Types of Inhalers for Seniors

Types of Inhalers for Seniors

According to the method of exposure, all modern inhalers are divided into 2 main types – nebulizers and steam inhalers. In order to choose the right inhaler for an elderly person, let’s get acquainted in detail with the advantages & disadvantages of each type of these devices.

Steam inhalers

This type of inhaler is very similar to the home treatment you receive by inhaling steam over a saucepan or kettle. It is used for the treatment of diseases of the upper respiratory tract – inflammations of the throat, runny nose, colds, sinusitis. The vapor-inhaler capacity is filled with herbs or solutions of essential oils are heated to the boiling point so that steam begins to form, which the patient inhales.


A nebulizer (from the Latin nebula – “cloud”, “fog”) is a device that converts fluids into an aerosol state so that they can be inhaled. The main advantage of a nebulizer is that the small size of the drug, which is contained in the aerosol is able to enter the human respiratory tract. This value is regulated, and it depends on where the droplets will settle and begin to act in the respiratory tract: Studies indicate that the optimum particle diameter is 2-7 microns. Therefore, the industry produces devices that are configured exactly to that size. According to the method of production of the aerosol substance, they are divided into ultrasonic, compressor and mesh inhalers.

Ultrasonic inhalers:

These inhalers are designed for the introduction of drugs in the form of fine aerosols (with a particle diameter of up to 5 microns) in the most inaccessible parts of the respiratory tract – in the bronchi and then into the alveolar passages of the lungs. As a medicine, ultrasonic inhalers use herbal teas and tinctures, alkaline solutions, and water-based essential oil solutions. Thanks to the fine dispersion of the aerosol cloud they create, such devices can also be used for aromatherapy and for humidifying the air in the room.

Compressor or jet inhalers

Jet or compressor inhalers, as well as ultrasound, create an aerosol cloud, saturated with small (less than 5 microns) droplets of the drug. For the rest of the characteristics, these types of devices are also similar to each other, only the mechanism for suspension is different: in this case, the powerful air flow produced by the compressor is passed through a very narrow opening in the chamber, where the healing solution is poured.

Electron-mesh (mesh) nebulizers

Mesh nebulizers feature a mesh membrane through which a jet of medicinal solution passes. The membrane is affected by high-frequency vibrations (lower than in ultrasonic models). Electron-mesh nebulizers allow the use of any medical formulations for procedures (they are not subject to the limitations typical for devices that work exclusively on ultrasound). At the same time, they have a relatively small size and weight (only about 300 grams), and are convenient for transportation and can be powered by two conventional finger batteries, consuming only 1.5 W of electricity. About Medigap: Medigap, as indicated at https://www.Medicaresupplementplans2019.com/medicare-supplement-plan-f-2019/ has Medicare supplement plans which intend to cover the gaps in current Medicare program.