Nebulizer is a device that is
used to deliver liquid medication in the form of spray (vapor form or mist) which can be inhaled by the patient. Thus, nebulizer assists in delivering the medication (which is generally in liquid form) in a fine mist which can be inhaled and this helps in
treatment of respiratory disease.
Though there has been advancement with several new models of nebulizers, but all have the same purpose of delivering the liquid medication in misty form.
Nebulizers are broadly categorized into jet nebulizers which uses air pressure to deliver the liquid in mist form and ultrasonic nebulizer that uses high frequency sound waves to deliver the liquid in mist form.
Jet Nebulizer: The basic part of jet nebulizers are air compressor used to force air, a tube connecting the air compressor and the medication cup (nebulizer cup) and an inhaling device in the form of mouth piece or face mask. The compressed air from the compressor travels through the tube in to the medication cup. When this air passes through the medication cup which contains administered dose of medication, the medication is delivered in misty form and it is inhaled by the patient.
The early Jet Nebulizers were not easy to carry everywhere because of the size and hence they had limited use. They were restricted mostly to medical centers and used in case of emergency. This type of nebulizer again leaves some medicine in the medication cup, and also considered to be noisy, but recent advancements have reduced the noise as well as size to a larger extent.
Ultrasonic Nebulizer: The basic part of ultrasonic nebuliser consists of an inlet port, a vibrating device and an inhaling device. The medication is added to the device through the inlet port which leads to the vibrating device. The vibrating device is used to produce high frequency sound waves which in turn travel through the liquid. These process of passing high frequency sound waves through the liquid helps in supplying a mist of liquid which comes out of the inhaling port.
The ultrasonic nebuliser is a silent piece of instrument and does not leave any medication behind in the reservoir. But ultrasonic nebuliser are comparatively expensive than jet nebulisers.
Contrary to early nebulisers, which were bulky and hence could not be carried everywhere, and needed electric supply to operate, new nebulisers are user friendly. They are comparatively of smaller size and can operated on battery giving utmost freedom of using in outdoor condition.