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What A Nebulizer Does And The Types You Can Buy

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If you've been diagnosed with COPD, you may need to take breathing treatments at home to help ease your shortness of breath and keep you out of the emergency room. Your doctor can prescribe medication and a nebulizer so you'll have everything you need to take your medication on time and manage your condition. Here is some information about nebulizers and the types you can buy.

The Purpose Of A Nebulizer

A nebulizer is a small machine that turns liquid medication into an aerosol. If you took breathing treatments in the hospital or doctor's office, the tubing may have been connected to an oxygen or air meter in the wall to create a mist for you to breathe. A nebulizer does the same thing except it is powered by electricity or batteries rather than compressed air, so you can take your breathing treatments anywhere. You may also be given a prescription for inhalers, but nebulizers are different. Inhalers are small canisters of medication that you take a few puffs on during the day. While the medication may be similar in an inhaler and nebulizer, the delivery system is different.

Nebulizer treatments last for several minutes so there is greater dispersion and absorption of the medication. The medication is diluted so the treatment can last longer and penetrate deeply into your lungs. To take a nebulizer treatment, you'll also need a mouthpiece, nebulizer cup, and tubing. You'll need to keep your equipment clean and sanitary to avoid getting an infection from dirty supplies.

The Types Of Nebulizers

You may want two nebulizers so you can use your equipment anywhere, even during a power failure. A desktop nebulizer has a powerful motor that is powered by electricity. This is ideal for beside use where the machine is left plugged in and ready to use throughout the day. It's also nice to have a portable nebulizer that runs on batteries. One of these can be used as a backup in case the power goes out. Plus, you can carry it with you so you never have to miss a treatment which delays your medication. Portable units are small enough to carry in your pocket so you can take one to a ballgame or to a friend's house. You can even buy one that works with different electrical outlets so you can use it when traveling overseas.

Nebulizers are considered durable medical equipment, so your insurance may pay for part of the cost. However, the machines are not too costly, so it could be worth paying out of pocket for multiple machines if you want them just to have the convenience of having a nebulizer with you at all times so you never have to miss your medication.