Using a Nebulizer

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Reviewed by Laura Castricone, Respiratory Therapist on July 12, 2022

Nebulizers are simple machines that allow a person to easily inhale medication in the form of aerosolized particles directly into the lungs. Depending on the nature of the treatment and the condition for which it is used, nebulizer machines are available in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and with varied technology. Different nebulizers have different mechanisms depending on how they function. But the basic process of using a nebulizer is the same for most tabletop nebulizers.


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Why Do I Need a Nebulizer?

Nebulizer treatment or nebulization is used to treat the swelling of the airway, shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing. These symptoms or conditions are usually caused by:

  • Chronic respiratory diseases, such as asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Lung infections, such as Pneumonia
  • Severe allergic reactions

How to Use a Nebulizer?

Using a nebulizer is pretty simple but requires a lot of care and alertness as the person who sets it up is dealing with the most important system of the human body, which is the respiratory system. Usually, manufacturers or doctors provide basic instructions on how to use a nebulizer but here are a few basic steps on how to set up and use a nebulizer:

  • Always remember to first wash your hands with soap and water before preparing the nebulizer for use. This prevents the machine and the medication from getting contaminated.
  • Prepare the machine by placing the compressor machine on a flat surface so it can safely reach an outlet. Cleanliness is a key factor, so check all the pieces to see if they are perfectly clean.
  • The next step is to prepare the medicine. If your medication is already mixed then place it in the container directly. If you need to mix it manually, measure the correct amount of medicine and then add it in the container.
  • Add saline if needed or prescribed. You may need to add saline (saltwater) directly to your medicine container.
  • Next, connect the container. Connect the tube to the compressor and the liquid container properly and see if it is tightly connected. Connect the mask or mouthpiece to the top of the container.
  • Attach the mouthpiece or mask to the tube and check that it is clean. Switch on the machine and check if the nebulizer is misting properly.
  • Place the mouthpiece between your teeth or place the mask on your face securely. Slowly This can take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes
  • Keep the liquid container upright throughout the treatment so that no medicine is spilled and wasted.

How Do I Take Care of the Nebulizer?

Cleaning the Nebulizer - Clean the machine after each use is paramount to maintain its efficiency and age. Wash the container and mouthpiece or mask with standard dish soap and hot water after each use. Remember the parts need to be air dried only. Do not use a heater or put them under direct sunlight as it might damage the components. Turning on the machine also helps to quickly dry the nebulizer parts. Make sure all pieces are completely dry before storing them away

Disinfecting the Nebulizer – Since the machine deals with the respiratory system, making sure it is free from infections is very important. Basic cleaning can sometimes not get rid of the microorganisms that might affect the machine. Disinfect the machine every other day after usage. Soak the nebulizer parts in 1 part diluted white vinegar and 3 parts hot water. Let them soak for 1 hour. Rinse the parts and just like before let the parts air dry or attach them to the machine and switch it on to quickly dry them. Do not disinfect the mask in this manner.

Learn how to properly clean and disinfect your nebulizer. Click here!

Where to Buy Nebulizers?

At Shop Nebulizer, we have a wide range of premium nebulizers that are easy to use and can be efficiently cleaned and stored. Choose from different options at amazing prices and big discounts!

All You Need To Know About Nebulizers


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