Nebulizers - How They Work
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A nebulizer is an easy to operate machine that aids in the inhalation of medication for patients suffering with a respiratory illness, such as:
- Cystic Fibrosis
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
There are other types of inhalers, however for those suffering with serious respiratory issues such as, babies, and the elderly, nebulizers are the preferred option for administering medications.
A little research into the world of nebulizers will show that there are two common kinds available, namely:
The Compressor Nebulizer:
This is the most common type of home nebulizer available today. This nebulizer compresses air in order to generate a mist.
The Ultrasonic Nebulizer:
Although not as common these nebulizers are highly effective and work quicker. Unlike the above mentioned nebulizer, this one makes use of high frequency vibrations in order to produce a mist.
Both of these nebulizers produce the same result however, which is to turn a liquid medicine into a fine mist that is easily inhaled by the patient, offering quick and effective relief for respiratory diseases.
A Closer Look At Nebulizers And How They Operate:
As we have already stated, nebulizers turn liquid medications into an aerosol mist. Mechanical ones make use of a compressor, while the ultrasonic ones use high frequency vibrations. All nebulizers come complete with a container or cup that is designed to hold the medication in its liquid form. Certain machines have containers that boast built in valves that help to control the flow of air.
Nebulizers also come with either a face mask or a mouth piece. The medication is delivered in mist form via the face mask or mouth piece. Generally, the face mask is not as popular as the mouth piece, simply because the latter is better able to deliver the medication. In fact, face masks are, more often than not, used with babies and the elderly. However, for those that are able to make use of the nebulizer unassisted, the mouth piece is the more favoured option.
A nebulizer is essentially made up of three parts:
- The machine
- The container or cup for holding the medication
- The face mask or mouth piece connected via a detachable tube
How do you use a Nebulizer:
Just like the nebulizer is made up of three main parts, so the process of using them is made up of three steps:
1. Putting in the Medicine
The medication is put into the cup or container that is attached to the machine. It is important to understand that the medication should never be placed in the cup until such time as it is ready to be used. If more than one type of medication is prescribed, it is essential to find out whether they can be combined, or whether they should be administered separately.
2. Switching the Nebulizer On
When you have sealed the medicine cup/container (and the tube has been connected), you can then turn the machine on. The liquid medicine will be vaporized into a mist that the patient can then inhale either through the mouth piece or the face mask.
3. Inhaling the Medicine
For those using the mouth piece it is important to relax and to inhale deeply. The face mask or mouth piece should not be removed until such time as all the medicine has been used, which should not take longer than about twenty to thirty minutes at the most.
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