Nebulizers are used to deliver drugs directly into the lungs. Nebulizers convert the medicine to be inhaled from a liquid form to mist for easy inhalation. Nebuizers are preferred to inhalers for smaller children and infants. Nebulizers are used for immediate relief from asthma or other respiratory diseases or to deliver maintenance doses of the medicine. Besides, Nebulizers use either oxygen, compressed air or ultrasonic power to convert medicines into the aerosol or misty form.
Nebulizers are available in two models, the tabletop and portable models. The tabletop nebulizers are larger and needs to be plugged into an electric outlet whereas the portable or hand held nebulizers run on batteries. The batteries can be either rechargeable or disposable. These nebulizers can be carried around in purses, backpacks etc and hence very convenient to carry around. Handheld nebulizers cost more than the home models. You will need a prescription from a doctor to buy a nebulizer.
How hand held Nebulizers work
All nebulizers have –
- An air compressor,
- Nebulizer cup,
- Mask or mouthpiece
- Medication and compressor tubing.
The required dose of medication is put into the nebulizer cup. The nebulizer cup is then connected to a face mask or mouthpiece. The tubing is then connected to the cup and the compressor. When the compressor is turned on, a mist starts forming. You have to place either the mouthpiece or mask in position and take slow breaths. The medicine settles in the airways. The treatment is continued till the prescribed dose of medicine is over which takes about 5-10 minutes. Some users may experience headache, tremors or rapid heartbeat during nebilization.
Benefits of using hand held nebulizers
- Hand held nebulizers are more effect than taking conventional forms of oral medicines, since they act faster. They are directly absorbed by the lungs and hence the effect is almost immediate.
- They are easy to carry around as they weigh less than a pound and can be taken along when you go out or travel.
- Nebulizers reduce the side effects of long term use of steroids as they are directly inhaled into the lungs.
- They are particularly useful for infants and young children who are unable to use inhalers. The whole treatment lasts only for 5-10 minutes.