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Chronic lung and respiratory conditions are very common and affect almost a third of Australians. While various tools are used to treat associated symptoms, a nebuliser machine is a popular option for both adults and infants alike.
In this blog, you can expect to learn everything you need to know about the nebuliser machine, the varying types and their critical uses. Read on to find out more.
What Is a Nebuliser Machine?
For those who suffer from long or short-term lung conditions, a nebuliser machine is essential for your medical kit. They’re designed to help you breathe in liquid medication by turning it into a fine mist, delivered through a mask or mouthpiece.
Nebuliser machines are made up of four essential components:
- Nebuliser chamber – a small plastic container
- Nebuliser machine – an air compressor
- Air tubing – length varies between nebulisers
- Mask or mouthpiece – designed for easy for inhalation
What Does a Nebuliser Machine Do?
The function of a nebuliser machine is simple. Its central purpose is to make breathing in liquid medication easy and effective for both adults and children.
Dating back to the early 1900s, the device works by forcing air through any liquid placed in the chamber delivered by the compressor. As a result of this force, the medication turns into a fine mist that travels through the connecting tube. It is then breathed in through the mouthpiece or facemask attached to the other end.
How Do You Use a Nebuliser?
Whether you opt for a jet nebuliser, mesh nebuliser or another variety, the process of using the device is straightforward.
Setting Up Your Nebuliser Machine
- Wash your hands thoroughly using soap and warm water.
- Connect the tubing or hose to the air compressor (for more specific guidance, please see your device’s instruction manual).
- Fill the medicine chamber with your prescription medication. You can avoid any spillages by closing the chamber tightly and holding the mouthpiece vertically.
- Attach the tubing and mouthpiece to the nebuliser chamber.
Using the Nebuliser Machine
- Place the mouthpiece in your mouth or fit the facemask, depending on the type of nebuliser machine you are using.
- If using a mouthpiece, keep your lips firmly around the device so that every particle of medicine can pass through to your lungs.
- Breathe as usual until all of the medicine is used up. This usually takes around 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the situation. If necessary, using a nose clip can prevent you from breathing out of your nose during this process.
- Once all of the medicine is used up, turn off the machine.
- In warm water, wash the medicine chamber and mouthpiece and air dry until your next use.
How Does a Nebuliser Machine Work?
Nebuliser machines work based on an incredibly simple yet effective functional process. The
nebuliser’s compression component forces air through a liquid which results in the
production of a fine mist. This mist is then transmitted to the patient via a facemask or
mouthpiece. Nebulisers were originally created to help people breathe in medication more
easily and to target lung conditions directly, rather than relying on bloodstream absorption.
They remain a popular medical tool for millions suffering from chronic or temporary lung
What Does a Nebuliser Treat?
Since nebuliser machines are a versatile way of delivering virtually any inhaled medication, they can be used to treat a wide variety of lung conditions.
This includes, but is not limited to:
- Cystic fibrosis
- Pulmonary fibrosis
Is a Nebuliser Better Than an Inhaler?
While health communities and professionals often debate this topic, the general consensus is that both nebulisers and inhalers are equally effective. There are certain advantages and disadvantages to using either device, so it’s crucial to decide on the right option for your specific condition.
Nebulisers are often a better choice for small children, primarily because inhalers leave greater room for error when not used effectively. Plenty of people prefer inhalers because they can be accessed quickly and easily, which isn’t the case for nebulisers unless you opt for a portable version.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Nebuliser?
As demonstrated by their enduring popularity, nebuliser machines have a whole host of benefits to offer those who choose to use them.
Ease Of Use
Thanks to their ability to turn liquid medication into a fine, breathable mist, nebulisers are incredibly easy to use. The machine is made up of very few components which allow for simple assembly and instant use. Nebulisers are particularly useful for small children with lung conditions who cannot grasp the process of breathing through an inhaler.
When it comes to providing respiratory relief in an emergency situation, nebulisers are usually the best option. They’re a hands-free solution to administering liquid medication, delivered through a facemask or mouthpiece over a short period of time.
While some nebulisers are only suitable for home use because they require a power source, there are some portable options which can make respiratory relief on-the-go a possibility. A mesh nebuliser for example can be purchased in a handheld, battery-powered format, available for use whenever you need it.
Effective Medication Delivery
Another benefit of using a nebuliser machine is its ability to deliver medication effectively. Unlike systemic medicine that pass through the gastrointestinal system before reaching the bloodstream, nebulisers target the respiratory system directly. This means users can achieve relief much faster and enjoy a higher quality of life.
What Are the Side Effects of Using a Nebuliser?
Like most medical devices or medications, nebulisers can cause some mild side effects.
- Sneezing or a blocked nose
- Coughing after use
- Mild wheezing
- Racing heartbeat
- Shaking muscles
If you’re worried about how particular side effects or medication will effect you specifically, it’s always a good idea to discuss your nebuliser use with a doctor or healthcare professional.
Who Needs a Nebuliser?
Nebulisers are not an essential piece of medical equipment, but they can make taking liquid respiritory medication easier and more effortless than through other methods. Anyone who is prescribed inhaled medicine can use a nebuliser and they are most commonly used by infants and small children.
Different Types of Nebulisers
Jet nebulisers are a popular option for at-home use, primarily because they are much larger than portable versions and require a power source to function. By forcing compressed gas through liquid medication, they create a fine mist which can be breathed in by the user. With more power available, jet nebulisers can deliver a larger residual volume of medication.
Ultrasonic nebulisers also produce an aerosol which can be breathed directly into the lungs, but it is created in a slightly different way. Instead of compressed gas, this device generates high-frequency ultrasonic waves from electrical energy. These waves are transmitted to the surface of the solution to create the aerosol.
Mesh nebulisers are the most modern innovation in nebuliser technology. They’re often portable and use a mesh cap with tiny holes to dispense a fine mist for comfortable inhalation. This mist is produced by vibration technology for effective and consistent aerosol production.
A nebuliser diffuser is quite different from the previous nebuliser machines listed. Unlike the formerly mentioned devices, a diffuser delivers aromatherapy by turning water infused with essential oils into a fine mist. The machine can disperse oils around the home with fragrances understood to induce calm or other holistic benefits.
How Do you Choose a Nebuliser?
Choosing the right nebuliser for you completely depends on your lifestyle and the intensity of your medical needs. If you adminster medication on a regular basis at home or in large quantities, a high-powered, sturdy option would be the best choice for you. Alternatively, if you only require medicine on a need-basis or find yourself out of the house more often, a portable nebuliser would work better for you.
If you’re still unsure of what model would work best for you, don’t be afraid to ask a trusted healthcare professional for their expert opinion.
What Does Nebuliser Maintenance Involve?
Maintaining your nebuliser machine is incredibly important, but how often or what you need to do completely depends on the option you’ve selected. Once you’ve purchased a nebuliser, read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to establish:
- How often you will need to replace any disposable components (e.g Medication cup, mouthpiece, face mask or tubing)
- How to change any filters in the compressor and how often they need to be replaced
- How often you will need to deep clean the mesh nebuliser
- Where and how easily it is to find replacement parts
On the whole, nebuliser machines are very simple to use and require very little maintenance. As long as you clean your device thoroughly after each use and store it appropriately, it’s likely to remain in great condition.
How Much Does a Nebuliser Machine Cost?
If you’re thinking about purchasing a nebuliser machine for yourself or a loved one, you’re probably wondering how much it’s going to cost. Unfortunately there is no simple answer to this question because the list of varieties and quality options is extensive.
For a wide range of nebuliser options at affordable prices, explore our shop today.
What are we doing about lung and respiratory conditions, Department of Health Australian Government,https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/chronic-conditions/what-were-doing-about-chronic-conditions/what-were-doing-about-lung-and-respiratory-conditions
Getting emergency treatment through a nebuliser, Ashtma Lung UK ORG, https://www.asthma.org.uk/advice/nhs-care/emergency-asthma-care/nebulisers/