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Everything You Need to Know About an Asthma Nebulizer

Marc Kaplan


Chances are, with over 25 million people in the U.S., including 7 million children, you know someone who suffers from this condition.

Although there is no cure for the disease, much is known about how to treat and manage it. The best approach is to be proactive about finding the most effective strategies to care for yourself or your loved ones.

What Happens During an Asthma Attack

Air moves into and out of your lungs through airways or bronchial tubes. If those airways become inflamed, such as in a reaction to allergens, the air passages become inflamed and constrict. This narrowing of the tubes makes it harder to breathe.

Inflammation of the airways is caused by allergens, or in response to stress, illness or exercise. Symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, and wheezing. Sometimes symptoms can be mild, but severe attacks can require emergency care, and can even be fatal.

Because asthma can be so serious, it is important to be well-informed about your treatment options.

What Is an Asthma Nebulizer

A nebulizer is a medical device that takes medicine in liquid form and changes it into a mist so that it is quickly and easily inhaled into the airways and lungs. The mist is delivered through a face mask or mouthpiece.

They are very effective for administering asthma medication because they deliver the drug directly into the airways. It only takes about five minutes to feel the benefits of the medication when taken with a nebulizer. This works much better than pills, which can take as long as 30 minutes to take effect.

The most common medicine administered for asthma attacks is albuterol. This drug relaxes the muscles in the airways and makes it easier to breathe.

The other method for delivering asthma medication is an inhaler. This is a small, handheld device that contains medication in a pressurized canister. You insert the mouthpiece into your mouth and breathe in deeply while pushing the release mechanism.

Most people use both an inhaler and nebulizer for their asthma medication, depending on the situation.

How to Use an Asthma Nebulizer

Asthma nebulizers are easy and straightforward to use. Here is a simple step-by-step guide for how to use a nebulizer:

  1. Always wash your hands before use
  2. Plug in the compressor
  3. Connect one end of the tubing to the compressor
  4. Connect the other end of the tubing into the bottom of the medicine cup
  5. Fill the medicine cup with the prescribed medicine. Always close the lid tightly and keep the cup upright to avoid spills
  6. Attach either a mouthpiece or mask to the medicine cup
  7. When you are ready, turn on the power switch to the compressor
  8. If you are using a mouthpiece, place it in your mouth and firmly close your lips around it. Breath through your mouth with slow, deep breaths.
  9. If you are using a mask, place the mask over your nose and mouth and breath.
  10. Sit up straight for the best delivery of medicine into the airways.
  11. Continue breathing until all the medicine is used. If droplets collect on the sides of the cup, you can tap or shake the droplets so all the medication is delivered.
  12. You will hear a sputtering sound when the medication is about to run out. Treatments usually take between 8 and 15 minutes.
  13. Turn off the machine when finished.
  14. Dismantle the equipment and wash and dry the medicine cup and mouthpiece or mask after every use.

Why You Should Use a Nebulizer

Anyone can benefit from using an asthma nebulizer, but they are especially useful for delivering medication to infants and small children, or anyone who is unable to breathe deeply enough for an inhaler. There are even masks designed especially for children that come in fun shapes, such as an elephant, dog, or even a fish.

There are a number of benefits to using an asthma nebulizer.

They can be used by small children and infants - In order to properly receive asthma medication with an inhaler, it is best if you can breathe in deeply along with the delivery of the medicine. For infants and very small children, this makes inhalers very difficult, if not impossible, to use.

Easy to use - No special instructions are needed with a nebulizer. A mask can simply be placed over the nose and mouth, and the medicine can be delivered with normal breathing.

Easy to inhale even when breathing is compromised - For someone who is very ill or compromised, a nebulizer makes it possible to deliver medicine to their airways.

The same machine can be used for different medications - Because you add medication to the nebulizer, only one machine is needed.

Different Types of Nebulizers

There are generally two types of nebulizers available. Most work by using an air compressor. Another type is an ultrasonic nebulizer which uses sound vibrations to convert the liquid medicine into a mist.

Home (or tabletop) nebulizers usually work with a compressor. They must be plugged into a power source. The compressed air is what converts the liquid medication into a fine mist. These models are usually the least expensive kind of asthma nebulizer.

There are also portable nebulizers which can be easily carried in a purse, briefcase, or backpack. They can be quite small, sometimes just a little bigger than a deck of cards. There are models that run on batteries or can be plugged into a car's electrical source.

An ultrasonic nebulizer is a small, portable device that uses high-frequency vibrations to convert the liquid medication into a mist. Because no compressor is needed, ultrasonic nebulizers are very quiet. Most can run on batteries.

Ultrasonic nebulizers can deliver medication faster than other types of devices. Because of their benefits, they tend to be more expensive than compressor models.

Where to Find Asthma Nebulizers and Supplies

Because of the specialized knowledge often needed when exploring the purchase of medical supplies, it is a good idea to check with companies who specialize in the business.

SaveRite Medical has an extensive inventory of asthma nebulizers and equipment. We offer competitive pricing and fast delivery. Contact us with any questions and to browse our product selection.

On to you

What questions do you have? Let us know in the comments below and we'll be happy to help!

-Marc Kaplan

CEO, Save Rite Medical

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Created with a vision of helping customers in anyway possible, Save Rite Medical CEO, Marc Kaplan, created the company and has grown it to become the leading internet provider of medical supplies. Through valuable products to educational information, Save Rite Medical is your number 1 resource for medical supplies.

 



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