5 Tips For Patients Who Have Just Been Prescribed A Nebulizer
If you suffer from asthma or allergies and your regular inhaler is no longer giving you enough relief, your doctor may have prescribed a nebulizer for you to use. This machine allows you to slowly inhale medications over a period of a few minutes, leading to clearer airways and a marked reduction of symptoms. While many patients end up loving their nebulizers and the relief that they offer, it can take some time to get used to using this medical device. Here are five tips to make things easier on you as a new nebulizer user.
Do something relaxing while you nebulize.
To ensure the nebulizer treatment is as effective as possible, you need to sit back and relax, inhaling the medication deeply into your lungs. If you are anxious and counting the seconds until your treatment is over, the treatment won't be effective. So, set a timer to indicate when the treatment is finished, and then sit back and do something you enjoy as you inhale. This can be any activity that takes your mind off of the treatment, such as playing a game on your phone, reading a good book, or even watching a television show.
Have your doctor assemble it for you.
Nebulizers can be pretty tough to assemble properly if you have never done so before! If your machine is not put together properly, you may not end up inhaling as much of the medication as you need to. So, ask your doctor to assemble the nebulizer for you once in their office. Once you see it assembled, you'll have an easier time putting it all together yourself. Snap a few photos of the machine all put together so you can reference them the next time you put your nebulizer together. Don't forget to refer to the owner's manual for help, too.
Wash your hands.
Remember, you are inhaling anything that is vaporized on the nebuilizer. If there are bacteria or viral particles on your hands and you introduce them to the nebulizer mask, you may end up inhaling them -- which will increase your risk of a respiratory infection. Always wash your hands thoroughly, using soap and water, before assembling and using your nebuilizer. To make sure you are washing your hands for long enough, hum the Happy Birthday song to yourself twice as you scrub.
Measure your medication.
It's tempting to just squeeze the liquid medication in until it looks like you've squeezed enough. However, medication amounts can be very precise, and if you use too little or not enough, your nebulizer treatment may do more harm than good. Always measure the medication very carefully, and then add it to the nebulizer compartment. Do not turn the machine on until the medication is fully in place. As you use the machine, always hold it in an upright position as this will allow the machine to properly vaporize the medication and deliver a steady supply of it to your respiratory tract.
Clean the machine properly.
Read your nebulizer instruction manual to learn how, exactly, it needs to be cleaned. Most machines need to be cleaned every other use, though yours could be different. Boiling is usually the recommended cleaning method. You disassemble the machine, put the parts in boiling water, and let them boil for 10 minutes before removing them. If you do not feel safe working with boiling water, your doctor may be able to recommend a special, disinfecting cleaner you can use instead. But do not use a cleaner that is not made specifically for use on a nebulizer -- it may damage certain components.
For more information on using your nebulizer, talk to a professional at companies like B and B Medical Technologies.