Don’t know what a nebulizer is? Don’t panic! Read this post and know everything about a nebulizer!
If you have any respiratory ailment or asthma then most probably your doctor must have suggested you a nebulizer. Nebulization is a part of breathing or treatment therapy, which is usually practiced at home. However, if the condition of the patient is severe then the doctor may perform clinical nebulization at his clinic.
Such devices function in the same way as metered dose inhalers or MDIs. MDIs are portable pocket-sized inhalers. Both these devices supply medicine to the lungs to provide immediate relief to the patients. Nebulizers are quite easier to use than MDIs, particularly for small children and kids or individuals with chronic respiratory issues. Read more to know how safe are nebulizers for babies.
What is a Nebulizer?
A nebulizer is a portable device that turns liquid medicine into mist drops so that it can be easily inhaled. There are battery or electronic operated nebulizers available in a handy size. Hence, you can carry it along wherever you want. But if you want a nebulizer for home-use only then you can always go for the larger size.
No matter which size you pick, you have to place the nebulizer on the table and plug it on. A nebulizer consists of a medicine cap, a tube, and an air compressor. Connected to the medicine cup or container is a face mask that is used to inhale the medicine in mist form.
How to Use a Nebulizer?
A nebulizer consists of the following parts:
- Medicine container or cup
- Air compressor
- Face mask or mouth mask
- Compressor tubing
- Medication, if prescribed
With all these supplies in hand, you can use the nebulizer by following the below-mentioned steps.
- First, place the air compressor on a stable surface so that it rests firmly. Plug-in the cord or tube connected to the compressor into an electrical outlet.
- Before you switch on the nebulizer, you must properly wash your hands. If possible, wear any one of the best disposable gloves from our list.
- If your doctor has prescribed you to use medicine then add the desired quantity into the nebulizer cup. However, if the doctor has suggested you to use saline or plain water then add the same to the medicine cup.
- Place the nebulizer cup and face mask as directed.
- Once all the tubing is well-connected, you may now switch on the unit.
- In just a couple of minutes, you will see a light mist coming out from the mouthpiece.
- Sit on a comfortable chair and position the mask on your mouth or face so that the medicine enters into your lungs via your nose.
- Take deep and slow breaths. If you are doing it for an adult then hold each breath for 3 seconds before you breathe out. This will enable medication to settle into the respiratory tract.
- Continue this process for at least 10 minutes.
- You can nebulize the patient like this on a regular basis.
Portable and Home-Use Nebulizers – What is the Difference?
Nebulizers come in portable and tabletop or home-use models.
Portable nebulizers are smaller in size and can be easily fit into the pocket. They don’t have any electrical connection and are operated using batteries. The batteries are either rechargeable or disposable. These nebulizers are so small in size that they can be carried in a briefcase, pocket, backpack, or purse.
Home-use nebulizers are bigger in size and are plugged into an electrical outlet. Such nebulizers are ideal for home or clinical use.
The cost of portable nebulizers is quite more than home-use nebulizers.
How Do You Care for Your Nebulizer?
It is essential that you properly maintain your nebulizer. You must keep it clean. The process of cleaning the nebulizer is easy and simple. With proper care, you can avoid the spread of any infection.
When you are cleaning your nebulizer, you must follow these instructions:
- Rinse your nebulizer thoroughly after each treatment process. The cup must be cleaned with warm water. Shake off the water and let it dry.
- The nebulizer mask, mouthpiece, or cup must be washed well in warm soapy water. It must be then rinsed thoroughly.
- Once you have cleaned the device completely, you must disinfect it using a water and vinegar solution. For this, you must mix equal portions of water and vinegar. Soak your nebulizer in the solution and rinse it well under a stream of plain water. Let your nebulizer air dry.
Nebulizers offer an effective treatment for respiratory ailments and asthma. However, the machine is quite noisy and need a power source for regular functioning. Hence, do have a nebulizer at home so that you are well-prepared to meet all sorts of emergencies with ease.