Types of Inhalers for Bronchitis

Choosing the best inhaler for bronchitis usually depends on the condition of the person. This HealthHearty article will provide you with information on the different types of inhalers that would work the best for you.
HealthHearty Staff
Last Updated: Mar 1, 2018
Bronchial tubes transport air to the lungs from the throat. Infection can cause these bronchial tubes to swell up or get inflamed, resulting in chest congestion and coughing due to mucus creation, along with muscle pain, fever or throat ache, and wheezing. Using inhalers for bronchitis remains the best option to alleviate the above symptoms. A doctor will generally initiate the treatment by prescribing medicines that should be administered orally. However, if the symptoms prevail for a long time or if the infection becomes resistant to the medication, the doctor will recommend inhalers to treat bronchitis. The inhalers are usually of two types, powder-based and liquefied ones.
The drugs inside the inhalers can be mainly categorized as bronchodilators, preventers, and relievers. Relievers ease out the airway muscles, so as to broaden the airway and make breathing easy. Bronchodilators are prescribed along with steroid inhalers, and the effect lasts for a day after administering each dosage. Bronchodilators include drugs such as formoterol and salmeterol. Relievers work to alleviate the symptoms of bronchitis such as wheeziness or breathlessness. Reliever inhalers use drugs such as terbutaline and salbutamol. Preventers are used as a part of prevention from symptoms. Preventers use steroids to prevent the airway inflammation and are used twice or thrice a day. For best results, you have to use them for an approximate period of one and a half months. Check out the types of inhalers that you can use of for treating bronchitis.
Best Inhalers
While choosing an inhaler to alleviate the symptoms of bronchitis or asthma, your doctor would select one from the following types based on the inhalation method that works best for you.
Nebulizer
Nebulizers convert bronchodilator medication liquid into an aerosol, which is like fine vapors. You wear a face mask and just breathe the drug in. These are ideal for people suffering from chronic bronchitis. Nebulizers make the person inhale a large amount of drugs to ease symptoms of bronchitis such as shortness of breath.

Dry Powder Inhalers
You have to breathe hard through the mouthpiece so as to inhale the medicine which is in a powdered form. The inhalation is breath-regulated. You hold the inhaler close to your mouth and breathe in. You should be careful as to not breathe out into the inhaler, because any moisture from your breath may result in the medicine sticking to the walls, thereby reducing the quantity of medication.

M.D.I. (Metered Dose Inhalers)
These contain a gas under pressure which is pumped in or puffed in when you inhale the dose. Once you pump the medication in through your mouth, take the inhaler out of your mouth, hold the medication inside for approximately 30-40 seconds, and then exhale. It helps in relieving signs of chronic bronchitis.

Spacer Inhalers
These employ a spacer which resembles a storage space for the medicine till the time you inhale. A spacer connects your mouth with the inhaler. The valve near the oral end shuts off when you exhale. Some spacers use a space mask which works very well for toddlers and babies. As compared to liquids or pills, the quantity of the medicine is very small so the chances of an overdose are minimal and so are the chances of side effects.

Steam Inhalers
These are available over-the-counter and do not need a doctor's prescription. All you have to do is inhale the steam of boiling water. You cover your head with a towel so as to accumulate the steam from boiling water and hold your head over the source of hot vapor such as a boiling water pot placed in a sink. This is considered to be one of the best home remedies to ease the symptoms of bronchitis. They help in reducing inflammation, ease the pain, and lowers fever.

So, this was all the information about inhalers, their types, and the drugs used in them for alleviation of symptoms of bronchitis. In order to make the right choice of inhaler, it is imperative that you consult a doctor.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice. In case of any serious illness, please seek immediate medical help. 
Young girl using inhaler