Oral insulin was long considered the optimum method of type 1 diabetes control, but in practice insulin inhalers remain imperfect.
There are a variety of insulin inhalers available on the market, and some are becoming more functional.
There are various ways in which insulin inhalers function.
Insulin inhaler functionality
Some convert a dose of dry insulin using compressed air, providing particles which may then be inhaled.
This process is called aerosolization. Other insulin inhalers are activated with the breath. The insulin dose in inhaled directly through the mouth into the lungs.
Most insulin inhalers are used with rapid-acting insulin doses.
This means that they are ideally used before meals and are not designed to completely replace insulin injections.
However, in the future fast and slow acting insulin may also be able to be inhaled.
Insulin inhalers are becoming more successful
Researchers believe that these new insulin inhaling devices are becoming increasingly successful in the delivery of insulin and in the control of blood glucose levels.
However, a number of concerns still exist such as the effect of long-term use of insulin inhalers on the lungs, how useful insulin inhalation is for people with colds or other respiratory problems and how to precisely measure insulin dosage.