If you’re unwell, many times you will take some sort of medication to aid the healing process. In the case of a respiratory disease, often it is most effective to inhale the medication directly into your lungs. This is where nebulizer machines come in very handy. The nebulization process takes a liquid medicine and converts into a mist that is possible to inhale. This technology is often used for treating asthma, and other minor or serious respiratory complaints. The particular way that it delivers the medication makes it more comfortable and easier to use than inhalers. The nebulizer machine is able to get the medication into the lungs quickly, which is often important in the case of a respiratory illness. There are a number of different types of nebulizers on the market; all with their particular advantages and disadvantages. We’ll take a closer look at what these devices can offer to a person with a respiratory problem, whether it is temporary or chronic.
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How Nebulizers are Used
Nebulizer machines are used to treat respiratory illnesses ranging from asthma and emphysema to bronchitis and cold symptoms. In fact, this medication delivery system can be used to treat nearly any disorder in the lung tissue. Asthma is a common inflammatory disease that causes the airways in the lungs to constrict, and leaves the sufferer gasping for air. It can be very scary for the sufferer, and typically requires immediate treatment. A nebulizer can provide almost immediate relief by dispensing medication that dilates the bronchial pathways. These bronchodilators are also used in conjunction with a nebulizer machine when the patient is suffering from bronchitis and emphysema. The nebulizer may also be used to dispense antibiotics or medication that thins mucous.
Benefits of Nebulizers
There are a number of ways to take medication for respiratory diseases. Asthma sufferers are often prescribed inhalers that dispense medication directly into the lungs like nebulizer machines. Antibiotics and other medications may also come in tablet or liquid form. A nebulizer machine has a number of advantages over these other methods. Inhalers deliver powder medication, and are often not recommended for younger children. Nebulizers are favored for their ease of use. When compared with tablet or liquid forms, nebulization is much more convenient for children that may find it uncomfortable to swallow pills or drink medication. The nebulizer also allows for faster relief of asthma symptoms, pain, or congestion. Asthma patients rarely have to visit a hospital for their symptoms when they have a nebulizer on hand.
Types of Nebulizers
Nebulizers come in a number of different forms, depending on how and where you want to use them. The less expensive nebulizers are those that are made for home use. The home nebulizer is a tabletop device comprised of a processing unit and a mask or mouthpiece. It is not the most compact nebulizer machine, being larger than portable nebulizers and inhalers. However, it promises immediate relief from the symptoms of some of the worst respiratory diseases from the comfort of your home. Hospitals use nebulizers to treat patients that are suffering from asthma attacks, or severe discomfort related to another illness. Instead of traveling to the nearest hospital in the case of a bad attack, you can access the technology much more readily. As opposed to a portable battery-operated nebulizer, it is plugged directly into an electrical outlet.
A portable nebulizer may be the best choice for an active person that spends more time out of the house than at home. These devices fit easily in your hand, and can be carried comfortably in a purse or briefcase. While the handheld nebulizer is more expensive, it also gives you the freedom to make use of the delivery system anywhere you want. In this way, it is similar to an inhaler, so asthma sufferers need to weigh the pros and cons of each device. These machines depend on a portable power source, so they either require rechargeable or disposable batteries. Often you can charge them by plugging them into the cigarette lighter of a car. As a small volume nebulizer, it provides all the convenience of an inhaler with all the benefits of the nebulization system.
There are also products designed especially for children that suffer from respiratory ailments. The pediatric nebulizer machine uses a design that works well for young children and even babies. The mask portion of the nebulizer is of particular importance, as it must fit well to ensure proper administration of the medication. The pediatric nebulizer is promoted to children by being colorful, or having a case in the form of an interesting animal or character. Others attach games to keep the child occupied during the process. These devices are often given to asthmatic children that can’t use inhalers for whatever reason. Sometimes, it’s just because the child is too young to properly make use of an inhaler. Typically, children under the age of about six will only use nebulizer machines.
There are a few different technologies associated with these medical devices. The ultrasonic nebulizer use electrical currents to energize the liquid medication at a molecular level. With enough stimulation, these ultrasonic forces will cause the liquid to form a vapor or mist, which can then be inhaled directly. All of this can be done in a fairly small amount of space. Therefore, the ultrasonic nebulizer is more compact, and is commonly used in the portable forms. They are also quieter, which makes them even more convenient as a portable nebulizer.
Vibrating Mesh Technology
Recently, another ultrasonic nebulizing technology has been developed called Vibrating Mesh Technology. Instead of acting directly on the medication, these devices vibrate a fine mesh at high speed. This action forces tiny droplets of the liquid medication through the holes in the mesh, which results in the desired vaporization. The benefit of this technology is that it works very quickly. Like the ultrasonic nebulizer, it is also possible to use it within portable devices. The drawback is that they must be cleaned frequently, as the mesh is susceptible to clogging. It is also the most expensive type of nebulizer machine available.
A compressor nebulizer or jet nebulizer makes use of compressed air to vaporize the liquid medication. It requires a motor, compressed air source, medication cup, connector tube, and mouthpiece. The necessary dose of medication is placed in the cup that is supplied with the nebulizer machine. An internal motor forces the air through the cup, and converts it into a fine mist. At this point, it’s simply a matter of breathing in the mist through the tube using the mouthpiece. Devices that use this technology are more bulky and tend to make more noise. They also require increased preparation, as the medication must first be mixed with a saline solution. However, the compressor nebulizer system remains popular due to its reliability and low cost.
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