How to use a Nebulizer

A nebulizer is a machine that changes medication from a liquid to a mist so that it can be more easily inhaled into the lungs.

Nebulizers are good for young children, people who have trouble using metered dose inhalers, and people who have severe asthma.

Nebulizers come in many forms. But they all work in same way.

Main Parts of a nebulizer.

  • Air compressor
  • Nebulizer cup
  • Mask or mouthpiece
  • Compressor tubing
  • Medication
How to use a Nebulizer?

  • Place the air compressor on a steady surface
  • Plug the cord of the compressor into a electrical outlet.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water and dry completely.
  • Carefully measure medications as you have been instructed and put them into the nebulizer cup.
  • Assemble the nebulizer cup and mask or mouthpiece.
  • Connect the tubing to both the aerosol compressor and nebulizer cup.
  • Turn on the compressor to make sure it is working correctly. You should see a light mist coming from the back of the tube opposite the mouthpiece.
  • Sit up straight on a comfortable chair.
    1. If you are using a mask, position it comfortably and securely on patient's face.
    2. If you are using a mouthpiece, place it between patient's teeth and seal the lips around it.
  • Take slow, deep breaths. If possible, hold each breath for 2-3 seconds before breathing out. This allows the medication to settle into the airways.
  • Continue the treatment until the medication is gone (an average of 10 minutes). The nebulizer will make a sputtering noise, and the cup will have just a little medication remaining.
  • Store the medicine as directed after each use.
  • Clean the nebulizer after each use.
Cleaning a Nebulizer

Cleaning and disinfecting your asthma nebulizer equipment is simple and very important. Proper care prevents infection. Cleaning should be done in a dust and smoke free area away from open windows.

After each use
  • Rinse the nebulizer cup, mask, or mouthpiece in warm running water for 30 seconds.
  • Rinse the eyedropper in warm running water for 30 seconds.
  • If possible, use distilled or sterile water for rinsing.
  • The tubing should not be washed or rinsed.
  • After rinsing, shake off excess water.
  • Run the machine for 10-20 seconds to dry the inside of the nebulizer.
  • Be sure to dry all parts completely.
  • Disconnect the tubing from the machine. Store the parts in a zip lock bag.

Once a week, after washing your equipment,
  • Disinfect the equipment using either a vinegar / disinfectant solution your equipment supplier suggests.
  • Shake off the excess water and allow to air dry on a paper towel. Always allow the equipment to completely dry before storing in a plastic, zippered bag.


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