Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with asthma? Are you new to using mesh nebulizers and don’t know where to start? We have everything you need to know about portable mesh nebulizers and asthma.
The nebulizer was first invented in 1858. It was invented by Sales-Girons in France. The device Sales-Girons made atomized medication into liquid form. It worked by pushing a pump, which would push the medication through the atomizer, and the person would breathe the medication through their mouth.
The spray inhaler was invented in 1864 by Dr. Siegel in Germany. The spray inhaler he invented using boiling water forced steam across a medication chamber to draw out the medication. The patient would then breathe out the steamed medication.
What is a Portable Nebulizer?
Today, nebulizers have made big strides when it comes to being portable, delivering medication, and effective management of asthma. A portable nebulizer takes medications like albuterol and transforms it into a mist that you breathe in. Albuterol is a fast-acting medication that opens up the lungs so people with asthma can breathe better.
Albuterol isn’t the only medication used in a portable mesh nebulizer. They also work with antibiotics to treat infections and steroids to reduce inflammation.
The Basics of How Mesh Nebulizers Work
There are three types of nebulizers:
- Vibrating mesh nebulizer
- Compressor nebulizer
- Ultrasonic nebulizer
Ultrasonic and vibrating nebulizers use sound waves to make the medication into an aerosol. Compressor nebulizers use compressed air to turn the medication into an aerosol. However, all types are breathed through a mask and/or mouthpiece.
How to Use It
The biggest benefit of using a portable mesh nebulizer is that it is easy to use. Mesh nebulizers allow you to breathe normally while the medication is turned into an aerosol. This is different from compressor nebulizers, which make you breathe in deep, hold your breath, and exhale slowly. By holding your breath, it gives the medication time to work in your lungs. However, you don’t need to do this with an aerosol as you can breathe normally, which is much more comfortable.
How do You Know if You Need a Nebulizer?
If you have coughing spasms, wheezing, or trouble breathing, talk to your doctor about using a nebulizer. If you are already diagnosed with asthma and don’t currently have a rescue inhaler, it is even more important to talk to your doctor. You want your asthma under control so you can function and live a normal life.
You should not have to suffer from wheezing or trouble breathing on a regular basis. If your symptoms are interfering with your life, talk to your doctor. Furthermore, make a journal of your symptoms and bring it to your appointment. This will give your doctor a good overview of your symptoms so they can make a better decision when it comes to choosing the right nebulizer and medication for your needs.
Your doctor needs to diagnose you with asthma, it cannot be self-diagnosed. To be diagnosed with asthma, you need a history of respiratory symptoms consistent with asthma and “variable expiratory airflow obstruction.”
The history of respiratory symptoms include:
- Nighttime Cough
- Coughing Spasms
- Chest Tightness
The “variable expiratory airflow obstruction” shows inflammation and narrowing of your airways that could impair your ability to breathe out. Doctors measure this using a spirometer. Most likely, you will need to go to an asthma specialist for this test. You breathe into the spirometer and it measures your exhalation speed and total lung capacity. Depending on the outcome, you may be diagnosed with asthma.
The doctor may continue the test and give you a bronchodilator (such as albuterol) to see if it improves your symptoms while using the spirometer.
After the Diagnosis
Once you get an asthma diagnosis, it is important to develop an asthma action plan with your doctor. The plan will describe what medications you are on and when to take. It also details when you need to seek care for an asthma emergency. Having this plan with your doctor will give you peace of mind and give you more control over your symptoms. The following are different parts of your asthma action plan to go over with your doctor.
Identify your asthma triggers. Your triggers may change every year, so keep an eye on them. Common triggers include dust, pet danger, infections, exercise, and perfume.
If you have chronic asthma your airways are probably inflamed. When your airways are exposed to a trigger they narrow and it is hard to breathe. Take your medications regularly, as prescribed by your doctor, to try and lessen the chance of flare-ups.
Occasional asthma attacks may happen, even if you work on preventing flare-ups and identify your triggers. When flare-ups do happen, you should have the right medication to lessen the symptoms and help you breathe better. If you start wheezing or have trouble breathing, talk to your doctor about which medication you should take in case of an emergency.
All asthma action planes have three zones: green, yellow, and red. The green zone is where you want to breathe. Green means no wheezing, you can do normal activities, and sleep through the night without coughing.
The yellow zone is caution. If you are coughing, wheezing, or short of breath, you are in the yellow zone. Make sure you have your rescue medications nearby.
The red is dangerous. Call your doctor or head to the emergency room. If it is really bad, you need to call emergency services.
Portable mesh nebulizers help keep asthma under control and are carried anywhere. Talk to your doctor about what medication is right for you and develop an action plan in case your asthma flares up.