Are you suffering from a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma or any kind of obstructive airway disease?
If so, then ditch the usual pocket inhaler and go for the Nebulizer.
What makes it more comfortable than the commonly used pocket inhaler is it allows the medicine to be easily delivered to your lungs without any kind of breathing discomforts
and can deliver both short-term as well as long-acting medications as prescribed by the doctor, effectively.
A nebulizer is a device that transforms medication into a liquid and facilitates its
inhalation as a mist through a facemask or a mouthpiece, in a way that will allow the medication dosage to lodge itself in the appropriate lung area. It is usually connected to a machine that pushes air through the nebulizer. This air is what helps convert the medication into a mist.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT NEBULIZERS?
Nebulizers are small which makes them easy to use, even when you’re travelling
However, there are certain things you must know and follow before you intend to use them.
For instance, First and foremost, you must wash your hands with clean soap and water. This will ensure that you’re handling a nebulizer and medication with clean
hands and facilitating its intake effectively. In addition, you will be keeping
your lungs free of germs.
Check what medication you are taking. Is it an authorized one as recommended by your doctor? If so, make sure that the nebulizer vial is not damaged or crushed; does not look discolored, and has not been exposed to extreme cold or hot temperatures.
Once you’re sure that all is all right, pour the medication into the nebulizer cup while refraining from overfilling the nebulizer cup as it may not aerosolize the medication at the appropriate particle size.
Put the mask
on or place the mouthpiece over your tongue. Then close your teeth and lips tightly around it, and later turn on the nebulizer machine. Breathe normally. If you start fidgeting or coughing then the nebulizer machine can go haywire; in such a situation you should turn off the machine until you are able to breathe freely. Once you’re sure of that, follow up with the rest of the breathing treatment until the nebulizer cup becomes empty.
Wash the nebulizer machine
after its usage is over. While doing so, follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully on how to keep the nebulizer cup, mouthpiece, and tubing clean. Else, whatever gets into the nebulizer cup from your hands like medication or house dust, will get inside your lungs. Later, rinse your mouth with saline or water while making sure to not swallow them, and also wash your face. After the cleaning process is over, ensure that the nebulizer machine gets dry. When it becomes dry, store the nebulizer machine
in a place that’s dust-free.
Make sure to
WHAT YOU MUST AVOID?
- Use a nebulizer with unit-dose vials for they are easy to use with tops that can be easily twisted, thereby making them pour easily; and a cup that will sit flat for easy pouring of medication.
- Use a quality face mask. Make sure to attach the facemask or mouthpiece to the medication cup. The mouth must be closed when using a mouthpiece and no space must be allowed.
- Nebulize in a well-ventilated room or on an open balcony. This will allow the aerosol to disperse and not settle around.
- Shut the room or balcony door properly. This will ensure that the aerosol or mist does not dissipate to other rooms around. Else your family members and guests risk getting exposed to it.
- Connect the nebulizer machine tube to the compressor and medication cup.
- Make sure to measure the right amount of drugs to be consumed. Only after that, transfer it to the nebulizer medication cup. Ensure that the entire volume is not less than 2 ml, and the dose per session is as per the prescribed information.
- Turn on the switch and then check to see if the nebulizer is missing or not.
- Avoid blowing or misting the medication in front of a child’s face. Else this will release the medication into the air and not the lungs as required.
- Stop the treatment if the medication bubbles or foams, else you risk the danger of consuming contaminated or defective medication, and also the whole equipment may get contaminated.
- Leave the room vacant with the door closed for 30 minutes after the nebulization session is over.
- Loosen the face mask. Many often make the mistake of loosening their face mask when using a nebulizer. This is harmful as the drug or saline solution will only disperse onto the face or into the air around them.
- Nebulize while you are sleeping. If you do so, it will have no effect; and will also make it hard for the drug to lodge where it needs to inside your body system if your mouth is closed and breathing has slowed down.
- Sterilize the ampoule with the assistance of ‘heat’, after the nebulization session. This is because nebulizers are made with plastic or polycarbonate materials which are ultra-sensitive to heat. For instance, immersing them in boiling water. This can damage them. Even if they look clean after that they would need to be replaced.
- Keep the nebulizer in a dirty condition. Always keep it clean and carefully after each usage session. Herein, just follow the instructions mentioned by the manufacturer in the rules booklet that comes with the nebulizer machine package. It generally says the nebulizer machine and accessories must be soaked in cold and clean water with disinfectant, if possible. This will prevent bacteria and viruses from infecting the nebulizer machine.
- Use an air-conditioner in the room when you are using the nebulizer machine.
- Share the nebulizer machine with anyone including your family members.
If you’re an asthma or a COD patient, consult your doctor on which type of
nebulizer would be suitable for your specific needs and can be used effectively.
This will help you not only get the best nebulizer for your money but will also help you to understand when and for what kind of situations must they be used; and how they can be used effectively.