A nebulizer is a device that is able to deliver the smallest particles of medication into the lungs, while a regular inhaler delivers only steam. Today, the range of these devices is very wide and it’s not easy to select the best product. In this article, you will find out how to choose a nebulizer in 2020.
- Types of nebulizers
- Features to consider when purchasing a nebulizer
- What kind of nebulizer to choose?
- Nebulizers for Babies: Tips for Making Treatment Easier
- The best manufacturers of nebulizers — which company to choose?
- Top 3 Best Reviewed Nebulizers 2020
- How much does a nebulizer cost?
Such devices perfectly disperse liquid preparations, yielding particles up to 5 microns in size. This is enough for the medicine to be able to get even into hard-to-reach areas of the bronchi. A solution turns into mist due to the vibration of metal plates that create a high-frequency ultrasonic flow.
Such models can operate continuously for about 5-10 minutes because they have a relatively small capacity for drugs (35-70 ml) and a high feed rate of up to 2 ml/min. They weigh at least 400-500 grams, and the noise level of such devices does not exceed 45 dB.
Ultrasonic nebulizers can operate on a 220 V mains, built-in battery or conventional batteries. They are suitable for the treatment of asthma, rhinitis, cough, bronchitis and other common respiratory diseases.
- A wide range – from compact portable models on batteries to stationary devices;
- Effectively deliver drugs to the bronchi;
- Can be used to treat children;
- High-speed aerosol spraying;
- Affordable cost.
- They do not work with herbal decoctions and solutions of essential oils;
- Containers for drugs require frequent replacement.
These nebulizers work at the expense of a powerful stream of compressed air that turns a liquid into a fog with a particle size of about 4-5 microns. The main feature of such devices is that you can pour any medications into them – without any restrictions. Alas, there were some drawbacks too.
Compressor nebulizers turned out to be very heavy: overall dimensions of the smallest model reach 115x185x135 mm, weight – 1.5 kg. Standard devices are approximately twice as large.
Compressors are used to treat tuberculosis and other severe lung diseases, and they can also easily cope with a common cold.
- High-efficiency procedures;
- Can be used with any drugs;
- Reliable and durable;
- Can be used to treat babies.
- Bulky and heavy.
Mesh nebulizers is a new word in the world of inhalers. The perforated vibrating membrane is responsible for the spraying of drugs, through the holes of which the solution “squeezes”, turning into an aerosol cloud. Moreover, the fluid particles are so small that they easily reach even the pulmonary alveoli. Membrane inhalers are the most compact, lightweight and convenient to use since their weight does not exceed 120-150 grams. Despite its miniature size and small capacity of the built-in tank for 7-15 ml, mesh nebulizers are able to work for several hours. They are very sparing so that one filling is not enough for one inhalation session.
The mesh devices can be used both in the treatment of adults and children. Thanks to their compact size, it is convenient to take them with you on trips or carry them in your pocket (which is especially important for people suffering from allergies or asthma).
- Maximum efficiency and range of drug delivery;
- Compact size and low weight;
- Very quiet operation (15-20 dB);
- Better drug economy;
- You can use any drugs.
- High price;
- They require careful handling, especially if you carry a nebulizer in your pocket.
Degree of spraying
The smaller the size of the particles in the composition of the drug mist, the deeper they will be able to penetrate into the respiratory system.
This is what determines the effectiveness of the device. Most nebulizers have a sputtering rate of about 5 microns – this is enough to treat any diseases of the upper respiratory tract, trachea, bronchi and bronchioles.
The exception is membrane inhalers, for which the size of fog droplets does not exceed 3-4 microns (usually it is even smaller). So if the treatment should affect not only the bronchi but also the lungs, you’d better choose a mesh nebulizer.
Medication delivery system
There are several main modes of supplying steam to an inhaler mask or mouthpiece:
- Continuous – the most inefficient option, when the aerosol is supplied continuously, regardless of whether the patient breathes. As a result, most of the drug is simply lost, and only 20-30% of the drug mist reaches its destination;
- Manual control – the process of vaporization also occurs continuously, but in contrast to the previous method, a person can independently block the flow of aerosol with one click on the button. This allows you not to waste the solution in vain, but only an adult can manage the nebulizer manually – you cannot explain to a child that you need to press a button while inhaling and let it go when you exhale.
- Automatic – forms a medicinal cloud only at the moment of inhaling the patient and blocks the flow of steam on the exhale. This happens due to special electronic sensors and valves, which minimize the loss of fluid during the procedure.
Choosing the capacity of the tank, you will encounter the fact that each type of nebulizer fits into its rather narrow range of the medicine tank volume:
- The volume of ultrasound models is usually 50-70 ml. There is no need to look for a bigger volume, one refill is enough for the procedure;
- In compressor models, the tank should be at least 100 ml, as these are powerful devices that often allow for overruns of drugs. A large tank will help compensate for this deficiency and provide the respiratory organs with the required amount of the drug;
- Mesh models come with very small tanks up to 15 ml. Despite this, they are enough for several full-fledged sessions due to a more economical solution consumption.
Looking for a tank for your needs, you actually choose one or another type of nebulizer. For example, if your family has to use a device often, you will need a large capacity for medicines, which means it will be a compressor model.
If you need a model for personal use and the delivery of potent drugs, you will need a miniature tank – these are used in ultrasound and mesh devices.
Speed of medication delivery
The higher this figure, the faster it will ship the entire dose of medication to the airways, speeding up the procedure.
- For most adults, this aspect does not matter much, so they can choose a low-powered model operating at a speed of 0.25-0.5 ml/min;
- If a patient is small, you’d better choose a device with a spraying rate of about 1-2 ml/min. This will help reduce the time spent on the procedure.
Of course, the quieter the nebulizer works, the more comfortable the procedure will be.
- If the noise level is important for you, choose quiet meshes – they give out no more than 20 dB;
- Ultrasonic devices work louder: their noise performance reaches 40-45 dB;
- Compressor models turn out to be the “loudest” – these are capable of producing sounds of 45–55 dB.
Nebulizers can operate not only from the mains but also from the built-in batteries. Moreover, manufacturers often offer combined methods of power supply, which makes the use of such inhalers even more convenient. However, the presence of such “bonuses” increases the cost of a portable device, so you have to decide which is more important: the possibility of battery life or an affordable price.
- If you need a reliable inhaler for the treatment of complex respiratory diseases, you need a powerful compressor unit with a large tank (at least 100 ml) and a particle size of 3-5 microns;
- Allergy sufferers, asthmatics and people with other chronic respiratory diseases should purchase a compact mesh nebulizer on batteries with a high sputtering rate (up to 2 ml/min). You can always keep it at hand and immediately receive a dose of drugs if necessary;
- An inexpensive ultrasonic nebulizer will be a good help during the cold season. If you plan to treat all members of your family, buy a model with a capacious 70 ml tank and additional “childish” nozzles.
Use some tips to attract the attention of a little patient:
- Some pharmacies and specialized stores offer nebulizers made in the form of various toys: a penguin, a train, a sun, etc. Such devices are capable of making funny sounds. If the child is still small (age up to 3 years), then parents will be able to attract the attention of the baby using such devices. But remember that compressor devices are noisy and the kids are afraid of loud sounds, so an ultrasonic or membrane device will be suitable as a toy;
- If a sick child is more than 3 years old, the device in the form of a small animal will not work. A couple of minutes will be enough for the baby to completely lose interest in a new toy and the parents will not achieve any treatment results. You need a creative approach here;
- Choosing a nebulizer for the child, you should pay special attention to the device configuration. If a child is 3 to 8 years old, then you just need a device in which there are children’s masks, children’s nozzles for nose inhalation;
- Before starting the inhalation procedure, offer your child play a game with you. Most likely, the child will be wary of frightening masks and tubes. Therefore, parents should show by their own example how funny it is: put on a mask, tell the child that you are sick and you need a doctor. Let the baby treat you by turning on the device. After making sure that inhalation is a game, the baby will happily exchange places with you and will come to the doctor (mom and dad) at a fixed time.
There are a lot of companies producing medical nebulizers. In pharmacies, you can find models of both domestic and foreign production. But not all manufacturers can boast of really good devices for “cold” inhalation.
The most efficient and reliable devices are produced by European and Japanese manufacturers:
- B. Well;
- MED 2000.
Their products are of high quality, functionality and trouble-free operation (with proper handling of devices).
The best nebulizers released under these brands are represented in our rating. If you know exactly which inhaler you need, you can choose any suitable model from these manufacturers. Those who have never used such devices before should first learn the features of their work and the main characteristics.
Here are some models of nebulizers that are considered best in 2020:
- Nebulizer Machine for Kids Adults by Only Warm – a pure copper compressor machine, which comes with a high wear-resistant oil-free lubrication piston pump. The machine provides durable and efficient operation;
- Portable Cool Mist Steamer for Kids and Adults by PIKAQIU – a mini-size design, portable and lightweight nebulizer. The small size makes it a perfect choice for travel. A large amount of mist for a better and deeper absorption makes the device more effective;
- Portable Reliable Equipment for Daily Home Use and Travel by Pricare – a stable and reliable machine. It is ideal for using several times per day. The nebulizer is quiet and can be used for kids and adults.
- An ultrasonic nebulizer will cost you at least $30. Advanced models cost about $60-100;
- The price for a compression device ranges from $40 to $200 – it all depends on the manufacturer and the main characteristics of the device;
- Mesh nebulizers cost about $50-200.
Since the device has a medical purpose, be sure to read the instructions before use!