What Does A Nebulizer Do
Nebulizers are quite popular and relatively great for delivering asthma medications to young children and infants.
They also accommodate when a larger dose of medication is required for inhalation or if the child has trouble using a traditional asthma inhaler.
Furthermore, nebulizers can be used with various medications for quick relief while controlling asthma symptoms. The medicines one can use with a nebulizer include:
- Bronchodilators for opening the airways
- Corticosteroid for relieving inflammation
Nebulizers can further be classified by their functional principle into three types:
Compressor or nozzle nebulizers work through a compressor generating compressed air. Air flows through medicinal solution atomizing into tiny droplets.
Ultrasonic nebulizers use a piezo-electric vibrator to emit high-frequency vibrations .
These vibrations are transported across the water tank, enveloping the medication with the water serving as a coolant.
These intense vibrations help in generating liquid medication columns by producing smaller particles.
The mesh nebulizer comprises a thin membrane that has minute holes in it. A vibrating element helps push the nebulizer medication through these tiny membrane holes.
This ultimately generates tiny droplets like an aerosol. The mesh nebulizer is also very lightweight and quiet. Therefore, they are perfect for traveling, especially with children.
What Is A Nebulizer And How Does It Work
A nebulizer is a type of medical equipment that is used to administer the medication directly and quickly to the lungs of a person with severe respiratory conditions like asthma.
The electrical compressor is often mistakenly referred to as a nebulizer, which is incorrect. The nebulizer is the plastic bowl chamber , into which a liquid drug or solution is dispensed. Compressed air is then forced along the tube to the nebulizer chamber, where it is converted into fine mist, which can be inhaled via a mouthpiece or facemask. By this way, the lungs and the respiratory system can get the medicine directly and more efficiently.
Who Uses Nebulizers?
Nebulization is usually recommended when a person finds difficulty while using an inhaler or in a condition where the person needs to inhale large dose of medicines directly into the lungs. Heres why people choose nebulizer over inhalers.
It is usually prescribed for people with one or more of the following lung disorders:
Nebulizers are also used for treating common cough symptoms
While nebulizers are usually recommended to people with chronic illness, it may also be used to relieve coughs and other symptoms caused by respiratory illnesses. However, it is highly recommended to consult a doctor before using it.
There are different types of nebulizers:
Risks Of Nebulizer Treatment
There are some side effects that may occur in certain individuals who use nebulizers. The most common side effects of nebulizer treatment are rapid heartbeat, jitteriness and anxiety. Less frequent side effects may include headache, nausea, vomiting or throat irritation. Serious reactions to nebulizer treatment are also possible and should be immediately reported to the prescribing physician. These dangerous symptoms may include chest pain, rash, hives, swelling or difficulty swallowing.
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Who Should Not Use An Albuterol Nebulizer
Albuterol may not be suitable for some people. Before using albuterol with a nebulizer, a person should make their doctor aware of any underlying health conditions to ensure this medication does not interact with them.
It is especially important to notify a doctor about:
- antidepressants such as monoamine oxidase inhibitors and tricyclics
It is also important that a person tell their doctor if they have recently stopped taking MAOIs or tricyclics in the past 2 weeks.
Using albuterol at the same time as these drugs may cause serious drug interactions.
People should not use the nebulizer a doctor has prescribed to inhale any other type of drug.
If a person takes any supplements, such as vitamins or herbal remedies, they should also discuss these with their doctor before trying albuterol.
In some cases, albuterol can cause side effects. The most common side effects are:
- an irregular or fast heartbeat
- chest pain
If these side effects occur and do not get better, or they become disruptive, talk with a doctor as soon as possible about ways to manage or avoid them.
Occasionally, albuterol may cause breathing difficulties to get worse. If this occurs, call 911 or visit an emergency room immediately.
A person should also get emergency help if they experience the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction after using albuterol:
- chest pain
When You Should Pack Your Portable Nebulizer
The last thing you want is to be without your breathing treatment when you need it most. If you plan on traveling on an airplane and any of these situations apply to you, then you should pack your portable nebulizer in your luggage.
- You recently had a flare-up: If you have recently had a flare-up of your COPD or asthma or other chronic respiratory condition, it would be wise of you to bring your portable nebulizer machine. This will ensure that you have access to treatment when you need it most.
- The time of year: If you know that you are susceptible to breathing symptoms during a certain time of year, you should take your treatment with you anytime you travel during that time.
- You will be gone for an extended time: An extended time can vary from person to person and how often they normally use treatment. If you regularly use your nebulizer for breathing treatments, you should consider bringing it.
You should always air on the side of caution and bring your nebulizer if you think you will need it. Even if you do not end up using it, it is better to be safe than sorry.
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What Is A Hand Held Nebulizer: How To Use Them At Home
Nebulizers are essential for asthma patients, but not many know about the history of this path-breaking device.
It was in early 1858 when the first powered inhaler i.e. nebulizer was invented.
French scientist Sales-Girons is credited with this mind-blowing invention which helped treat Asthma patients.This nebulizer was a rough version which was later in 1864 modified and a new stream is driven nebulizer was invented.
As they say, every invention has its imperfections and nebulizer is no different.
There were many modifications made to this device till now which helped in making it compact and easier to use.
And today we have the latest handheld ultrasonic wave nebulizer which has made significant changes to the effectiveness of its use in the medical industry.
In This Article …
Taking Care Of The Nebulizer
Read the manufacturers instructions for care of your nebulizer. Different types of nebulizers may have slightly different directions, but in general:
- Disconnect the nebulizer cup tubing from the compressor after each treatment
- Open the cup and wash the cup and mouthpiece according to the instructions for your machine
- Air-dry all the parts on a clean towel
- Store the dried parts in a plastic bag
Once a week:
- Rinse the cup and the mask or mouthpiece in a solution of vinegar and water. Follow any other instructions from your doctor or the manufacturer for disinfecting the nebulizer
- Check the filter on the nebulizer machine. Replace it when it becomes discolored
Finally, make sure that you always have spare nebulizer parts and that you refill prescriptions on time so you always have your medication when you need it.
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Continue Learning About First Aid Risks
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
When Is A Nebuliser Used To Treat Asthma Attacks
Nebulisers are mostly used in A&E and hospital, or by paramedics treating you at home or in the ambulance. They may also be used by GPs in medical centres or clinics.;
Not everyone will need to be treated using a nebuliser. Most asthma attacks can be treated just as well using a blue reliever inhaler, with a spacer.
But if youre having a severe attack, you may be given rescue medicine through a nebuliser instead. This is so you can be treated quickly with high doses of medicine in an emergency.
Young children, or people who cannot use an inhaler and spacer well, may be treated using a nebuliser even if their attack is not considered severe.
Nebulisers at home
For most people with asthma, nebulisers are not recommended for treating asthma symptoms, or asthma attacks, at home.
Even those with severe asthma, who regularly use a nebuliser at home as advised by their asthma specialist, should get medical help quickly if they need to use it for an asthma attack.
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Spring And Summer Allergens
Pollen is everywhere you look in the spring and summer. For months flowers, trees, grasses, grains, and more release pollen in the air, causing people to sniffle, sneeze, and wheeze. On top of that, even if you think youre safe, away from all of the blooms, pollen can travel for miles and set off your histamines. Then physical activities that involve running through the grass or using your lawnmower can stir up these particles, causing them to settle on multiple surfaces from your clothes, the walls, vehicles, and more.
You may think its safe to relax when the spring/summer showers begin to wash all that pollen away, but the rain actually promotes the growth of weeds and other plants. The wind accompanying rainstorms can also stir up and spread particles.
In the summer warmer days promote the release of pollen, especially from grasses. Which is why hay fever often occurs during summer, when its time to cut hay.
Smog tends to be worse during the summer as it creates ozone at the ground level as car exhausts and fumes spread chemicals into the air. The calm winds of summer and strong sun do little to disperse these particles, leaving smog to settle like clouds.
Asthma Attack Triggers And How To Prevent Them
If youve ever had an asthma attack, you know how scary it can be when your chest tightens, making it difficult to take breaths between coughing. These are just some of the symptoms that characterize an asthma attack. Asthma attacks can be triggered by many things, making it all the more frightening when you suddenly cant breathe.
Understanding what triggers your asthma is the first step toward preventing an asthma attack. Well explain what you need to know about common asthma attack triggers, so you can do your best to prevent symptoms from interrupting your everyday life.;;
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How To Use A Nebulizer Without Medication
Water in a nebulizer for cough, stuffy nose, lung congestion, and bronchitis is many times recommended to use, especially for people who do not want to use medications for respiratory problems.
For operating your nebulizer without medicines you need to add salt water solution or saline water into the medicine cup.
Inhalation of sodium chloride solution actually helps in breaking down the deposited mucus and phlegm in the lungs which are then expelled out as cough easily.
Is Saline for Baby Asthma Cough Safe?
As the saline solution is just a sterile salt water solution and not an actual asthma medication, using it to nebulize the baby is completely safe and free of side effects.
However saline nebulizer for infants should be given after consulting with the pediatrician who can advice the best saline nebuliser dose that can be given for your baby safely without showing any side effects.
Care that if there are signs of acute wheezing and severe asthma seen, nebulizing just with hypertonic saline may not prove much effective.
In this case, you may need to use asthma medications for getting a faster cure.
Where Can I Buy Saline Solution For Nebulizer?
Saline for nebulizer is easily available over the counter at online shopping sites like Amazon.
Care that you buy sterile saline from these stores and not use the homemade saline solution in the nebulizer machine as this can be risky.
How Long Will You Need To Be On A Nebuliser
How long you need to be on a nebuliser depends on how you respond to treatment, and how severe your asthma attack is.
A single dose of nebulised salbutamol usually lasts around 5-10 minutes. If this single dose is not enough to get your symptoms under control, you may have repeat doses every 15-30 minutes.
Sometimes, if you have not responded well to these spaced doses, you may be given back to back or continuous nebulisation, and other medicines may be added to the nebuliser, such as ipratropium.
It may be a few hours before your doctor feels happy to stop nebuliser treatment and move you back onto a reliever inhaler and spacer.;
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What Conditions Can Nebulizers Treat
If you have a chronic respiratory condition, its likely that you require medication to help ease your symptoms and keep you feeling well. Similar to inhalers, nebulizers are drug-delivery devices that distribute breathable medicines into your body.;
However, unlike an inhaler, which requires a specific technique for it to be effective, a nebulizer is very simple to use. Nebulizers convert your medication into a breathable mistso all you have to do is breathe as normal to complete your treatment.
How Do I Use And Look After My Nebuliser
When youre prescribed a nebuliser to use at home you should be given clear instructions on how to use and look after it by your doctor, specialist or pharmacist.
Using your nebuliser
Always follow your doctor or specialists guidance on how to use your nebuliser and read the guidance notes carefully.
- Wash your hands before using your nebuliser
- If youre using a mouthpiece, seal your lips around it and breathe through your mouth, not your nose
- If youre using a facemask, place it over your mouth and nose
- Take normal, calm breaths as much as you can.
Looking after your nebuliser
Read the guidance notes carefully when you first get your nebuliser, so you know:
- The best way to keep your nebuliser clean to lower risk of infection
- How often to change the filters, and where to get them
- How often the nebuliser needs servicing, and how to arrange that. If you are loaned a nebuliser, the hospital or specialist clinic is responsible for servicing it.
Ask your doctor or specialist if youre not sure about anything. You can also contact the nebuliser company or manufacturers for advice if you need help with the device itself.
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How Do I Clean And Care For It
The nebulizer should be cleaned after each use and disinfected after every other treatment. Since you are breathing the vapor from the machine, it must be clean. If the machine is not cleaned correctly, bacteria and other germs could grow inside it. Follow your healthcare providers directions for cleaning and disinfecting, to make sure that youre not breathing harmful germs.
The tubing should be replaced regularly, since it is not possible to completely clean the inside of the tubing. Your healthcare provider should explain how often to change the tubing.
How A Nebulizer For Allergies And Asthma Will Help
Dust, pet dander, pollen, and smoke. Each of these words can strike fear in the hearts of those who suffer from seasonal allergies, depending on what season it is. However, allergies arent only for adults to worry about. They can affect your children as well. If you find them coughing or wheezing as the seasons change, they may need a;nebulizer;for allergies and asthma. Sometimes, the treat isnt just seasonal. Allergens and asthma can attack all year round.
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What Is A Nebulizer Used For And What Conditions Does It Address
A nebulizer treats various lung conditions, including COPD and asthma, explains Darren Mareiniss, MD, assistant professor of emergency medicine at Sidney Kimmel Medical CollegeThomas Jefferson University.
COPD is a chronic condition that can cause symptoms like shortness of breath, fatigue, and a chronic cough. Its the third leading cause of death in the United States and anywhere from 16 to 24 million people have it.
Typically this causes a combination of small airway disease and destruction of lung tissue , Dr. Mareiniss says.
The most common cause of COPD is exposure to noxious particles like air pollution, dust, fumes, workplace chemicals, or cigarette smoke. Although anyone can get COPD, even non-smokers, cigarettes are responsible for about 90 percent of cases.
Asthma is a chronic inflammation of the lungs that can result in a spasm of the airways, or bronchioles, in reaction to allergens or other triggers, like cold air or exercise.
In asthma attacks, this spasm and constriction of the air passages of the lungs limits the patients ability to breathe, Dr. Mareiniss says.
It can also lead to recurrent episodes of wheezing, chest tightness, and cough.
People with other conditions may also need nebulizers, including those with chronic bronchitis or emphysema ; the flu; and even Covid-19.
Why Have Your Asthma Symptoms Got Worse
Before your appointment, have a think about your symptoms and why you think theyve got worse. Itll help you and your GP to work out whats going on with your asthma.
Ask yourself these questions to help you:
Have I been taking my preventer inhaler every day?
Preventer medicines stop inflammation building up in your airways. But they can only do this if you take them every day.
If you stop taking them you wont have full protection. And your symptoms will come back.
Have you been taking yours every day? Or have you found it hard to get into a good routine?
Do I know the best way to take my inhalers?
Even if youve been taking an inhaler for years, its easy to slip into bad habits. If you havent been taking your inhaler correctly you will have been missing out on the full dose of asthma medicine.
Are you confident youre taking your inhalers in the right way? Watch our inhaler videos to see if youre doing it right. And ask your GP or asthma nurse to check it at your appointment.
Have I been around more of my usual asthma triggers?
Maybe youve caught a cold, or its pollen season and your hay fevers bad. Think about your usual triggers and if they might be affecting you more.
Have I come across a new trigger?
Have you been around an animal or pet? Did you start a new job, or go on holiday? Tell your doctor if youve spotted a new trigger. They can help you deal with it.
What else has been going on in my life lately?
Have I noticed hormonal changes?
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