Thursday, October 25, 2012

Who Invented the Inhaler?


Though certain forms of drugs have been both accidentally and intentionally inhaled for several centuries, inhalers themselves were not effectively developed and produced until the late 18th century. These first types of inhalers were fabricated to deliver medication to the patient’s body via inhalation. Most inhalers were correlated to issues and difficulties with the lungs. It was not until the 20th century that inhalers became a renowned and widely used method to treat asthma. New users of inhalers can obtain inhaler training for proper usage of the device from their respective physician.

Invention of the Inhaler

The inhaler was invented by an acclaimed English physician by the name of John Mudge. Dr. Mudge developed this incredible device in 1778 in association with lung complaints from patients. However, it was simply not a method of treatment for asthma until the 1900s. Prior to the 20th century, there were seemingly no ties between asthma and the remarkable device.

Dr. Nelson’s Inhaler

Some of the very first inhalers, which were employed based on a pewter tankard that Dr. Mudge, would use for the inhalation of opium vapors for effective cough treatment. Over the coming years leading into the 1800s, ceramic pots were the next devices to be utilized as inhalers by Dr. Nelson. Dr. Nelson began this trend for the inhalation of plant or chemical substances to alleviate difficulties in breathing.

Siegle’s Steam Spray Inhaler

By the early 1860s, Dr. Siegle had developed a steam spray inhaler. This treatment consisted of the effective atomization of liquid medication which began nebulizer therapy. Nebulizers are a common device used by asthmatics, those with COPD and those with Emphysema today to treat the symptoms of severe lung inflammation ailments. Nebulizers are successful methods of treatment when a patient simply cannot inhale as fast and as deep as would normally be required with the use of a pressurized inhaler.

Nebulizers have come a long way and are still popular today. To see a demonstration of how to use a nebulizer Click Here

How did the inhaler become what we know today?

With Alfred Newton as the initial creator, the first known or earliest recorded dry powder inhaler was developed in 1864. Alfred Newton produced this device for the inhalation of dry powder medications after observing that medicinal powders must be quite fine for effective inhalation. He also discovered the importance of keeping these powders dry in order to successfully utilize them for maximum effectiveness in treating breathing disorders. However, Alfred Newton was quite mistaken when it came to his drug of choice referred to as potassium chlorate. This is now famously known to be a lung irritant.

During the course of the 20th century, there were numerous crucial advancements in the production and development of inhalers as well as the medications that were used in them. By 1948, the Abbott Aerohalor was produced to be utilized as a dry powder inhaler for penicillin. In 1950, Reeder and Mackay had developed the inhaled corticosteroid to successfully treat pneumonia which is still widely used today. The use of nebulized cortisone and powdered hydrocortisone throughout the 1950 led to the later discovery of beclomethasone nearly twenty years after.

Why are inhalers so significant?

Inhalers, which are also commonly referred to as puffers, are devices utilized for their medicinal qualities and their ability to deliver essential medication to the body through the lungs. The most widely known uses for the inhaler include asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Relenza and at times influenza. The delivery of drugs via inhalation is truly a central component to effective treatment and/or management of several respiratory disorders including pneumonia and bronchitis.

See why delivery of drugs via inhalation are considered to be most effective for asthma as opposed to IV or a pill.

A MDI or Metered Dose Inhaler is a crucial method of providing, what can be lifesaving medication to a patient through means of inhalation. This makes the inhaler itself an invaluable medical device. MDIs are meant to deliver medicine to an individual in either a mist or spray form. Additionally, there are a few other types of inhalers that have become popular such as the DPIs or dry powder inhalers which offer medicine in a fine powder. The creation of this device has saved numerous lives and has affected the lives of countless others worldwide.

To see a demonstration of how to use different types of MDI and DPI inhalers

Click here

In-depth Training

In-depth Training

Consider taking our interactive program with step-by-step audio video instructions on 15+ inhalers.

  • ​Learn to inhale and use inhaler correctly
  • Practice with your device camera
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