A nebulizer is a device used to administer medication in the form of a mist inhaled into the lungs. Nebulizers are commonly used for treatment of cystic fibrosis, asthma, COPD and other respiratory diseases. Combustible smoking devices (i.e. asthma cigarettes or cannabis joints), a vaporizer, a Dry Powder Inhaler, or a pressurized Metered Dose Inhaler can also be used to deliver a medical compound for inhalation. Combustible smoking devices and vaporizers are no longer commonly used for medical inhalation, as modern inhalers and nebulizers are more efficient.
The common technical principal for all nebulizers, is to either use oxygen, compressed air or ultrasonic power, as means to break up medical solutions/suspensions into small aerosol droplets, for direct inhalation from the mouthpiece of the device. The definition of an aerosol is a "mixture of gas and particle", and the best example of a natural occurring aerosol is "mist" (being formed when small vaporized water particles mixed with hot ambient air, are cooled down and condenses into a fine cloud of visible airborn water droplets). When using a nebulizer for inhalation therapy with medicine to be administered directly to the lungs, it is important to note that inhaled aerosol droplets can only penetrate into the narrow branches of the lower airways, if they have a small diameter of 1-5 micrometers. Otherwise they are only absorbed by the mouth cavity, where the effect is low.
Unfortunately not all of the nebulizers currently available succeed in delivering the aerosols in small enough droplets to achieve an acceptable efficiency for the medicine to reach the lungs.
DEVILBISS HEALTH CARE INC