Choosing the right nebulizer becomes easy once you understand the working of a nebulizer and also as to what is a nebulizer and what are its functions.
A nebulizer is a medical electronic instrument which helps people inhale liquid form medication to reach to the lungs directly. Now a patient who is unable to breathe due to asthma or other lung ailments is given medication through nebulizer to help them recover from the symptoms. There are several inhalers in the market and nebulizer is another type or an alternative form of a metered dose inhaler or MDI.
In cases where an inhaler is not effective for a patient, nebulizer is used to curb the symptoms of the persisting ailment and give immediate relief from them. Nebulizer converts the medicated liquid ampoule into a mist which can be easily inhaled by the patient. Nowadays, one can easily purchase and use a nebulizer at the convenience of their homes under guided supervision by an adult (especially in case the patient is a child).
There is a huge market for different types of nebulizers and each of them have some unique features although they all function in a similar way. Here are the two basic types of nebulizers available in the market:
Stationery Nebulizers – these are the nebulizers that are sturdy, rest on top of the table and they can provide durability as most of them come with a longer warranty period. They are cheaper than the mobile nebulizers and serve as a good aid for usage for children or elderly patients. Stationery nebulizers are mostly for indoor use only and are seldom used outdoors.
Mobile Nebulizers – these nebulizers provide most mobility as they can be hand held and carried with the patient wherever they go. They have alternative power sources like batteries or auto adapters which enable them with usage at areas where there is no or limited access to AC power. Since they are mobile in nature, these nebulizers are lighter than the stationery ones and also smaller in size.
Ultrasonic Nebulizers – Ultrasonic nebulizers deliver the medicine through high frequency vibrations in order to change the liquid medication into a mist to inhale and feel relaxed.
The fine mist is inhaled through an attached mask or the mouthpiece as the ultrasonic nebulizers doesn’t condense air, they function quietly and are small in size to fit into any container to begin the function. Being portable, compact and battery operated, they work fast when compared to other nebulizers and utilize the ultrasonic waves to aerosolize the liquid medication.
Jet Nebulizers – A jet nebulizer is a machine which changes the prescribed liquid medicine into a fine mist to let the child or the patient breathes in through the mouthpiece or the face mask. It delivers the medicine directly to the inhaler’s lungs, making it easy to use.
These are less expensive and are usually in the form of a plastic cup which holds the medication and allows the air pass through the tube with the help of the compressor. Basically, jet nebulizers require electricity, frequently to function which is not advised safe to carry or depend on during travel. It produces loud sound and offers a range of particle sizes to change a liquid into a mist.
Mesh Nebulizers – A Mesh Nebulizer is considered as the fastest working device and is more expensive when compared to the other nebulizers. It operates on a battery power supply and is quiet, efficient and well suits to the aerosolize solutions. It generates the mono-disperse aerosol particles of 4.5 to 5µm. It utilizes a vibrating membrane to generate the aerosol mist from the medication.
Available in a compact and portable body, it is perfect to carry while travelling and use in case of need. Besides this, Mesh nebulizer requires proper care, careful handling and intense cleaning as the membrane is more prone to get blocked and requires replacement many times in a year for proper function of inhalation process.
Making the right choice is important
Now that we know what the nebulizer is and what are the basic types of nebulizers, we can understand whether or not we need one at home. Nebulizers are recommended for use where the patient is either a child or infant or an elderly person who has less mobility. There are colorful options available for kids when you go to purchase a nebulizer in the market so you can choose accordingly.
Also, if the patient is constantly on the go, they would want to buy a mobile nebulizer and also the necessary accessories like power supplies to carry with them. Therefore it is required to know the patient’s need, occupation, age as well as their level of mobility other than just their requirement to opt for a suitable nebulizer.
A nebulizer should be cleaned properly as it is a medication instrument used by patients. The cleaning of the mask or the inhaling orifice of the device must be spic and span. Clean it regularly before and immediately after use for best results.