When buying any medical equipment, you need to be careful to choose the one which is right for you. This goes for nebulizers too. There are many types of nebulizers available in the market. But you should buy the one that is more suitable for your needs. For that, you need to understand how the nebulizers work and the qualities of different nebulizer systems.
What is a nebulizer:
A nebulizer is a machine that turns certain liquid medicines into a mist that can then be inhaled directly into a patient’s lungs. The purpose of a nebulizer is a lot like that of an asthma inhaler. Sometimes, it is also used as an alternative to a Metered Dose Inhaler (MDI). If patients don’t use the inhalers effectively, they would not get sufficient quantities of the prescribed respiratory medication. As per an estimate, 50% of patients who use an inhaler fail to inhale the intended amount of medicine. This failure to use the inhalers efficiently is more common among children. In such cases, the doctor may recommend using a nebulizer system.
However, to get the maximum benefit from the nebulizer, you should choose the system that is suitable for you. Given below are some basic points that can help choose the right nebulizer for you or your loved one.
Types of Nebulizer Systems
Tabletop Nebulizer Systems:
These nebulizers need to be placed on a sturdy and level surface. This means that they are not portable and cannot be used outdoors. These nebulizer systems are usually less expensive than handheld nebulizer systems. These are more suitable for infants and small children.
Handheld Nebulizer Systems:
These are smaller and lighter nebulizers compared to the Tabletop Nebulizer Systems. They are hand-held systems so allow more mobility during use. Portable nebulizers with battery backup can be used outdoors and while on travel.
The tabletop and handheld nebulizers can have different systems. These are:
Piston-Pump Compressor (Also Called Jet or Aerosol Nebulizers):
This system pushes air from a piston-powered compressor through the liquid medication. This converts the medicine into the breathable mist. These systems are a little noisy but as effective as the ultrasonic nebulizers. They are also cheaper.
These systems use high-frequency sound vibrations to covert the medication into a mist. They create less sound and deliver medicine faster than jet nebulizers. This nebulizer system is often more recommended for the treatment of patients with cystic fibrosis.
What to consider before choosing the right nebulizer:
- If you want to buy the nebulizer for your child, choose a kid-friendly nebulizer. These have colorful designs.
- If you are buying the nebulizer for an infant, you will also need an infant inhalation mask and other necessary accessories.
- Consider where you’d use the nebulizer. If you are buying it for use at home, the tabletop nebulizer can be suitable. But if you are a frequent traveler, you need a portable nebulizer with good battery backup.
- When buying accessories for your nebulizer systems, be sure to check the compatibility. Not all accessories will fit all nebulizers.
- Nebulizer systems require regular cleaning and maintenance. Find out about the recommended period of use for accessories like mouthpieces, nebulizer cups, tubing, or compressor air filters. Replace the accessory with a new one once it has passed its recommended period of use.
- Clean and sterilize the equipment regularly. And store your nebulizer system in a safe, clean, and dry place.
If you want to buy a nebulizer system, then do some research and understand the uses and limitations of various types of nebulizers and their accessories. Understand how to use, clean, and store it properly to get the best benefit out of your nebulizer.