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In the medical world, nebulizer is a device that converts liquid medication into a mist, so it can be easily inhaled through either a mouthpiece or breathing naturally. It helps in administering medication to reach the lungs effectively. Commonly, nebulizers are used to the treatment of Asthma, COPD, Cystic fibrosis and other respiratory diseases.
How does a Nebulizer work?
Nebulizers use compressed air, oxygen or ultrasonic power to disintegrate medical suspensions into smaller aerosol droplets that can be directly inhaled from the mouthpiece of the device. It works on the principle small vaporized water droplets interact with hot surrounding air; they cool down and condense into a fine cloud of visible airborne water droplets. Inhaled aerosol droplets penetrate deeply into the narrow cavities and reach the lung cavity, bringing immediate relief.
Nebulizers come in tabletop and portable models. The tabletop nebulizers are larger in size and need to be plugged into an electrical outlet while the portable nebulizers are smaller in size, run on batteries and can be easily carried in a purse, briefcase or backpack. The working procedure of a portable nebulizer is similar to a home nebulizer.
To use a nebulizer, one needs the following supplies in hand:
- Air compressor
- Nebulizer cup
- Mask or mouthpiece
- Measured dose of medication
- Compressor tubing
To begin arrange the air compressor on a sturdy surface. Plug the cord into an electrical outlet. Before initialization, wash hands with soap and dry completely. Measure the medications carefully and place them in the nebulizer cup. Assemble the nebulizer cup and mask or mouthpiece. Connect the tubing to both the aerosol compressor and nebulizer cup. Turn on the compressor to make sure it is working correctly. You should see a light mist coming from the back of the tube opposite the mouthpiece.
Sit up straight on a comfortable chair. If the treatment is for your child, he or she may sit on your lap. If you are using a mask, position it comfortably and securely on your or your child's face. If you are using a mouthpiece, place it between your or your child's teeth and seal the lips around it. Take slow, deep breaths. If possible, hold each breath for 2-3 seconds before breathing out. This allows the medication to settle into the airways. Continue the treatment until the medication is over.
While using if any jitteriness occurs, stop the treatment immediately and rest for a while. Resume the treatment and try breathing slowly. If irritation continues, stop and visit a health care provider. In case the medication sticks onto the sides of the nebulizer cup, shape it to loosen the droplets.