Better to have too many than not enough I suppose. And always better to have several back ups, should one stop working.
Below are just some of the nebulizer units I have.
Because my lung function is so low, my airways don’t respond very well to inhaled bronchodilators that are administered through metered dose inhalers (MDIs) ie “rescue inhalers”. I do get some relieve from inhalers for milder symptoms, and in a pinch it can get me over the hump till I can a get a neb treatment, but generally when I’m really tight or air trapping, MDIs just don’t cut it. Even when used with a spacer I can’t inhale the particles deep enough into my lungs to reach my smaller airways, which is where most of my bronchospasm and airway obstruction occurs. On a good breathing stint, I take 4-6 neb treatments per day. On a bad breathing day you can triple that number, so it’s super important that I have neb machine handy and ready to go at all times.
Some of my nebs machines are the new vibrating mesh type, some are the older ultrasonic type, and some are the standard compressor driven jet nebs. Some are loud like a jackhammer, some don’t make any noise at all. Some are portable and battery operated, some aren’t. Some are new, some are old. Some require periodic maintenance, such as a filter change, some don’t. Some work better than others, some don’t work at all and I just keep em around for the spare parts. And of course I have my favorite ones, which I tend use the most.
In the house alone, I have 6 different machines in 4 different locations, most of which are in use every day. The compressor driven ones are the work horses and are virtually indestructible. One of my compressor nebs is 25 years old and still going strong. I use those the most when Im at home, because the portables, especially the vibrating mesh nebs are fragile and very temperamental. Youre lucky if one lasts a year before needing a replacement.
When Im outside on the back deck or watching TV in the living room , or driving in my car, I use one of my portable nebs. At night I use a mesh neb . Not only because it’s totally silent, but because I can nebulize a full 2.5 ml dose into my lungs in less than 3 minutes. That’s super important if you hope to get back to sleep quickly after taking a treatment.
As far as clinical efficiency and particle size and goes, the mesh nebs are unbeatable. They can generate particle sizes down to 0.5 microns, which means much better deposition to the smaller airways. And because these nebulizers generate a fine mist with virtually no air flow, you’re less likely to swallow air, which for me is a huge plus.
Being a severe asthmatic, a Respiratory therapist, and a frequent flyer to the local ICU, I get exposed to lots of new respiratory therapy technology and devices. And because I’m a blogger and so called influencer, manufactures will sometimes reach out and reward me with the occasional freebie. Sometimes Ill beta test new products just for fun. All of this adds to my increasing nebulizer inventory.
Oh, and disposable nebulizer kits, the ones that you use with the compressor driven units, I have a ton of those too. Some are expensive, have fancy inspiratory demand valves and deliver really good particle sizes, others are cheap and pure crap. A lot of them I get from my hospital stays. With my respiratory therapy charges sometimes exceeding $50,000 per hospital visit, the RTs are more than happy to give me a few extras to take home.
So that’s my take on inhaled medication delivery devices and how I use them. But you know what? I wish I didn’t have to rely on nebulizers to keep breathing. It would be wonderful to be asthma free and never have to not have to suck on another one of these things ever again!