If you suffer from asthma, cystic fibrosis, or another respiratory ailment, your doctor may recommend that you use a nebulizer or at-home treatment. This device allows you to inhale medication over a period of several minutes, which is often more effective than inhaling it in a single breath through in inhaler. The exact method for using your nebulizer will depend on the brand and model you choose. Instructions will be included with your equipment. However, beginner nebulizer users sometimes struggle with the more intricate aspects of using their device, so the following tips should prove helpful.
Always sit up straight.
It's perfectly fine to watch television, read a book, or play around on your computer while you're nebulizing. However, you need to make sure you stay sitting up straight throughout the entire process. If you lean back or lie down, the medication won't be delivered properly. Before you turn on the device, find a position that you know will be comfortable for the entire 5 - 20 minutes your treatment will take.
Time the treatment the first time.
How long your nebulizing session takes will depend on the nebulizer you purchase and the doses of medication you're taking. So everyone's treatment time is different. The first time you take your nebulizing treatment, measure how long it takes. This way, you'll have an easier time planning for your future treatments. For instance, if you have to leave the house in 20 minutes and your treatment takes 15, you know you have time for it. It's important to always wait through the entire treatment, and knowing how long yours takes will help prevent you from having to step away during the middle of it.
Make sure the mask is secure.
It's not uncommon for the medication to mist out around the mouth rather than be inhaled into the airways. When this happens, you're not getting the effective treatment that you need. The mist may also irritate your eyes and skin. Thankfully, you can prevent this problem entirely by ensuring your mask is entirely secure on your face with no gaps. If the mask does not fit your face securely, you may need to talk to your doctor about ordering a different size. In the meantime, use your hand to hold the mask securely in place throughout your treatment. If you have a mouthpiece only -- and no mask -- make sure it's securely sealed between your teeth and your lips are entirely wrapped around it.
If you feel dizzy, take a break.
Some people begin to feel dizzy while using their nebulizer. This is usually a side effect of the medication and is particularly likely if you're using an inhaled medication called albuterol. Thankfully, the dizziness is typically not something you need to worry about. Just pause for a minute, turn off your nebulizer, and take deep breaths until you feel normal again. Then resume the treatment. If dizziness becomes bothersome or it's so severe that you fear you'll pass out, talk to your doctor. You may need to change medications or doses.
Keep an eye out for side effects.
If you were using the same medication in an inhaler before you began using it in a nebulizer, then chances are good that you won't notice any new side effect when you begin nebulizing. However, if the medication you're using in your nebulizer is a new one that you're not used to, you'll want to be very aware of any possible side effects. If your heart starts racing, you experience chest pain, your eyes become red and swollen, or you develop a headache during or following treatment, speak to your doctor before using the nebulizer again.
Once you get used to using your nebulizer, it will become second nature. Keep the tips above in mind, and you should get the most out of your treatment.
For more information about nebulizing or the equipment itself, talk with a health care equipment supplier, such as Medi-Rents & Sales Inc.