Respiratory ailments such as asthma and COPD abound in a pollution-filled world. Symptoms of these afflictions can be controlled through the use of a daily regime of inhaled corticosteroids, or other drugs. Effectiveness of these drugs is directly dependent upon the full dose being taken. One of the best methods to ensure this is through the use of a well-fitting nebulizer masks which will allow passive breathing of the drug. Nebulizer masks are most often used for infants and the elderly who have difficulty using other treatment methods.
Physicians are might recommend an inhaler such as a metered dose inhaler (MDI) to administer inhaled asthma and other respiratory medications, but there are many cases in which the patient is unable to use an inhaler himself, rendering them ineffective. These patients will likely require a nebulizers to have the full dosage of medicine inhaled. These machines turn the the medication into a vapor which is breathed in through a nebulizer mask.
Some parents of very young asthma patients have tried to use what is called a "blow by" technique. This is when the parent directs the flow of the vapor from the nebulizer toward the child. Studies have shown that this method is ineffective. Most of the medicine evaporates into the air, rather than getting into the patient's young lungs. For parents of very young and infant children, a nebulizer mask is a necessity. The mask can be worn over the face while the child is sitting quietly upright. In order for the mask to be most effective, it should fit snuggly around the face of the patient. The parent could hold the nebulizer mask to the child's face, or an older child or adult could use a model with a strap. It is important that all of the vapor from the nebulizer is breathed in by the patient.
Following each use of a nebulizer mask, it should be rinsed out with warm water and allowed to air dry. At the end of every day, the mask and other parts of the unit should be washed in warm, soapy water. Two or three times weekly, the mask and all of the nebulizer parts should be disinfected either with a vinegar and water solution or a commercial nebulizer disinfectant.
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