Health & Fit: How to Use a Nebulizer Correctly—and Safely

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The post How to Use a Nebulizer Correctly — and Safely appeared first on The Healthy. A nebulizer is one of several ways to get respiratory medication into your airways. The machine works by vaporizing liquid medication into a steady stream of mist, which you then breathe into your lungs. Nebulizers aren't as convenient as inhalers (which you can tuck in your pocket), but they tend to be easier to use .

Hold the nebulizer in an upright position to prevent spilling and to ensure the medication is correctly distributed. Take normal regular breaths in through your mouth so that the medicine can go deep into your lungs. Continue until all of the medicine is gone from the cup. For more demonstration videos and information on cleaning and caring for your nebulizer , visit the American Lung Association's website at lung.org/ nebulizer . Learn how to properly use a nebulizer to take your COPD or asthma medication with the American Lung Association. The nebulizer educational videos are supported by Mylan Specialty

What does a nebulizer do?

A nebulizer is one of several ways to get respiratory medication into your airways. The machine works by vaporizing liquid medication into a steady stream of mist, which you then breathe into your lungs.

Nebulizers aren't as convenient as inhalers (which you can tuck in your pocket), but they tend to be easier to use. While medication delivered by inhalers sometimes miss their mark, nebulizers are more reliable.

"It's almost a guaranteed delivery," says Len Horovitz, MD, a pulmonary specialist with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

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What is a nebulizer used for?

Anyone with a chronic or acute respiratory condition can benefit from a nebulizer, says Dr. Horovitz.

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Check out how to use a nebulizer correctly through this complete guide. Also, look at some of the popular nebulizers available online for purchase. Before you begin using a nebulizer , your hands for no less than 20 seconds with soap under running water, and then rinse & dry them off with a paper towel. Step2: Now, open the top of the nebulizer cup and place the prescribed medication into it. Step 3: Generally respiratory medications for nebulizer treatment are available in pre-measured doses.

Learning how to use your nebulizer and clean it properly is important so that your medications are most effective. These videos offer a step-by-step guide to cleaning and using medications correctly . Safely Using Your Nebulizer at Home During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are common conditions that require nebulizers. Others are chronic bronchitis, emphysema, the flu, and other viruses, even Covid-19—any illnesses that impact the lungs.

"It's often used with albuterol or an inhaled corticosteroid to open up the lungs when people are having shortness of breath or wheezing," says Juanita Mora, MD, national volunteer medical spokesperson for the American Lung Association.

You can use it to deliver drugs that are given regularly or even to prevent symptoms for folks who have trouble using an inhaler.

"It's really nice. All the patient has to do is breathe it in," she adds.

Who are nebulizers for?

Theoretically, nebulizers are interchangeable with inhalers, meaning they deliver the same medication to the same place in people with respiratory conditions, says Dr. Horovitz.

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Care guide for How to Use A Nebulizer (Discharge Care). Includes: possible causes, signs and symptoms, standard treatment options and means of care and support. A nebulizer is a device that turns liquid medicine into a mist. As you breathe, the mist of medicine moves into your lungs. The medicine may be an antibiotic or other medicine for your lungs. The nebulizer is usually connected to a machine that pushes air through the nebulizer .

How to Assemble the Nebulizer and Air Compressor. Place the compressor where it can safely reach its power source and where you can reach the ON/OFF switch. Wash your hands prior to preparing each treatment. Use a clean nebulizer . Measure the correct dose of medication and other solutions Reattach the nebulizer pieces and tubing to the air compressor and turn on the compressor to dry the nebulizer quickly. Make sure the nebulizer is completely dry before storing the nebulizer . Care and Cleaning of Nebulizer Equipment Every Other Treatment Day. There are two ways to disinfect and

In reality, nebulizers may be best suited for people who have trouble using an inhaler.

"A study came out that said an inhaler works as well as a nebulizer, but sometimes when people are tired of coughing or don't have a good inspiratory capacity, a nebulizer is a better choice," says Dr. Mora.

People with muscular issues or other physical limitations may not be able to depress the inhaler enough to actually release medication. Coordination also plays a role, says Gary Stadtmauer, MD, an allergy and asthma specialist in New York City who is also affiliated with Mount Sinai Medical Center.

In both of those cases, a nebulizer is a more effective solution.

"Everyone breaths," he explains. "A parent could hold a nebulizer to a child's face. The same thing does for someone who's elderly."

(Here's when your  upper respiratory tract infection is a sign of pneumonia.)

Types of nebulizers

All nebulizers work the same basic way—by turning liquid medication into a mist that you can inhale.

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How . Details: The use of nebulizer and nebulization therapy is increasing fast, with an increase in the number of people suffering from respiratory issues. And for this reason, more and more people prefer buying nebulization machine for their home use so that they can easily make use … How to Use a Nebulizer Correctly — and Safely #elderly #.

Some machines use air compressors, which use airflow to convert the liquid medication into mist, while ultrasonic nebulizers use sound waves to create that transformation.

Nebulizers also come in portable and larger, less-portable models.

"The portable ones are nice because you can travel with them," says Dr. Mora. "The bigger ones are a bit more high grade and are usually used at home. They're more stationary but more potent."

There are even small nebulizers that can be powered by the cigarette lighter in your car, says Dr. Horovitz.

The equipment

Most nebulizers have the same basic components. The nebulizer is a small bowl that holds the medicine. There's also a compressor that breaks up the liquid into an aerosol, tubing, and a mouthpiece (or mask).

"They all work to provide the same sort of action," says Dr. Horovitz.

  How to Use a Nebulizer Correctly—and Safely © sdominick/Getty Images

How to use a nebulizer

Before turning on the machine, wash your hands to avoid getting any nasty elements into your lungs. You just want to inhale the medication and nothing else. And start with a clean nebulizer (more on this below).

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Place the right amount of medication into the nebulizer (we'll get to that soon) and make sure the lid is secure.

Connect the tube from the compressor to the nebulizer section, then attach the mouthpiece. Some folks, including children under the age of 6 will need to use a clear mask.

Close your lips around the mouthpiece and breathe normally until the medication is gone, about 10 to 15 minutes.

The nebulizer takes less effort than an inhaler. "There's no coordination needed to press and inhale like an inhaler," notes Dr. Horovitz. "Just sit with it in your mouth closed, and the medication will be delivered to you."

If you cough, stop the machine until your breathing stabilizes, then start again. You should also stop if the medication starts foaming or bubbling.

(Add these healthy lung foods to your diet to breathe better.)

The medications

The most common medications used in a nebulizer are albuterol and an inhaled corticosteroid like budesonide.

To be used in a nebulizer, medications must come in liquid form. Not all do.

"Anything that can't be aerosolized, we can't use," says Dr. Mora. "There are a lot of drugs that can't be aerosolized."

Typically, the medications are premixed, so it's simple to add them to the nebulizer, but medications aren't combined for a nebulizer.

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Caring for your nebulizer

Dr. Mora recommends rinsing out the tube from the compressor to the nebulizer after each use.

If you're using the machine for an infection like Covid-19 or the flu, "you want to make sure to completely change the tubing and masks," she says. Even better, don't reuse it.

If you're using the nebulizer daily for asthma exacerbations, COPD, or emphysema, rinse it with water after using it. Air dry it then store it where it won't collect dust.

Insurance matters

For the most part, nebulizers and the medications that go in them are covered by insurance, says Dr. Mora. That's as long as you have a prescription, not just for the medication but also for the machine, she says.

While you can buy the nebulizer machines over the counter at pharmacies or online, the medication is always prescription only.

Next, try these exercises to build stronger lungs.

The post How to Use a Nebulizer Correctly—and Safely appeared first on The Healthy.

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