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An inhaler is a medical device that enables the administration of medication directly into the respiratory tract. It is intended for inhalation therapy for children and adults. The inhaler can be used both in hospital and at home. There are several types of inhalers on the market. The most popular are: pressure and powder, included in the group of the so-called pocket inhalers, as well as pneumatic and ultrasonic inhalers, otherwise known as nebulizers. Let's find out more details about the inhaler then!

Inhaleris a device needed to perform an inhalation procedure (the so-called inhalation treatment) consisting in inhaling a solution of drugs or aerosols. The size of the drug molecule expressed in microns determines where they will reach and be absorbed during inhalation, that is:

  • over 8 µm in the upper respiratory tract (nose, throat),
  • 5 µm - 8 µm in the trachea in the upper respiratory tract,
  • 2 µm - 5 µm in bronchi and bronchioles,
  • 0.5 µm - 3 µm in the alveoli.

Administering medications, including some antibiotics, in the form of steam or aerosolfacilitates breathing and expectorationand has anti-inflammatory and bronchodilator effects.

So, the inhaler will help you recover from respiratory infections, colds, coughs and nasal congestion. Thisdevice will be useful for the whole family , especially in the period of increased infections and spring allergies. In order for the inhaler to be used by both children and adults, it is best to choose theinhaler with the ability to adjust the size of the particles produced . This is the optimal solution, allowing you to set the size of the molecules according to the type of disease and the place where the drug should be absorbed. A good inhaler with this feature will produce particlesminimum 1-5 μm (microns) . Thanks to it, the device has a more versatile use.

The inhaler iseasy to usebut a bit noisy at times. The device produces sounds thatmay reduce the comfort of theinhalation treatment, especially causing stress in young children. Experts recommend that when choosing a device, pay attention to the volume of the compressor - should be less than 60 dBA , which will positively affect your well-being during the treatment.

When to use the inhaler?

We mentioned earlier that the inhaler is a device worth having if you are struggling withchronic respiratory diseases . Experts recommend the inhaler for people who struggle with ailments such as:

  • asthma,
  • hay fever allergic,
  • cystic fibrosis,
  • recurrent sinusitis,
  • cold,
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD),
  • chronic rhinitis,
  • various types of inhalation allergies,
  • laryngitis,
  • pneumonia and bronchitis.

Experts also recommend the use of the inhalerfor preventive purposes , especially by people who work in difficult conditions.

What are the types of inhalers?

Treatment with inhalers is consideredsafe and comfortable . Therefore, it is worth investing in an inhaler because it ishelpful in administering medications during respiratory infections . It is relatively cheap device that we can buy in pharmacies and medical stores. The choice of inhaler models available is quite large. What are the types of inhalers?

Pressurized dosing inhaler

Pressurized metered dose inhaler (pMDI)consists of:

  • "pressurized" container, whichcontains drug and gas(most often HFA - tetrafluoroethane, and occasionally - freon compounds) in compressed form,
  • a mouthpiece equipped with a mechanism to release the medicine.

How does it work? Pressing the pressure cap in this inhaler will release the specified dose of medication in the form of compressed gas. During inhalation, we must remember tocoordinate deep inhalation with the moment of drug release . The use of a pressurized inhaler is facilitated byvolumetric attachment , designed for children and the elderly.

Powder inhaler

Dry powder inhaler (DPI)contains a dry medicinal substance, incl. in a capsule that will pierce or crush during inhalation.The amount of the released dose is determined by the strength of the inhaled breath . This way the powder is released in the chamber of the inhaler and then deposited in the lungs during inhalation.

There are several types of DPI powder inhalers, such as:aerolizer, disk, handihaler, turbohaler and nobolizer . Some of these models have a dose rate setting featuredrug.

Pneumatic inhaler

The Pneumatic Inhaleris available in both portable and stationary versions. It is used toadminister virtually all drug forms . The inhaler is connected to the compressor with a rubber tube. It works on the principle thatpumps compressed air, which turns the drug into an inhalation spray . It is produced in an inhaler and its quality depends, among other things, on on the pressure generated.

Ultrasonic inhaler

The ultrasonic inhaler (aka nebulizer)is used for certain types of medication. Increased temperature during inhalation could change the structure of some substances. The deviceturns the medicine into an aerosolthanks to the ultrasound generated by the generator.

The ultrasonic inhaler is most often used for:

  • moisturizing the respiratory tract , for example with hypertonic s alt,
  • feeding mucolytics, the so-called drugs that liquefy and reduce the viscosity of mucus in the respiratory tract,
  • cystic fibrosis treatment ,
  • pulmonary rehabilitation.

Ultrasonic inhalation is not recommended for newborns and children under 1 year of age.

MESH inhaler

MESH (membrane-mesh) inhaleris considered to benew generation compact device . It takes full advantage of the installedvibrating perforated diaphragmwhich produces the drug in the form of a good quality aerosol. It works quietly and very efficiently despite the fact that it is powered only by batteries.

How to choose an inhaler?

When buying an inhaler, remember thatits effect and effectiveness are what counts , not its appearance. It is worth paying attention to the following parameters:

  • size of the generated aerosol particles- what determines the absorption process of the drug,
  • inhalation time- variable pace of the treatment,
  • noise level- the quieter the inhaler is, the better - especially if it is used by children,
  • additional accessories- facilitating the inhalation treatment, e.g. mask for children and adults, mouthpieces, air ducts, filters, etc.

Inhaler: contraindications

The inhaler can be used by both adults and children. Whereassome people should avoid the deviceif:

  • are allergic to compounds in water vapor,
  • suffer from heart failure, tuberculosis,
  • have a high fever or respiratory haemorrhage.

Inhaler: How to care?

For the inhaler, as for other devices,we need to properly care for and care for it.Over time, some components, such as filters, will also need to be changed. If the inhaler is properly used,will last longer for us and the whole family . How shouldbe properly maintainedinhalers at home?

  • Thoroughly wash and disinfect the accessories after each useto avoid irritation, ulceration or oral infections. It's best to read the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning the inhaler, located on the leaflet.
  • Change the filters for inhalers on a regular basis , which may depend on the frequency of using the device and the number of hours it has worked.
  • Clean and disinfect the mask , incl. with boiling water, steaming with home sterilizers or washing in the dishwasher.

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