COPD is currently not curable, but it can be treated. The treatment goal is to slow down the progression of the disease, control the symptoms and reduce the frequency of attacks. There are drug as well as non-drug therapies.
Inhalation treatment is the most commonly used form of treatment; this is because the inhaled substance directly reaches the lungs. There are various inhalation systems including different inhalers (sometimes called puffers or MDIs and DPIs) and nebulisers. Nebulisers as well as inhalers have their pros and cons in COPD. Your doctor will prescribe or recommend the right one for you.
Nebulisers are usually prescribed if inhalers have not worked1. Administering the medication via inhalers is quick, however you need to learn a certain breathing technique. It is not uncommon for patients to have trouble with the necessary coordination or the breathing technique that is needed for inhalers. If you have trouble using an inhaler, you should consult your doctor or respiratory professional for advice.
Nebulisers take longer but you can breathe naturally throughout the treatment. Sometimes a nebuliser could be the better option, even though it might take 5 minutes longer. Another important aspect to consider is that nebulising saline solution is only possible with a nebuliser. Inhaling saline via a nebuliser, in addition to prescribed medicine, can be really beneficial for some COPD patients.
There are many different types of nebulisers available:
Jet Nebulisers are more versatile than Ultrasonic Nebulisers, as Ultrasonic Nebulisers can´t deliver certain medications used by patients with COPD. Jet nebulisers of course have their downside as they are a little louder during use. Vibrating Mesh are the newest and most advanced kind of nebulisers, however they aren´t as easy to clean as the mesh is very fine and shouldn’t just be boiled with tap water (as the PARI jet nebulisers can be).
Efficiency is key with nebulisers for COPD
All nebulisers have one thing in common: They all generate a fine mist – so called aerosol. In order to reach the lungs, the aerosol droplets need to be very small (less than 5 µm diameter). However, the smaller the aerosol the longer the treatment session might take. Therefore, it is important to look for efficient nebuliser systems delivering as much active substance as quickly as possible. In case that nebuliser therapy is indicated the actual NICE Guideline (2019) for the diagnosis and treatment of COPD recommends to use a nebuliser that is known to be efficient.
A possible and objective measure of efficiency is the RDDR (Respiratory Drug Delivery Rate). The RDDR is also an objective parameter to compare the efficiency of different nebuliser devices. PARI nebulisers achieve top rankings regarding this efficiency (very high RDDR).2 For a COPD patient a high nebuliser effiency means: short inhalation times and a high amount of the active substance delivered to your lungs.
As mentioned above, one of the main treatment goals in COPD is the relief of symptoms. Nebulising saline solution can do exactly that for some COPD patients.3 Whether nebulized saline solution is beneficial varies from patient to patient, but there are certain subgroups for whom it can be helpful.4 Inhaled hypertonic saline is also generally safe and well tolerated for COPD patients.5,6 This makes sense as inhaling saline via a nebuliser can support mucus clearance, which can be impaired if you suffer from COPD.7
If you feel you have mucus build up and / or you suffer from recurrent infections of the upper airways, speak to your doctor about using nebulised saline.
PARI Nebulisers are of the highest quality
Gold Standard: PARI Nebulisers are often recommended in the package inserts of medications
Highly efficient: PARI Nebulisers deliver a high amount of active agent to the lungs in a short time
As supplied to the NHS
You can buy PARI nebuliser devices from our trusted partner Nebicorum. Here you can find jet nebulisers as well as small and portable vibrating mesh nebulisers.
2. Walz-Jung H et al., Pneumologie 2018
3. Khan et al. BMC Pulm Med. 2004; 4:9 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC526282/)
4. Bennet et al. ERJ Open Research 2020 6 (https://openres.ersjournals.com/content/6/3/00269-2020)
5. Cole et al. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2017; 195:A5714 (https://www.atsjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1164/ajrccm-conference.2017.195.1_MeetingAbstracts.A5714?download=true)
6. Bennet et al. ERJ Open Research 2020 6 (https://openres.ersjournals.com/content/6/3/00269-2020)
7. Sethi European Respiratory Journal Jun 2010, 35 (6) (https://erj.ersjournals.com/content/35/6/1209#:~:text=The%20lung%20in%20COPD%20becomes,diagnosed%20as%20exacerbations%20of%20COPD.)
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