Nebulized Therapy

Nebulized Therapy

Nebulized therapy is often called a “breathing treatment”, applied with a small machine called a nebulizer. A variety of medications — both for immediate relief and maintenance of symptoms — are available for use with a nebulizer. Nebulizers come in home (tabletop) and portable models. Home nebulizers are larger and must be plugged into an electrical outlet. Portable nebulizers run on batteries — either disposable or rechargeable — or can be plugged into a car’s cigarette lighter. Smaller, portable units are slightly larger than a deck of cards, so they can be carried in a purse, briefcase, or backpack to be used whenever and wherever you need them.

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    How does Nebulized Therapy work?

    A nebulizer changes medication from a liquid to a mist so that it can be more easily inhaled into the lungs. Nebulizers are particularly effective in delivering medications to anyone who has difficulty using an inhaler. It is also convenient when a large dose of an inhaled medication is needed. Certain medications that are usually supplied via IV or injection may also be nebulized. It is also very useful for medications that are not commercially available in inhalers.

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    What does Nebulized Therapy in the office involve?

    In the Office

    • The Technician will set up the nebulizer with the correct medication. Once it is ready, sit up straight on a comfortable chair. If the treatment is for your child, he or she may sit on your lap. If you are using a mask, position it comfortably and securely on your or your child’s face. If you are using a mouthpiece, place it between your or your child’s teeth and seal the lips around it.
    • Take slow, deep breaths. If possible, hold each breath for 2-3 seconds (or as prescribed by your doctor) before breathing out. This allows the medication to settle into the airways.
    • Continue the treatment until the medication is gone (an average of 10 minutes). The nebulizer will make a sputtering noise, and the cup will have just a little medication remaining.

  3. 3
    What does Nebulized Therapy at home involve?

    Once you have the necessary supplies:

    • Place the air compressor on a sturdy surface that will support its weight. Plug the cord from the compressor into a properly grounded (three-prong) electrical outlet. OR put your portable nebulizer on a clean surface. Be sure it has a good battery, or has been charged.
    • Before treatment, wash your hands with soap and water and dry completely.
    • Check to be sure your nebulizer unit is clean.
    • Set out all your needed supplies on the clean surface.
    • Carefully measure medications exactly as you have been instructed, and put them into the nebulizer cup. Most medications today come in pre-measured unit dose vials so measuring is not necessary. For our patients, some medications may be compounded, and you will need to measure the dose as instructed. If you do measure, use a separate, clean measuring device for each medication.
    • Assemble the nebulizer cup and mask or mouthpiece.
    • Connect the tubing to both the aerosol compressor (if used) and nebulizer cup.
    • Turn on the compressor (or the portable unit, if used) to make sure it is working correctly. You should see a light mist coming from the back of the tube opposite the mouthpiece.
    • Sit up straight on a comfortable chair. If the treatment is for your child, he or she may sit on your lap. If you are using a mask, position it comfortably and securely on your or your child’s face. If you are using a mouthpiece, place it between your or your child’s teeth and seal the lips around it.
    • Take slow, deep breaths. If possible, hold each breath for 2-3 seconds (or as prescribed by your doctor) before breathing out. This allows the medication to settle into the airways.
    • Continue the treatment until the medication is gone (an average of 10 minutes). The nebulizer will make a sputtering noise, and the cup will have just a little medication remaining.
    • After your treatment, be sure to clean your nebulizer right away. Especially some of the newer, smaller hand held nebulizers can build up molecules from the medication that prevent the nebulizer from working properly. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to clean it.

  4. 4
    What conditions can Nebulized Therapy help?

    Nebulized therapy helps you breathe better by treating wheezing, shortness of breath, and other respiratory problems. Your doctor may recommend breathing treatments to treat asthma, pneumonia, cystic fibrosis, severe allergic reactions, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or other lung related health issues.

    Certain other medications or nutrients may be delivered via a nebulizer. Items such as such as antibiotics, glutathione, vitamin B12, and magnesium may be prescribed for nebulized treatment. These may treat an issue in the lungs, or may have an effect systemically. DO NOT USE these items in a nebulizer unless your doctor has prescribed the proper dose and usage. Certain substances may damage your nebulizer. Other medications may not be well absorbed via the lungs or may cause side effects taken that way.

  5. 5
    Do I need a prescription for Nebulized Therapy?

    Yes, you would need to meet with one of Gordon Medical’s practitioners and discuss Nebulized Therapy before you can schedule an appointment for the treatment. If you wish to do nebulized therapy at home, you will need a prescription for the nebulizer unit and for the medication to be used in the nebulizer.

    Your first treatment is always done in the office to ensure that your airways are not irritated by the medication.

    Use one of the following options to make an appointment:
    Patient Portal for current patients
    New Patient Contact
    (707) 575-5180

  6. 6
    How often will I need Nebulized Therapy?

    The frequency of treatment depends on the symptoms being treated, how well the patient is tolerating treatments and how well treatments are working. This will be discussed with you by your practitioner.

  7. 7
    How do I schedule an appointment?

    Appointments can be made Monday through Friday with a Technician.

    Use one of the following options to make an appointment:
    Patient Portal for current patients
    New Patient Contact
    (707) 575-5180

  8. 8
    How much time does Nebulized Therapy take?

    Treatments take about 15-20 minutes depending on the amount of medication.

  9. 9
    Is there anything I can/should purchase?

    You will not need to purchase anything for your treatment in the office. If you are using the Nebulized Therapy at home, you may be required to purchase your medications and a nebulizing machine

  10. 10
    How can I prepare for my appointment?

    There is nothing you will need to do to prepare for your Nebulized treatment.

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    Is Nebulized Therapy safe?

    Yes, treatments are generally safe. As mentioned earlier we do the first dose in the office to be sure that the inhaled substance doesn’t irritate your lungs.

    Some patients may experience chest tightness or wheezing. If this does happen, stop the treatment AND CONTACT YOUR DOCTOR.

    If the symptoms are dizziness or lightheadedness, stop the treatment and rest for about 5 minutes THEN continue the treatment, and try to breathe more slowly. If dizziness or jitteriness continues to be a problem with future treatments, inform your health care provider.