The respiratory system
The origins of aerosol therapy date back a long way. The ancient Greeks used the sea-originated gaseous particles to treat and prevent diseases. Since then the therapy has of course developed and, in the field of respiratory medicine, the administration of drugs by aerosol has been gaining importance through the years due to the fact that many kinds of drugs have a better therapeutic effect when administered via aerosol than if used orally (enterally) or parenterally. Flaem Nuova has been playing an active part in the development of advanced equipment for aerosol applications which have spread widely thanks to the above therapeutic efficacy and to the possibility of patient self-administration.
Air is breathed through the nose and the mouth, passes from the nasopharynx to the larynx, then enters the trachea, the bronchi and finally reaches the lungs through the distal extremities, the alveoli.
What aerosol therapy consists of
Aerosol therapy consists of administering drugs directly to the respiratory tract to treat a number of pathologies of the nose, throat, bronchi and lungs. The aerosol is a suspension of solid particles and/or liquid droplets which, passing through the nose and the mouth, enter the respiratory tract and go deep into the larynx, the pharynx, the trachea and reach the lungs where they enter into contact with the bronchial mucosa and with the alveoli. The settling of such particles depends on their dimensions. The ideal diameter for these droplets to reach the whole respiratory tract ranges from 0.8-2 to 5-8 microns: particles with a large diameter are absorbed by the upper respiratory tract, while the smaller ones reach the bronchioles and the alveoli.
The advantages of aerosol therapy
The advantages of aerosol therapy can be summarized as follows:
- fast action and effectiveness of drugs at low doses
- easy penetration of drugs even in the lower respiratory tract
- easy to use also for children and the elderly
- side effects are absent or unimportant
- natural moisterisation of the air passages
- favouring expectoration
- strengthening of respiratory organs