A basic understanding about the parts of a nebulizer will always be beneficial for using the device properly. Here is a brief overview about the nebulizer machine.
A nebulizer machine is used for administering medication meant for treating respiratory diseases. This device is meant for small kids, elderly people, and those who are unable to use metered dose inhalers. Nebulizers facilitate effective administration of medication, thereby leading to faster relief. However, proper use of the nebulizer is necessary for this purpose. So, it is always better to have a basic knowhow about the nebulizer machine parts and their mode of working.
Parts of a Nebulizer
A nebulizer machine converts liquid medicines to aerosol mist, which is easily inhaled and absorbed into the lungs. There are two types of nebulizers – compressor or jet nebulizer and ultrasonic nebulizer. The former is more commonly used for nebulizer treatments, as compared to the latter. The following are the parts of a compressor nebulizer.
- Compressor: One of the vital parts of the nebulizer machine, a compressor creates a pressurized stream of air that passes through the liquid medicine.
- Tubing: A tube is used to connect the compressor to the nebulizer cup.
- Nebulizer Cup: A small cylindrical container meant for adding nebulizer medication. Sometimes, these containers are fitted with valves to control the air flow into it.
- Mouthpiece or Mask: The nebulizer cup is connected to a mouthpiece/mask that is meant for delivering the mist to the mouth. In some machines, a T-shaped elbow is used to connect the nebulizer cup and the mouthpiece. Those who are unable to use the mouthpiece (like, infants), may use masks.
The ultrasonic nebulizer uses ultrasound waves to produce mist out of liquid medicine. While the compressor nebulizer uses an air compressor, an ultrasound nebulizer uses an ultrasonic transducer that converts electrical energy to ultrasound waves. So the compressed air (in jet nebulizer) or the ultrasound wave (from ultrasonic nebulizer) passes through the liquid medicine in the nebulizer cup, and converts the medicine to aerosol mist, which in turn will be delivered to the user through the mouthpiece or the mask. Even a portable nebulizer machine has almost all the parts discussed above, but as the name rightly suggests, such nebulizers are small and are really handy.
How to Clean Nebulizer Parts
Apart from the proper usage of the nebulizer, regular cleaning of its parts is equally important for preventing infection and other such problems. All you have to do is to remove the mask or mouth piece, T-shaped elbow, and the medicine cup, and wash them in warm water. You may also use a clean toothbrush to scrub these parts. Once done, use distilled or sterile water to rinse the nebulizer parts. Keep them on a soft and clean cloth, and allow them to air dry. As the parts dry completely, once again wipe them with a clean dry cloth, before storing in a zip lock bag. This is the basic cleaning method for nebulizer parts. However, you must follow the manufacturer’s instructions, if there are any. Even the filter used inside the main machinery (which holds the compressor) can be cleaned. However, do this as per the instructions of the manufacturer. You may also clean the outer surfaces of the main machinery with a damp cloth.
In short, the nebulizer is a simple device with an equally simple working mechanism. Now that you have a basic idea about nebulizer parts, you may not find any difficulty in using the machine, right from assembling the parts to administering the medicine. However, make sure to follow the instructions of the manufacturer and your physician, as far as the use of this machine is concerned. A nebulizer should be bought as per your physician’s instructions.