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Fall Allergy Season and Nebulizers: I’m Ready… I Think

The fall allergy season is upon us and for sufferers of allergies, the anxiety can begin. For those who suffer from these seasonal allergies, just the thought of itchy eyes, runny noses, and respiratory issues can bring about dread. When dealing with the fall allergy season and breathing issues, the best tool in your toolbox is a nebulizer. Keeping them in tip top shape to stay ahead of the autumn allergy season is your best bet and we here at HPFY can be your greatest source of information for keeping them going.

Fall Allergy Season and Nebulizers

Anatomy of a Nebulizer

Since nebulizer treatments are ideal for any respiratory or breathing conditions that are brought about by the autumn allergy season, it can be a really good idea to understand the parts that make up your nebulizer system. Your nebulizer is a pretty basic straightforward system that consists of only a few parts. The main parts of your nebulizer system are:

  • Compressor: This is the heart and soul of your nebulizer system. It draws in air and pushes it through your hose into your mouthpiece or mask for inhalation. It produces a pressurized jetstream that propels droplets of medicine in a fine mist that is easily inhaled into the lungs. Medication such as Albuterol is often the respiratory drug of choice in nebulizer treatments.
  • Hose: A clear flexible hose delivers the compressed, pressurized air to the cup or medicine receptacle that holds the liquid medicine (corticosteroids or bronchodilators) that then pass into the mouthpiece or mask for inhalation into the lungs for faster response than ingestion, plus it reduces potential side effects compared to other intake methods.
  • Mouthpiece/Mask: The patient using a nebulizer system can use a mouthpiece for simple inhalation or can use a mask similar to those used for oxygen or anesthesia. Often, pediatric patients can use masks designed with fun, whimsical designs such as fish or other animals in order to increase compliance.
  • Filters: These filters are used in order to minimize or eliminate bacteria or other contaminants that can be inhaled and allows only pure, clean air to be inhaled. Over time these filters, like any others, can become clogged and need to be replaced. By staying on top of filter replacement, you can maintain your level of therapeutic efficacy in order to receive the proper doses of medication required.
  • Atomizing Cup: This is where you place your liquid medication, such as corticosteroids or bronchodilators such as Formoterol or Albuterol. It is at this point that the compressed air that is created by the compressor atomizes the liquid into a mist, creating particles as small as 5 µm (depending upon the unit).
 

Making sure that these parts of your nebulizer system are in proper working condition goes a long way ensuring that your respiratory therapy is efficient and effective. Be sure to follow your doctor’s prescription for how often and how much medication should be inhaled. Disregarding dosage parameters can be dangerous, not to mention less cost effective.

Options for You

Breathing is surprisingly important to us humans to say the least. The fall allergy season presents us with plenty of nasty little surprises that can hinder our ability to breathe effectively and efficiently. For those that suffer with autumn allergies, some nebulizer system options include:

  • Respironics InnoSpire Essence Compressor Nebulizer System: In order to provide fast and efficient aerosol drug delivery, this nebulizer system utilizes SideStream Aerosol Technology which can create aerosol particles less than 8 µm at only 58 dB. It can output up to 16 liters per minute, therefore reducing treatment times.
  • Drive Power Neb Ultra Compressor Nebulizer: One of the smallest nebulizers on the market at only 3.2 pounds, this compressor nebulizer is perfect for those who need to take their treatment on the road. It delivers a consistent particle size of less than 5 µm, making any respiratory treatment fast and effective. It can create 8 L per minute of compressed air and comes with 7 feet of tubing for convenience.
  • DeVilbiss Travel Portable Compressor Nebulizer System: One of the most compact and easy to transport nebulizers on the market, it is actually smaller than a standard postcard. It can deliver your respiratory therapy in as little as 10 minutes and has multiple powering options such as a DC car charging port and optional rechargeable battery that can be charged through AC or DC. The quick therapy time can increase patient compliance and the universal connector can accept both standard adult and pediatric masks.
 

Some Maintenance Tips

Cleaning and maintaining your nebulizer system can extend the useful lifetime of your nebulizer system. This makes them more cost-effective and reliable over time. Some quick maintenance tips are:

  • Wash hands with soap and water or use a hand sanitizer before cleaning your system. This can minimize passing germs along to your nebulizer equipment.
  • Disassemble your nebulizer system. Be sure to check your owner’s manual so that you take your nebulizer system apart properly. Only a couple of parts can be cleaned/sterilized.
  • Wash cup/mouthpiece with warm water, not hot water, for approximately 30-60 seconds. You can also soak parts of your nebulizer system (not the tubing, mask, or interrupter) in a solution of one part distilled white vinegar and three parts hot water. Always consult your manufacturer's manual to see which parts can be exposed to water.
  • Shake off any excess water and air dry for 20 minutes.
  • DO NOT RINSE tubing or compressor underwater. You can wipe down the outside, but if your tubing gets wet you’re better off replacing it since it is very hard to completely dry.
  • Put your machine back together and run air through it to be sure all moisture is gone.
  • Replace your nebulizer systems filters according to the manufacturer’s recommended time or when it becomes dirty. Since it is important to breathe clean air during your respiratory therapy, this step is critically important.
  • Ultraviolet light from an ultraviolet lamp may be an option for cleaning and sterilizing your nebulizer system. Check with your manufacturer to see if it is a safe option for your equipment.

Often the fall allergy season sneaks up on us since we are enjoying the cooler, crisper air as opposed to the heavy, humid air of summer. No matter the reason for our need for respiratory therapy, it is important to be prepared and ready for the onset of this allergy season. Keeping our equipment in good operating condition can minimize the need for replacing tubing, mouthpieces, or even compressors in order to keep costs down. As the boy scouts say, Be Prepared!!

 

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