What is a Nebulizer and How Does It Work?

The advancement in technology hasn’t just helped in making our lives easier, it has also made our lives safer and healthier. There is a lot of research and a lot of technical equipment available in the hospitals these days that wasn’t possible a few decades back. Nebulizer is one of those innovations. It is small and portable but can perform an amazing duty of dispending medication in the form of vapors.

In short, the nebulizer is a device that converts medication into an inhalable mist. It works by using compressed air to produce droplets of liquid containing the drug, which are then inhaled by the patient through a mouthpiece or face mask. These devices are used for people with respiratory problems such as asthma and COPD, but they can also be used for administering anesthesia before surgery.

What Is A Nebulizer?

A nebulizer is a device used for spraying medication to the air so it can be breathed in. It works by converting liquid medication into an aerosol mist, which is then inhaled through a mouthpiece or face mask.

It comes with reusable and disposable parts: The main body of this equipment has two compartments – one holds water while the other contains medicine. A compressor pushes pressurized air from its chamber through another tube that passes over both compartments thus creating mist particles containing drug ingredients when they collide with each other and fall down on you due to gravity.

The process converts liquids into vapors that are delivered directly into your lungs via inhalation method rather than ingestion method like taking pills orally (which means it goes straight to your digestive system).

Types of Nebulizers

There are three main types of nebulizers: nozzle, membrane and ultrasonic ones. The basic difference is in the method used to break down liquid medication into droplets.

Nozzle nebulizers use a narrow tube and pressure from your breath to push medicine through it. They are relatively inexpensive, portable and easy-to-use but can be very loud while working or when you exhale air back out of them because they need pressurized airflow. Nozzle style tends to clog up quickly which requires frequent cleaning (for babies under six months) and more expensive replacement parts (mouthpiece). This machine only works with water based medications that don’t contain oil like albuterol for asthma treatment, so if you take oral steroids or any other kind of drugs, this one isn’t suitable for you.

Membrane nebulizers use a different method to create particles of the size needed for inhalation. The main difference is that they don’t require pressurized airflow, which makes them much quieter and less expensive than nozzle style models (but still not as quiet as ultrasonic ones). They can work with all kinds of liquid medication and some people find that they are easier to clean because there are fewer parts involved compared to other types.

An ultrasonic wave nebulizer breaks down medicine into tiny droplets by using high-frequency vibrations created by an electronic chip inside this machine. These machines have no moving parts so they’re very quiet but also more expensive than other forms.

Another common type of nebulizer is the jet nebulizer. A classic jet nebulizer uses compressed air to break up the liquid medicine into droplets suitable for mouth inhalation. The fluid reservoir is filled with the drug in suspension or aqueous solution.

A big advantage of jet nebulizers is their cheap cost. However, the downside is that most of the medicine is turned to waste during the inhalation process.

Other less common types of nebulizers are the volume nebulizer and Beurer nebulizer.

How Does Nebulizer Work?

There are different types of nebulizers but they all work on the same technique and principle. One thing to know is that not all medication can be found in the liquid. However if the doctor has prescribed you to nebulize yourself or your loved one with a certain medication then you should get that medicine, pour it in the specified place in the nebulizer. Make sure that you only use the amount prescribed by the doctor. Inhaling more medicine than what was prescribed to you can be dangerous. Turn the nebulizer on and when you start seeing mist come out of the nozzle bring it near your mouth and nose and inhale the mist. The medicine will not just clear your airways but it will also reach the infections and phlegm in your throat and lungs.

Follow these steps when using a nebulizer:

Step 1: Before you start the treatment, wash your hands well. If using the nebulizer for the first time, wipe it with a clean cloth. Use the machine in a well-lit room where you can sit down comfortably for the entire treatment.

Step 2: Connect the nebulizer’s hose to the air compressor.

Step 3: Making sure you follow the exact dose as written on your prescription, fill the cup with your medicine. You can avoid spills by closing the unit dose vial tightly and holding the mouthpiece straight up.

Step 4: Connect the mouthpiece and the hose to the cup.

Step 5: Put the mouthpiece inside your mouth, tightening your lips to ensure every drop of the medicine goes into your lungs.

Step 6: Breathing through your mouth, keep the mouthpiece in your mouth until all the medicine is used up.

Step 7: Turn off the machine afterward.

Step 8: Wash the mouthpiece and the medication container, air dry, and store in a clean container until your next use.

How To Maintain a Nebulizer

A basic unit of nebulizer is composed of a mouthpiece, an air compressor, and a handheld nebulizer. After using the machine, rinse the cup using warm water, and let dry everything thoroughly.

After each use, wash the mask, liquid reservoir, and mouthpiece using warm water and soap. Rinse and allow everything to dry.

The compressor should be unplugged before you clean it. You can keep it clean by wiping it down with a clean cloth. Meanwhile, clean the outside of the compressor tubing using a soapy piece of cloth or disinfectant wipe.

Most compressors have an air filter that needs to be replaced every six months. If the machine stops working, ask for repair from the manufacturer, especially if it’s still within warranty. Check the user’s manual for the code for replacement items should you find any defect in your newly purchased nebulizer.

When Should You Use A Nebulizer?

Nebulizers are typically used when patients can’t take pills orally or suffer from asthma attacks. They may also be recommended for other health conditions like cystic fibrosis, COPD and pulmonary edema. One thing to keep in mind is that you should use it according to the prescribed usage by your doctor. It is still medication that you are inhaling and inhaling excessive amount of medication can be dangerous.

Who Should Use a Nebulizer?

The American Lung Association recommends the use of nebulizers for people with chronic lung disease, persistent asthma attacks, unspecified asthma, intermittent asthma, acute asthma, asthma with status, and cough variant asthma.

It is also prescribed for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), acute drug-induced interstitial lung disorder, tuberculosis of the lung, respiratory infection, bronchiectasis, lung tissue infection, and cystic fibrosis.

Furthermore, a nebulizer can also be used to clear the lungs of both organic dusts and inorganic dusts, such as talc dust. It’s also advised for those who develop respiratory issues due to other illnesses, such as the unidentified influenza virus.

Some medications are only administered to the patient through nebulization, particularly those who have kidney transplant infection, liver transplant infection, bone graft infection, marrow transplant infection, and heart transplant infection.

Difference between Nebulizer and other similar devices

A nebulizer is a device that converts medication into mist inhaled through respiratory system while vaporizer heats up the liquid to produce medicated steam which is then absorbed in the airways via inhalation method. This machine works with portable humidifier units at home/bedside but it’s relatively expensive compared to regular nebulizers you see yourself using once in doctor office visit (for example). It requires electricity so if there’s enough of it available, nebulizer is the only choice for medication delivery.

Nebulizers are much bigger machines that deliver medicine to your lungs via inhalation method while MDIs (metered dose inhaler) are small handheld devices with a mouthpiece through which you can breathe in medicines like albuterol, ipratropium and fluticasone etc. 

People use this kind of machine mostly when they suffer from asthma attacks or other respiratory conditions because it’s easier to carry around than nebulizer at home. This type doesn’t require electricity so if there isn’t enough power available, people will still be able take their meds using metered dose inhaler.

Are Nebulizers Really That Effective?

Nebulizers are much more effective medication delivery method as they deliver medicine directly to your lungs via respiratory system. That’s one of the reasons why doctors prescribe nebulizer therapy for conditions like cystic fibrosis, asthma and COPD because it works faster with less side effects compared to pills or other forms. They are perfect for older people and little children who have difficulty consuming other forms of medication.

Sometimes, nebulizers are used for inhalation of oils with calming effects on the lungs. However, this should only be done under the supervision or recommendation of a health professional.

Final Words

ProNebu offers durable and high quality nebulizers at a very affordable price range. So if you are looking to buy one check ProNebu online shop.