If do you suffer from asthma, bronchitis or other problems related to difficulty in breathing? In that case, your doctor will first analyse your medical condition and health and then recommend a way to deliver medication. The device thus advised would mostly depend on the nature of illness and in most cases, either an inhaler or a nebulizer is recommended.
A nebuliser is a kind of device that offers the medication in the same way as metered-dose inhalers (MDIs) do. A nebulizer comes with benefits and this is the reason of its recent success in managing conditions like Asthma. In fact, the device is simple to use.
How they work?
Nebulizers are very important for those facing breathing difficulties or related problems. It is however important to understand how they work so that maximum benefits can be achieved.
Let’s look at how they work –
- They are designed to turn liquid medicine into a mist to help treat asthma or other breathing disorders
- The device comes with an air compressor, a small container (for liquid medicine) and a tube (for connecting the air compressor to the medicine container)
- There is a mask or mouthpiece to inhale the mist containing the medication that is created by passing the air and oxygen through the stored liquid medicine inhaled by the individual
- The dosage can be controlled through this process
However there are some key points to keep in mind as you consider a nebulizer.
Indication and Contraindication
According to Dr. Radhika Thappeta, Consultant – Internal Medicine, Columbia Asia Hospital, Whitefield, Bangalore, there are 2 key indicators why a patient should consider a nebulizer and they are
- During acute exacerbation of asthma or any obstructive lung disease for the ease of administration
- When patient is unable to do the breathing, coordination required for the inhaler usage, because of sickness/disability/extremes of age
A nebulizer should never be taken without a doctor’s advise or prescription.
This is a key area of concern as many in India tend to self medicate and this causes grave consequences in the management of the condition and sometimes putting the patient at risk.
Where can you get one?
You can find a nebulizer online as they are also easily available in the market. They are quite a common sight in hospitals and clinics for offering treatment to those facing breathing issues due to asthma or bronchitis. They are also considered superior to inhalers in more than one way and that’s why, they are generally preferred.
Key steps to follow while using the nebulizer
- Follow the instruction manual
- Follow the maintenance and cleaning instructions as per the manual
- Do not share the nebulizer mask/Tubing
- Stop if you develop any of the following symptoms, and consult the doctor immediately if the patient shows any of the following symptoms :
- Feeling shaky
- Heart racing
- Chest pain
- Uncontrollable coughing
Remember do consult your doctor before you consider this device, this is not meant to be used without a doctors’s prescription.
(This is a guest post by Irshad Alam, edited to add credible medical advice from Dr. Radhika Thappeta, Consultant – Internal Medicine, Columbia Asia Hospital, Whitefield, Bangalore)