If you have asthma or another respiratory condition, you’ve probably heard about nebulisers. They are often prescribed as a treatment or breathing therapy for patients with different respiratory issues. But do you know exactly what is a nebuliser?
A nebuliser is a device designed to turn a saline solution (a mix of water and salt) into a mist and through that mist send medicine directly into the lungs. The medicated mist is breathed in through a facemask or a mouthpiece. While breathing, the medicine makes its way to the lungs. Nebulizers are mainly used for asthma, COPD and other severe breathing problems, but it can also be used for more complicated cases of nasal and chest congestion. This form of treatment provides immediate relief for these conditions by opening the airways.
How does a nebuliser work on the respiratory system?
A nebulizer uses a compressor to force oxygen or air through the liquid medicine that is placed on the chamber of the machine. This action causes the liquid medication to be turned into a breathable mist. The user receives the mist through the connecting tube by breathing through the mask or mouthpiece while the compressor pumps the medication into the lungs. Depending on the patient’s needs, an array of medicines can be used with a nebulizer – from saltwater solutions to antibiotics. Nebulizers can help with wheezing, breathlessness and feelings of tightness in the chest. They are also helpful for clearing phlegm and reducing the thickness of mucus so it can be coughed out easier.
What are the benefits of using a nebuliser?
A nebulizer is designed to allow a larger amount of medication to be inhaled, which can be more effective. It is also used for longer periods of time so that the medicine flows into the lungs. Another great thing about this device is that it can be portable and compact, depending on the type you choose. Nowadays, you can find a range of portable nebulisers Australia wide that are designed for both intensive and occasional use, depending on your circumstances and needs. They are fast and quiet and are a great choice for both children and adults. The portable nebulisers Australia retailers offer generally provide a high nebulisation time, which makes them ideal for treating upper and lower respiratory tract issues.
Ultrasonic vs. Compressor
If you are constantly on the move or need a quick treatment at the office, then an ultrasonic nebuliser may be the right option for you. It can take just 5 minutes to set up and administer an ultrasonic nebuliser compared to a compressed model which usually takes about 15 minutes. However, you may be able to find portable compressor models that also offer fast treatments. Some medication may not be delivered as well as with an ultrasonic as with a compressor nebuliser. Your best bet is consulting with your doctor which method will best deliver your medication.
Although portable nebulisers are a lot smaller than at-home nebulizer models, they can vary in size and portability. Some of the smallest and lightest models can actually fit in a pocket. So, keep in mind how often you will use your nebuliser and how you will need to store it when travelling before deciding on the size.
Most portable nebulisers are battery-powered. Some units run on standard AA batteries, which can be replaced conveniently when they run low. But there are also models that run on an interior rechargeable pack – these tend to have longer battery life. In-car chargers may make rechargeable battery packs almost as convenient as AAs or other standard batteries which is useful when travelling.
In order to keep your nebuliser delivering medication effectively, it must be maintained scrupulously clean. So, the ease of maintenance of the unit should be an important factor in your buying decision. If you don’t plan on using your nebuliser regularly, then cleaning it may not be a big deal. However, if you intend to use your nebuliser on a daily basis, make sure you get a unit that is easy to take apart, clean, and put together again.
After using the machine for some time, you may need to replace the nebuliser’s mask, drug chamber, air-line or filter, hence the importance to check if the device you intend to buy has a supply of spare parts. Also, ask the vendor about guarantees and repairs.