Nebulizer Machine: Types, Usage, Maintenance Tips, And More

One of the most important health care products, the Nebulizer Machine, is mainly used for quicker and easier absorption of medications into the lungs. In this article, we are going to discuss the Nebulizer Machine, its usage, how it works, and some maintenance tips. If you are someone who wants to buy a nebulizer machine for a patient at home, then this article will help you a lot to keep the machine up to the mark. So, let us take a look at this article.

What is a Nebulizer Machine?

Nebulizer changes medication from a liquid to a mist so you can easily inhale it into your lungs. The machines come in home and portable models. The home nebulizers are larger and you must plug them into an electric outlet. Portable nebulizers run on batteries which you can plug into a car outlet as well. Typically, nebulizers come in both electric or battery-run versions and are also portable or meant to sit on a table and plug into a wall. A nebulizer machine is helpful for a variety of conditions, like –

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Asthma
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Bronchiectasis

Nebulizer Machines are a helpful way to deliver medications during palliative care and to very young children.

Types of Nebulizers –

There are three main types of nebulizers available which are mainly used in the healthcare industry. These are –

  • Jet nebulizers use compressed gas like air to make an aerosol out of medications.
  • Ultrasonic nebulizers are commonly used in hospitals and are typically not for personal use. It makes an aerosol via high-frequency vibrations.
  • Mesh nebulizers can help dispense medications very efficiently which use a mesh cap with tiny holes. These are newer and often more effective than jet nebulizers.

Usage –

A doctor will explain to you how often you need to use your nebulizers. They will also help you know some specific instructions for using the nebulizers in your treatment. You can use a nebulizer for around 10 to 15 minutes and all you need is to breathe normally. Here is how to use a nebulizer machine:

  • First make sure all your nebulizer pieces are clean
  • Pour the liquid medication into a medicine cup
  • Attach the plastic tubing to the liquid container and compressor
  • Attach the mouthpiece or mask
  • Turn on the nebulizers to make sure it's properly misting
  • Insert the mouthpiece in your mouth and put on the mask securely over your nose and mouth
  • Sniff from nebulizers slowly until all the medicine is gone

How do Nebulizers work?

A nebulizer machine helps to transfer liquid medication to the patient via pressurized air. While individuals with asthma specifically use both nebulizers and inhalers. A nebulizer may be easier to use when it comes to young children who may not know the proper way to use an inhaler. Although, when airways become narrow like during an asthma attack, an inhaler is most likely the best choice, as it can take some time to set up first.

Your doctors will suggest which medications you need to take via nebulizers based on your need or condition. You may receive premised containers of liquid that can be opened and placed in the machines or you may have to mix the solution before every use. There are certain medications like steroids that need to be administered via an inhaler.

Maintenance Tips –

Since you are going to breathe vapor from your nebulizer, it must be properly cleaned. If the machine is not cleaned properly, the bacteria and other germs could expand inside it, which could become harmful. Your doctor will give you proper instructions for cleaning and taking care of the machine. Usually, the nebulizers are cleaned in the following ways:

  • Your nebulizers should be cleaned using hot, soapy water after use.
  • You should disinfect it once a week.
  • It should be air-dried on a paper towel or clean cloth.

Since it is not possible to clean the inside of the tubing, it should be replaced regularly or timely. The healthcare professional should explain how often you need to change the tubing.

Cleaning daily –

  • Take off the mouthpiece and detach the medication container
  • Wash off all the parts with hot water and mild liquid dishwasher soap
  • Shake off the excess water
  • Let each piece air dry on a clean piece of paper towel or a dish towel

Disinfecting –

  • Take off the easy-to-detach parts like the mouthpiece and medication container
  • Soak in the solution provided by your doctor or one-part white vinegar and three parts hot water
  • Leave these parts to soak for 1 hour at least
  • Remove the parts and let the air dry

Tips to store –

  • Once the parts are properly cleaned and dried, store it in an airtight plastic container or bag
  • Keep it in a cool or dry area
  • Make sure to keep your nebulizers dust free

Conclusion –

If you have COPD or breathing problems, visit your doctor for the best treatment for you to help to manage the condition. There are many different types of nebulizers and inhalers available with pros and cons for each. Be it an inhaler or nebulizer, your doctor will suggest that you use it with the maximum effectiveness of your treatment.

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