Frequently Asked Questions on Respiratory

What is asthma?
Asthma is a chronic lung condition that affects the airways. Airways are the tubes that carry air in and out of lungs. In case of asthma, the inside walls of the airways get inflamed and as a result, become sensitive to allergies or things that cause irritation. When the airways react, they get narrower and reduce air flow to the lung tissue. This causes wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and troubled breathing.
What is aerosol therapy?

Aerosol therapy is giving breathing medications to the tubes and lungs in the form of very fine mist. The medication can be easily and effectively inhaled in the form of mist. This helps in relaxing the breathing tubes so they become larger and make breathing easier.
Aerosol therapy system comprises a compressor which generates a controlled air flow to the nebulizer cup and the medication mist is then inhaled through a mouthpiece or mask.

What is a nebulizer?
A nebulizer is a device which administers medication in forms of a liquid mist to the airways. It is primarily used in the treatment of asthma, cystic fibrosis and other respiratory diseases.
What is oxygen therapy?

Oxygen therapy assists in increasing the supply of oxygen to the lungs and thereby, increasing the availability of oxygen to the body tissues.
Oxygen therapy is used either short-term for acute lung disorders or longer-term for chronic lung disorders wherein oxygen levels are consistently low.
There are three different home oxygen supply system - electrically-driven oxygen concentrators, liquid systems and compressed gas. Large as well as portable tanks (for use outside home) are available to store oxygen for liquid system and compressed gas.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea means 'without breath'. In this situation people stop breathing repeatedly during sleep, sometimes hundreds of times and often for a minute or longer.
With each apnea event, the brain briefly arouses people in order for them to resume breathing. This results in extremely fragmented and poor quality sleep.
There are three types of apnea:
Obstructive (most common) - This is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the rear of the throat collapses and closes during sleep.
Central - In central sleep apnea, the airway is not blocked but the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe.
Mixed - Mixed apnea is a combination of the two.
Sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases, memory problems, weight gain, impotency and headaches.

What are suction catheters?

A suction catheter is a flexible, long tube attached on one end to the trach tube and the other end to a collection container (suction canister) and a device that generates suction.
Under normal conditions the upper airway warms, cleans and moistens the air we breathe. However, the trach tube bypasses these mechanisms, so that the air via the tube is cooler, dryer and not as clean. In response to these changes, the body produces more mucus. The trach tube is required to be suctioned to remove mucus from the tube and trachea to allow for easier breathing. This is done with the help of a suction catheter.

What is a tracheotomy mask?
A tracheotomy mask is a mask used to deliver oxygen and humidity to tracheotomy patients. It is worn around the neck over the trach tube.
What is a respiratory system?
In human beings, the respiratory system comprises the airways, lungs and respiratory muscles that help in the movement of air into and out of the body.
What is a CPAP device?

CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, is a device designed to help individuals with respiratory problems. CPAP blows air at a constant pressure through the airway of the user preventing the throat from collapsing and allowing comfortable and normal breathing.

What is oxygen therapy?

Oxygen therapy is a treatment for providing extra oxygen to someone who is not able to get enough oxygen. This may happen if the person is suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia, severe asthma, late-stage heart failure, cystic fibrosis or sleep apnea. Oxygen therapy is provided through a portable oxygen tank or home machine delivered to the patient through a breathing tube or mask.

What is a humidifier used for?

A humidifier increases moisture in the air and prevents dryness that can cause irritation thus treating dryness of the skin, throat, lips and nose. The humidifier provides natural moisturizing and is especially useful to treat dry cough, cracked lips, sinus, headaches, nose irritation, etc.

What is an oxygen concentrator?

Oxygen concentrators are oxygen machines or oxygen generators that provide oxygen therapy to patients for supplementing oxygen requirement. These machines are electrically or battery powered. It filters in air in the environment, compresses it and delivers directly into the lungs of the patient.

How are nebulizers useful?

Nebulizers offer medication to the lungs directly and in a mist form. They are effective means for treating problems such as asthma, bronchitis, lung disease, allergies, flu, etc.