Medical Nebulizers: How To Use And Properly Care For Them

A nebulizer is used to deliver medication into your body. It converts liquid medicine into a very fine mist that it then sprays into a mask which you wear. As you inhale the medication travels into your lungs. Nebulizers make it very easy to deliver medication to asthma patients and especially to children and infants who may not be able to take medication in ways that an adult can. The nebulizer delivery method is also known as “breathing treatment”.

You can purchase a nebulizer as either a portable or home unit. The home nebulizers are not easily moved, although they often have wheels on their base. They also usually need to be plugged in to an electrical outlet too. The portable nebulizers use batteries and can also be plugged in too.

The cost of nebulizers can range from $30 to $100 or so. Accessories cost extra. Sometimes the cost is covered by health insurance. Many insurance underwriters will demand that you purchase through a preferred vendor of nebulizers and accessories. They do this to make certain that the equipment will be covered under your health insurance policy.

How to properly use a nebulizer

You’ll need an air compressor, nebulizer cup, a mask, the medication in a dosage vial and a compressor tube.

Plug in the electrical cord of your compressor.

Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, then dry them.

Measure out your medication to the correct dosage. Many meds will already come pre-measured.

Attach the nebulizer cub to the mask then connect the compressor tube at both ends from the compressor to the mask.

Turn on your compressor. If it’s working properly you will notice a light mist travelling through the tube and out the back face of the mask.

Position the mask securely on your face. Take slow and measured breaths. You’ll want to hold each breath for two to three seconds before you  exhale. That will ensure that the medication has a chance to enter and penetrate your airway more effectively.

When your treatment has completed the sound coming from your nebulizer will change from a consistent humming to more of a sputter-like sound.

How to clean your nebulizer after treatment

It’s really important that you take time to properly clean your nebulizer after each use to prevent build up of medicinal residue. If you don’t clean it after each use the residue that builds up in the machine will cause a degradation in performance. Proper cleaning of the equipment will also reduce the risk of infection too.

After you’ve finished using your nebulizer, rinse the mask with water. Every second or third time that you use the nebulizer you need to prepare a mixed solution of one and half cups of water and half a cup of vinegar, then submerge the mask and tube in the solution for about twenty minutes. Then rinse the equipment thoroughly under the tap and allow it to dry completely before storing it.

How to store your nebulizer and accessories

Place a clean piece of fabric over your nebulizer when not using it. This will prevent dust from accumulating on and inside of the machine. Store your medication in a dry, cool area. Be sure to check your medication frequently and note if the color of your medication has changed or the density of the liquid has changed. If that happens dispose of the medication immediately.

PortableNebs.com is a leading online provider of home medical equipment. With a diverse range of nebulizer equipment that includes pediatric nebulizer products and accessories, you’ll find an affordable solution that is covered under most health insurance policies.