A nebulizer is a piece of medical equipment that a person with asthma or another respiratory condition can use to administer medication directly and quickly to the lungs.
A nebulizer turns liquid medicine into a very fine mist that a person can inhale through a face mask or mouthpiece. Taking medicine this way allows it to go straight into the lungs and the respiratory system where it is needed.
Who needs it?
Doctors typically prescribe nebulizers to people with one of the following lung disorders:
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- cystic fibrosis
Nebulizers are also a helpful way to deliver medication during palliative care and to very young children.
How to use?
The basic steps to set up and use your nebulizer are as follows:
- Wash your hands well.
- Connect the hose to an air compressor.
- Fill the medicine cup with your prescription. To avoid spills, close the medicine cup tightly and always hold the mouthpiece straight up and down.
- Attach the hose and mouthpiece to the medicine cup.
- Place the mouthpiece in your mouth. Keep your lips firm around the mouthpiece so that all of the medicine goes into your lungs.
- Breathe through your mouth until all the medicine is used. This takes 10 to 15 minutes. If needed, use a nose clip so that you breathe only through your mouth. Small children usually do better if they wear a mask.
- Turn off the machine when done.
- Wash the medicine cup and mouthpiece with water and air dry until your next treatment.