Nebulization therapy: 3 things to do (and 3 to avoid)

If you're about to turn on the nebulizer, wait just a moment. There are some things you need to learn to do first, like breathing through your mouth if you have bronchitis, for example, as well as some you must absolutely avoid, like sterilizing plastic ampoules in boiling water.

When using a nebulizer, breathe through your mouth if you have bronchitis

Using a nebulizer can certainly be very useful if you have bronchitis, but be careful about how you breathe. Keep in mind that, to ensure the effectiveness of the drug, you'll have to only breathe through your mouth, without using your nose. If you don't, you'll only end up with whatever hasn't been absorbed by the nasal lining, which means that just a fraction of the drug will make its way to your lungs.

When using a nebulizer for sinusitis and ear infections, breathe in and hold it

When it comes to sinusitis, ear infections and rhinitis, however, you must only breathe through your nose. When using a nebulizer for these conditions, you have to try to concentrate all your breathing technique on the organ that's inflamed - your nose. Do you want to make the nebulization therapy work even better? Breathe in deeply and hold it for a few seconds, so that the drug has a chance to be deposited on the walls of the nasal cavity.

It's very important to keep the nebulizer clean

Don't forget to clean the nebulizer carefully after each session. Just follow the instructions that come with them, soaking accessories in cold water and disinfectant if required. It's a small thing, but doing this will really help to keep bacteria and viruses away from your home nebulizer.

Don't nebulize while you're sleeping

Would you prefer to have the nebulizer on while you're sleeping, so you're not even aware you're doing it? That's not right! Nebulizing while asleep has almost no effect whatsoever: it will be hard for the drug to get to where it needs to go if your mouth is closed and your breathing has slowed right down.

Don't loosen the face mask

A common mistake when using a nebulizer is to loosen the fit of the face mask. If you do that, the drug or saline solution will be dispersed into the air around you or onto your face. Don't think that using a nebulizer is like having a Turkish bath - nebulizing drugs have no cosmetic effect!

Don't sterilize the ampoule using "heat"

After your nebulization session, don't sterilize the ampoules using heat, as they're made with polycarbonate or plastic. They're materials that are sensitive to heat and you could damage them if you immerse them in boiling water. They would certainly be immaculately clean, but you would have to replace them.

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