Many people have breathing problems and for those people, usually one of two things is prescribed by their doctor – a nebulizer or an oxygen concentrator. But what are these two items? What are the differences between them? Here are explanations of these two respiratory choices and what makes them different.
A nebulizer is a device that changes a prescribed medication from liquid to mist form to make it easier to inhale into a patient’s lungs. They are very effective when an infant or a small child has asthma, or for someone that has a hard time using the regular asthma inhaler. Nebulizers are also great for when there’s a particularly large dose of medication needs to be inhaled.
There are two kinds of nebulizers – those that are kept at home which run using electricity and portable ones, which run using batteries. The latter nebulizers can even be plugged into a cigarette lighter of a car.
Oxygen concentrators are devices that filter ambient air. Ambient air has just 21% oxygen and 78% nitrogen, with the final 1% being made up of other gases. The concentrator provides a user with a flow of oxygen that is highly concentrated and uninterrupted. The person who is using the oxygen concentrator has a steady flow of air that is almost pure oxygen.
Oxygen concentrators come in two kinds.
The first kind is kept at home, weighs about 50 pounds, and is plugged into an AC outlet for its power. The second kind is portable and only weighs about 5-10 pounds. Unlike the stationary concentrator, the portable concentrators deliver the oxygen in pulses, whereas the stationary ones delivery a steady flow.
Even though these two respiratory choices are different since one delivers medicine in a mist and the other delivers oxygen, they both have one thing in common. They both need a doctor’s prescription to be able to order one.
If you have breathing problems, talk to your doctor and see what he or she recommends.