Respiration: The importance of healthy breathing

Healthy breathing is so automatic that most of us hardly notice it. And yet it is vital to life itself. Every time we breathe in, fresh oxygen is drawn deep into our lungs. From there, it enters the bloodstream which transports it to all the individual cells of our bodies, enabling them to burn essential nutrients - also taken in via the bloodstream.


What happens during breathing?

We breathe in and out over 20,000 times a day. When inhaling, the chest rises and the diaphragm expands downward, creating a partial vacuum in the chest. This vacuum draws the inhaled air into the upper and lower respiratory passages. When exhaling, the lungs and chest return to their initial position and the spent air is expelled from the body via the respiratory passages. Respiration is accurately adjusted to the current metabolic condition - for example, physical rest or activity - by the so-called respiratory centre of the brain.


Respiratory Therapy

Chronic respiratory disorders call for specific, long-term treatments, normally based on appropriate medicines and modern respiratory therapies, including inhalation.


Now that systematic, gentle methods of healing are in particular demand, this proven form of therapy is more popular than ever. The very sparing dose of nebulized medicine is introduced quickly during inhalation to the diseased respiratory passages as a fine aerosol and directed to where it can act instantly.


While controlled dosage aerosols are still popular, they are difficult to use for many patients, particularly in the case of respiratory distress. In addition, if they are disposable sprays containing CFC's they contribute to environmental pollution.


Choosing The Right Nebulizer

It's obvious that inhaling helps in treating respiratory disorders, but which type of nebulizer is actually best for you? Generally speaking, you have a choice of two types, each based on different methods.


Conventional compressor nebulizers have provided very reliable inhalation therapy for many years. However, in the more modern, ultrasonic nebulizers the solution containing the drug is nebulized by ultrasound to form a very fine aerosol which penetrates deeply and quickly into the lungs and is able to give even faster relief.


The latest Omron models are pocket-sized for convenience and give readily accessible, instant relief for all those suffering from respiratory disorders. As a further benefit, none of them use CFC's as a propellant and are therefore better for the environment.


Asthma, bronchitis, pulmonary emphysema

Asthma, bronchitis and pulmonary emphysema are among the most frequent respiratory disorders. With bronchitis the bronchial mucus membrane is inflamed. If this persists for a lengthy period, it is referred to as chronic bronchitis. Constant coughing, impaired breathing, excess mucus and sputum are typical symptoms.


Asthma becomes apparent by frequent, spasmodic gasping for air and wheezing. As with chronic bronchitis, the bronchi are inflamed and obstructed with phlegm while the cilia are conglutinated. The respiratory passages also respond to certain stimuli with muscular spasms, often caused by allergens such as pollen or house dust, but also stress and environmental pollution.


Pulmonary emphysema, permanent distension of the small air sacs, is characterized by these small air sacs bursting. There is respiratory distress in all forms of emphysema.


Some relief for respiratory disorders can often be obtained by eliminating the causes of allergic reactions, such as by avoiding pollen and keeping the home free of dust. It is also strongly recommended to avoid smoking and smokers.