Inhalers vs. Nebulizers – Which One is Better for Managing COPD?

May 20, 2019 by AireHealth

Did you know that most people use their inhaler incorrectly? 

In fact, a University of Texas study found that only 16% of patients use their inhaler correctly. Naturally, when discussing a life saving medication, this statistic is incredibly shocking.

The main differences between an inhaler and a nebulizer are that a nebulizer needs little patient co-operation and is designed to place medication directly into the lung. This is vital whether a person is taking a maintenance medication or needs a rescue dose during an attack, because the lungs are the source of inflammation which causes breathing difficulty. Furthermore, the only “technique” required to use a nebulizer, is to breathe as normal.


Nebulizers and COPD

Even though many studies highlight how common incorrect inhaler use is, patients with COPD are still commonly prescribed inhalers. Because inhalers require a certain level of inspiratory flow to be effective, people who live with severe respiratory illnesses such as COPD are often left with an ineffective way to administer their medication.

The Benefits Of Nebulizers Over Inhalers

  • They require no specific technique and less training to use correctly than inhalers.
  • They may be easier to use and more effective than an inhaler during a COPD attack.
  • They may be more convenient to use when taking large doses of respiratory drugs.
  • You can measure your treatment dosage more effectively.
  • Nebulized drugs tend to be cheaper than inhalers.

The Future of COPD Care

The choice of whether to use a nebulizer or an inhaler depends entirely on the patient’s needs. This is why AireHealth has developed a compact, portable smart-nebulizer that meets the needs of patients with chronic respiratory care conditions. Not only can the AireHealth nebulizer deliver respiratory treatments quickly and effectively on-the-go, but it’s also connected to a diary-companion app, enabling patients to be proactive in their care. Clinicians can also benefit from proactively respiratory care too, as a study recently conducted by NHS England found that clinical data supports use of self-management apps to reduce COPD exacerbations.

If you’d like to learn more about AireHealth’s smart, portable nebulizer, click here.


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