A nebulizer, an electric atomizer that dispenses medication as a fine spray, may work better than an inhaler, especially for kids or to treat severe bouts of asthma.
If you or someone you love has asthma, your doctor may suggest using a nebulizer as a way to deliver the medicine that helps control asthma symptoms. This optional asthma treatment contains the same medication as an inhaler but delivers it in a different way. Its users generally are too sick or too young to breathe in deeply and use an inhaler effectively.
Asthma Treatment: How a Nebulizer Works
A nebulizer is basically a small air-compressor that converts medication into an air mist that you can breathe in through a mouth piece or mask. You can either get a table-top nebulizer that plugs into an outlet, or a portable nebulizer that is easier to move around and can either plug in to an outlet or can run on batteries
Asthma Treatment: How to Use Your Nebulizer
Here are some suggestions for using a nebulizer for the first time. Check with your doctor for specific instructions and be sure to read all the accompanying package materials.
- Familiarize yourself with every part of your nebulizer before using it.
- Make sure you are sitting comfortably.
- Put the mask in place and breathe evenly, with occasional deep breaths, until the medicine has been fully vaporized out of the cup.
- If you are using a face mask, keep it over your nose and mouth. The NHLBI estimates that using a face mask cuts the amount of medication delivered in half.
- Expect the entire process to take up to 10 minutes.
- Clean the mouthpiece or face mask and the medicine cup after use. Failing to clean the nebulizer properly can lead to bacterial infections.
Asthma Treatment: Drawbacks to Nebulizers
The decision to use a nebulizer should be made by you and your doctor. Nebulizers can be more expensive than inhalers, depending on your health coverage, and since they require electricity, it makes them a poor choice if your home frequently experiences power outages.
And it is important to know that while the same amount of medication is ultimately delivered to you when you use a table-top or portable nebulizer, you will have a higher prescribed dose than what you get with an inhaler because more of the medication is deposited along the way, says Castriotta. In fact, you should never take more than the prescribed amount, whether you use an inhaler or nebulizer, he stresses. Getting a higher dose of medication means that you might be more at risk for a drug’s side effects (like the jitters, racing heartbeat or feelings of anxiety), which will vary depending on the medication used.
Despite the drawbacks, nebulizers can provide relief when inhalers fail to relieve your asthma symptoms. Consider asking your doctor whether your asthma will require treatment with a nebulizer in the foreseeable future. With asthma, it’s always good to be one step ahead.
Contact us at +1 713-669-0500 if you need to order a Nebulizer today.
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