A nebulizer is used for the administration and suspension of drugs in the form of vapor into the bronchi in a simple way. It is the replacement for inhalers. It is usually used more frequently for the elderly, infants or those who have some physical difficulty.
This device is easy and safe to use. The patient only has to put on the mask and breathe, a cloud is produced that slowly enters the airways, in this way the drug takes effect. Another use that is given is to expel secretions from the bronchial tubes. This process is known as humidification.
It is important that people with asthma know the different devices they can use and their benefits. That is why we help you to be informed, you can share the information with a friend who needs it.
Advantages and disadvantages of a Nebulizer
This treatment can be comfortable for some and uncomfortable for others. Here we leave you the advantages and disadvantages of using this device.
- More than one drug can be combined.
- They can all be administered at the same time.
- Doses of medications can be high.
- No breathing techniques are applied for its use.
- Any age can use them, from children to the elderly.
- It needs an outlet to work.
- It cannot be used anywhere.
- It makes a lot of noise.
- It is bigger and heavier.
- It takes more time to release the steam.
What is a Nebulizer?
It is an electronic device for people with asthma. Its purpose is to release the drugs in the form of respirable particles that are directed to the lungs. Its use occurs both in children, with supervision, and in older people, which are the most common. It occurs in hospital and home treatment.
It was in 2001 that doctors began recommending their patients to use the nebulizer, as they needed high doses of bronchodilators. Its impact has caused its use to spread throughout the world.
The process consists in that, before use, the patient must remain seated and in an upright position. You should be breathing at a normal rate and should be silent. You must have washed your hands before using it. It must be applied at the time required by the patient.
Patients who start using this device should carry out the treatment under medical supervision, especially if it is done at home. Before applying the treatment, the solution to be nebulized must be prepared. It is important that each patient knows the doses they need, how it is prepared, how it is used, how it is cleaned and how often it must be applied.
How to use a nebulizer
The use is not complicated, but it is necessary that people know how it is used.
- Prepare and place the medicine in the nebulizer.
- If necessary, you should apply sterile saline water, preferably from a pharmacy.
- Connect the medicine container to the mask tubing.
- The mouthpiece must be placed between the teeth.
- Finally, the machine is turned on. It’s that simple to use.
- After use it is necessary to disinfect the nebulizer, this will prevent lung diseases.
When should it be used?
It has only one purpose, which is to treat breathing difficulties. Respiratory treatments are used when there is presence of:
- Critical respiratory diseases. For example, asthma and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease).
- Infections in the lungs. For example, pneumonia.
- Severe allergies
The side effects that may occur are caused by the same medications that are applied, so it is important to have knowledge at the time of preparation. A visit to the doctor is also recommended for more information on its use. Side effects range from mild to severe.
- Anaphylaxis : This is caused by medications that are applied in nebulizers. They are allergies that occur in the body, for example, as a swelling of the lips, tongue, throat or difficulty swallowing.
- Nervousness : The drug known as Albuterol, when applied to the device, can cause nervousness, dizziness, tremors and / or it can accelerate the heart.
- Mouth problems : Being a device that is used through the mouth, this can cause dry lips, sore throat, bad breath or hoarseness. It can also cause a fungus in the mouth known as thrush, yeast infection (sore, white patches on the lips, and pain).
- It worsens asthma symptoms : One of the problems that is sought to be avoided with this device is the side effect that can arise from the same medications that are applied. Misuse can complicate breathing.
Comparisons to an inhaler
Despite having the same purpose and effect, these devices are very different. Among its main differences are:
- It is not portable and it is heavy.
- The effect of the fog lasts approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
- The vapor does not impact the pharynx, causing the medicine not to stick.
- It is portable, made of plastic and it is only necessary to change a metal cartridge.
- The effect of the fog lasts for 1 second.
- So that the drug does not impact the pharynx, it must be used with an Aero-chamber.
Types of nebulizers
There are different models, these are classified according to the type of compressor used to generate the inhaled particles. The most comfortable and user-friendly models will always be preferred.
Today there are different models:
- Tires, or better known, of the “jet” type. These are the most used in clinics.
- The laptop.
- The ultrasonics.
- The mesh ones.
Medical devices are evolving, but that does not mean that it may have risks, although these are generally caused by poor hygiene of the product, as well as the medications that are supplied. The use of a nebulizer under medical supervision does not represent any risk.
Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.