How to Use a Nebulizer

Nebulizers are small devices that allow patients with lung diseases to breathe in medications. The nebulizer transforms the liquid medicine into an inhalable mist. If your asthma treatment plan includes the use of a nebulizer, your doctor will help you learn how to use the device properly.

Get to know your nebulizer.

Nebulizers are straightforward to use, but it’s helpful if you’re familiar with the basic components of the system. The primary component is the machine itself, which provides the power that turns the liquid medicine into mist. It’s also called an air compressor. A hose connects the machine to the medicine cup, which is connected on its other end to the mouthpiece. Note that some patients, such as young children, who have trouble using the mouthpiece may use a face mask instead.

Prepare the nebulizer.

Before using your nebulizer equipment, scrub your hands thoroughly with soap and running water. You don’t want to introduce germs to the equipment that you might then breathe into your lungs. Then, connect one end of the hose to the machine. Add the prescribed amount of liquid medicine to the medicine cup. Close the cup tightly. From this point onward, hold the medicine cup upright to prevent spills. Next, connect the hose to the medicine cup, and connect the medicine cup to the mouthpiece.

Inhale your medication.

Put the mouthpiece into your mouth and turn on the machine. Make a firm seal with your lips to prevent any of the aerosol medicine from escaping. You’ll need the full dosage to properly manage your asthma. Now, all you need to do is take slow, deep, steady breaths through your mouth. It may take about 10 to 15 minutes to get the full dosage. Some patients have trouble remembering to inhale through the mouth the entire time. If you experience this, consider using a nose clip to prevent nasal inhalation.

Get the nebulizer ready for your next treatment.

Once you’ve received the full dosage, turn off the machine. Wash the medicine cup and the mouthpiece. Place these items on a clean towel and let them air dry until your next dosage.

If you have any questions or concerns about your asthma treatment, you can count on the doctors at Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM. You’ll find our offices in center city Philadelphia, Blue Bell, King of Prussia, Jenkintown, Doylestown, Lansdale, Pottstown, or Collegeville, Pennsylvania. Call 1(800)86-COUGH to request an appointment with an asthma and allergy specialist.