Inhalers for the Elderly: Everything You Need to Know

Inhalers for the Elderly: Everything You Need to Know

It is known from history that the invention of the inhaler dates back to the second half of the 18th century, and it was invented by John Madge, an English doctor. Initially, the device consisted of a large lead cap with a special opening through which the patient inhaled opium drug fumes (at that time they were used as potent cough medicine, and their side effects were not yet studied). Later, in the 20th century, nozzles with electric compressors (in 1930) were designed, which were used for the same purposes, and in the 1950s. The first models of ultrasonic devices were developed.

All modern types of inhalers and nebulizers, commercially available, are arranged according to a single principle. Their design necessarily includes the main unit (where the air flow is generated, which then turns into an aerosol of the necessary degree of dispersion) and a solution chamber (small, 5-10 ml volume, capacity into which the drug is poured) equipped with a damper. To the valve, in turn, 2 tubes are attached, one of which connects the chamber with the main unit and delivers the solution there, and the second is suspended (via a mask, special tube or mouthpiece).

The drug turns into an aerosol — a liquid-gas mixture filled with the smallest (from 1 to 10 microns in diameter) droplets of medicine that are sprayed in an air cloud. In the composition of the suspension that enters the respiratory tract, microscopic particles of the active substance penetrate very far along the respiratory tract – right up to the tiniest pulmonary alveoli. Larger drops of medication (10 and more microns), however, do not penetrate so deeply, settling on the mucous membranes of nasopharynx & throat. Here is a more detailed description of which areas of the respiratory tract will be affected by aerosols, depending on their dispersity (the size of the fluid particles in their composition):

8-10 microns – oral cavity;

5-8 microns – the very beginning of the respiratory tract: the palate, nasopharynx, larynx;

3-5 microns – trachea, bronchi;

1-3 microns – bronchioles;

0.5-2 microns – alveolar structures of the lungs.

This parameter (size of aerosol elements) is adjusted by means of special inhaler tips, which are usually included in the kit. When choosing the desired value, it should be remembered that the smallest particles, although they reach distant corners of the respiratory system, are not particularly effective, because they contain little healing substance. Also, they have a rather weak effect with acute inflammation of the throat and trachea. About Medicare Supplement Plans: Supplemental healthcare plans enable older individuals who’re above the age of 65 pay for coinsurance, deductible, etc.