, a nebulizer is a drug supply device used to administer medication in the form of a mist inhaled into the lungs. Nebulizers are commonly used for the treatment of asthma, cystic fibrosis, COPD and other respiratory diseases or disorders.
How Does a Nebulizer Work?
Nebulizer treatment works by atomizing liquid medicine into an inhalable gas form, which can then be easily breathed in by the patient as they wear a nebulizer mask. In addition to being an easier way to administer medicine than traditional oral methods, particularly for infants. Nebulizer medicine also dissipates into the lungs faster, so it can enter the bloodstream more quickly to provide relief as fast as possible.
Types of NebulizersThere are three main types of nebulizers:
- Jet. This uses compressed gas to make an aerosol (tiny particles of medication in the air).
- Ultrasonic. This makes an aerosol through high-frequency vibrations. The particles are larger than with a jet nebulizer.
- Mesh. The liquid passes through a very fine mesh to form an aerosol. This kind of nebulizer puts out the smallest particles. It’s also the most expensive.
Why Do You Need a Nebulizer?Nebulizers are especially good for infants’ or small children’s asthma medications. They are also helpful when you have trouble using an asthma inhaler or need a large dose of inhaled medication.
How Do I Use a Nebulizer?Usually, the aerosolized medicine is inhaled through a tube-like mouthpiece, similar to that of an inhaler. The mouthpiece, however, is sometimes replaced with a face mask, similar to that used for inhaling anesthesia, for ease of use with young children or the elderly. Pediatric masks are often shaped like animals such as fish, dogs or dragons to make children less resistant to nebulizer treatments. Most importantly, follow the manufacturers' guidelines or user manuals to know how to prepare the nebulizer machine to use.
Precautions to use the nebulizer machine?
- Hands should be washed thoroughly with soap before use.
- Nebulizer mask and machine should be washed with hot water for 30 seconds before and after use.
- Compressors and machine tubes cannot be washed with hot water.
- The mask should be changed every 6 months.
- If dirt accumulates in the filter, it should be replaced.
- Asthma and COPD patients should not use nebulizer machines regularly.