How to Properly Use a Nebulizer | Respiratory Care Products
A nebulizer is a vital machine for millions of people around the globe. The device works by transforming liquid medication into a mist. When the machine is used, the mist is inhaled by the user. The medication used is usually an antibiotic or another lung medicine. When someone uses a nebulizer machine, the process is often called a nebulizer treatment or breathing treatment.
Who Needs a Nebulizer?
There are many reasons why you may need a nebulizer. Whether caused by a medical condition, injury, or illness, these machines give us medication when we need it most. In fact, a nebulizer breathing treatment can even save your life.
A nebulizer machine treats shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, and general swelling in your airway. These symptoms are sometimes caused by the following medical conditions:
- Lung infections, such as pneumonia
- Chronic respiratory diseases, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Severe allergic reactions
A nebulizer provides fast-acting medication that offers almost instant relief.
Using a Nebulizer
Although nebulizers provide essential medication when people need it most, these machines are only effective when used properly. Look at the following steps to learn how nebulizers should be used:
- Clean hands: It’s important to always wash your hands with soap and water before using the device.
- Get the machine ready: Set the nebulizer on a hard, flat surface and ensure the air filter is clean and free from damage. If dirty, wash under cold water and let dry. Then, plug in the device.
- Prepare the medicine: When using premixed medicine, simply open the package and place the medication inside the nebulizer container. If you need to mix medicines, use a dropper or syringe to add the correct amounts to the container.
- Combine saline: On some occasions, you may need to add saline to the container. Use only store-bought saline; never use a DIY solution!
- Attach container: Connect the container and nebulizer machine using the provided hose. You’ll then attach the mask or mouthpiece to the top of the container.
- Connect mouthpiece or mask: Attach the mouthpiece to your mouth with your lips around the device. If using a mask, place the mask over your face.
- Power on nebulizer machine: While the medication container is in an upright position, turn on the machine to start the process. Take deep breaths while breathing in and out slowly. Breathe deeply with your mouth until no mist remains. A typical nebulizer treatment session will last about 20 minutes. You may also notice a sputtering noise when the treatment is complete.
Nebulizer Maintenance Tips
It’s important to make sure nebulizers are always clean and working correctly. After each use, wash the container and mouthpiece with hot water and soap. Make sure they’re completely dry before storing.
After using the machine, you should also disinfect it every other day. You can do this by soaking all device parts, except the mask, in 1 part diluted white vinegar and 3 parts hot water. After soaking, rinse off and let dry.
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