Respiratory Diseases is the term used for diseases of the respiratory system. These include amongst others diseases of the lung, pleural cavity, bronchial tubes, trachea and the upper respiratory tract. They can range from mild, such as the common cold, to life-threatening such as bacterial pneumonia or pulmonary embolism. Some of the most common are asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and respiratory allergies.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), hundreds of millions of people suffer worldwide from a chronic respiratory disease. 235 million people have asthma and 64 million people have COPD while millions of others suffer from other often-undiagnosed chronic respiratory diseases.
Treatment depends on the particular disease being treated, the severity and the patient. It often involves medication given in an inhaled form through use of a nebulizer.
Nebulizers are devices that can convert liquid medicine into aerosol droplets that can be easily inhaled through a mouthpiece or mask.
A nebulizer can be used to treat a wide range of common respiratory conditions such as:
One of the key benefits of inhalation is the fact that the medication is delivered directly into the respiratory tract, allowing for a high drug concentration in the target area.
Nebulizing medication can even have a greater clinical effect compared to similar or larger doses delivered orally (tablets) or by subcutaneous injection. Studies have also shown that this can lead to better treatment results than using inhalers alone.
There are many different types of nebulizers available on the market to meet different needs. Some key points to consider:
1) What disease will you use the device for?
The key factor that determines where the aerosol droplets will deposit when inhaling and hence what part of the respiratory tract will be treated, is the droplet size. Larger particles will deposit on the upper airways while smaller particles will deposit in the lower airways. It is therefore important to select the nebulizer that delivers the particle size that is adapted to the type of disease to be treated.
2) Who will be using the device?
3) Where will the device be used?
If you require frequent treatment, you might consider having a robust device with high nebulization rate for intensive use.
If you require treatment at different points in the day, it may be beneficial to have a light and portable model.
If you are always on-the-go, then a fully portable nebulizer, such as a mesh-type model, can be the best choice. Similar in size to an inhaler, these models are powered by batteries but give high power and optimum flexibility.