Nebulizers are electronic drug delivery devices used to administer the medication into the lungs. It converts the liquid medicament into mist so that it can be inhaled through nose. Asthma patients with respiratory disorders use this device.
There are two types of nebulizers, mechanical and electrical.
Mechanical nebulizers uses oxygen or compressed air to convert liquid medicament into mist form to inhale into the lungs. These are used to improve the breathing by the administration of medicament like bronchodilators and mucolytics. Mechanical nebulizers are of two types, soft mist inhaler and human powered nebulizers.
- Soft mist inhaler: Soft mist inhaler is a hand driven nebulizer. It does not use any battery or power to dispense medicament. It is used to deliver metered dose.
- Human powered nebulizers: Human powered nebulizers does not require any electricity and are cheap. In this power is generated by pedaling which makes the air to flow through piston. One end of the piston is connected to the flow regulator. This regulates the delivery of medicament to lungs. These are used to administer medicament to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lower respiratory tract infections.
Electrical nebulizers uses electricity or battery powered devices that converts the liquid medicament into mist so that it can deliver into the lungs. Electrical nebulizers are of three types, vibrating mesh nebulizers, jet nebulizers and ultrasonic wave nebulizers.
- Vibrating mesh nebulizers: Vibrating mesh nebulizer is battery operated that is used to deliver medicament to the asthma or respiratory tract disease patients. It is a portable device and consist of a metallic mesh alloy at the top of the container. The battery creates vibrations and thereby the liquid medicament converts into mist while passing through the mesh. Unlike some nebulizers, it does not produce heat. It can deliver 95% of the dose.
- Jet nebulizers: These are also called as automisers. In this, mouth face mask is placed on the mouth and medicament is placed in it. Then it is connected to the compressor. Compressor uses oxygen or compressed air which converts the liquid medicament into mist so that it can be inhaled through nose or mouth. These are less expensive. These are used for patients who are suffering with asthma or respiratory infections.
- Ultrasonic wave nebulizers: Ultrasonic wave nebulizers use ultrasonic waves which produces vibrations. These vibrations makes the liquid to convert into mist. This mist is inhaled directly into the lungs. It does not produce any noise.