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What is a Nebulizer?

By: Home Care Pharmacy |

Nebulizer - Simi Valley PharmacyMany people purchasing a nebulizer in Simi Valley for the first time have some misconceptions about the devices, as well as questions about how they work. Nebulizers are different from inhalers, although both are designed to deliver fast-acting medication or long-term controller medication to the lungs.

Nebulizers are devices that produce a fine spray of liquid that can be inhaled. These devices are often preferred by doctors and parents to alternatives as they make it easy to administer medication to treat asthma, cystic fibrosis, and respiratory illness.

Types of Nebulizers

There are currently three different technologies used in nebulizers: ultrasonic, jet, and vibrating mesh.

Jet nebulizers, sometimes called small-volume nebulizers (SVNs) are the oldest and most common type of nebulizer. There are three sub-types of jet nebulizers: pneumatic, valve, and breath-actuated. The standard pneumatic nebulizer uses a pressurized stream of gas to pull fluid from the reservoir and turn it into small particles. A vented nebulizer delivers a richer mix of the aerosol, and it has an expiratory valve in the mouthpiece. This means that you continue collecting more aerosol in the device when you exhale. The breath-actuated nebulizer is newer technology that is only approved for use with certain nebulizer medications.

Ultrasonic nebulizers deliver medication more efficiently than most types of jet nebulizers. This type of device creates aerosol with sound waves that are generated by a vibrating piece of crystal. While no compressor is necessary with this style, it only works with certain medications.

The newest type of nebulizer technology is vibrating mesh. This technology is by far the most efficient as it reduces wasted medication by vibrating mesh with several apertures, turning almost all of the drug into an aerosol.

While patients may have a choice in the type of nebulizer they use or get for their child, the medication prescribed often influences the type of nebulizer that must be used. Some drugs require a specific type of technology, especially with new and costly medication, in which case it’s important to use a “smart” nebulizer to reduce waste.

Visit our store or give us a call for additional details on nebulizers.

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