Working Principles and Uses Of a Nebulizer

What is a Nebulizer? How does a Nebulizer work? A Nebulizer is a small breathing machine that turns liquid medicine into mist so it can be inhaled into the lungs to help treat asthma or other respiratory diseases.
It is a type of machine that allows you inhale medicated vapor. They are not given without a doctors prescription. It comes in home and portable models. The home models are large and they need electricity to make them work while the portable models are small and they run on batteries.


Types of Nebulizers

These come in three forms:

1) Jet Nebulizer:

This uses a compressed gas to make aerosol.


2) Mesh Nebulizer:

This type of device allows liquid to pass through it’s mesh to form aerosol.


3) Ultrasonic Nebulizer:

It makes aerosol through high frequency vibrations.





Uses of Nebulizers

This device is very helpful when you have trouble using the regular asthma inhalers. A breathing treatment or Nebulized therapy is usually used when treating asthma.
They are used with a variety of medications like corticosteroids and bronchodilators and can be used to control asthma symptoms
– Corticosteroids fights inflammation .
– Bronchodilators open blocked airways.


Pros & Cons of a Nebulizer:

– This device allows asthmatic patients to inhale their prescribed medication directly into their lungs.
– They are useful for acute attack situation in homes.
– They are very useful for old people who do not find the use of inhalers comfortable.
– It helps in reducing cough, nasal congestion, nausea, sneezing etc.

– This device causes itching
– Drowsiness
– Nose burning / Nose bleeding
– Serum sickness



How to use a Nebulizer:

1) Wash your hands properly with soap and running water, then dry with a paper towel.
2) Measure the exact amount of medication prescribed by a doctor to you, then put the medication inside the Nebulizers medicine cup.
3) Attach the mouthpiece to the cup of the Nebulizer.
4) Connect the tubing
5) Turn on the air compressor of the machine
6) Inhale your medication
7) Turnoff the Nebulizer


Care of a Nebulizer:

1) Wash your hands with soap and water or alcohol based sanitizers.
2) Detach the parts of the device i.e the mouthpiece, tubing and the compressed air machine.
3) Soak the parts of the device in a mixture of white vinegar and warm water.
4) The compressor and the device tubing does not need washing.
5) Dry the excess water on the parts of the machine.
6) Reattach the pieces of the device to the compressor.
7) Disinfect the device twice a week.


Frequently Asked Questions About A Nebulizer:

1) How is the Nebulizer different from an Inhaler?:

A Nebulizer is an electric – or – battery powered breathing machine that turn liquid medicine to mist while an inhaler is a little device used to deliver medicine to asthma patients. An inhaler is so small that it could fit into your hands.


There Are Two Types of Asthma Inhalers:

a. Metered Dose Inhalers:
Metered dose inhalers makes use of aerosol canister inserted into a plastic mouthpiece to deliver a short dose of medicine.

b. Dry Powder Inhalers:
Dry power inhalers use a special inhaler to deliver medicine in form of dry powder.
The similarity between a Nebulizer and an inhaler is that both are used to deliver medications.

2) How long does a Nebulizer treatment take?

It takes about 10-15min to complete a Nebulizer treatment.

3) Can this device be used by all ages?

Yes, this device can be used by people of all ages.

4) What should I do if I start to feel dizzy during a Nebulized therapy/breathing treatment?

When you start feeling dizzy during a breathing treatment you should stop the treatment immediately, wait a few minutes and if the symptoms go away you can restart the treatment, but if it doesn’t and you continue feeling dizzy or it comes back when you restart the treatment call your doctor.

5) Can this device be used to deliver to deliver oxygen?

The answer is no, a ventilator is used to deliver oxygen not a Nebulizer and oxygen concentrators are not used to administer medication.

6) What medications are used in this device?
– Albuterol
– Pulmicort

7) Do I need a prescription for a Nebulizer medication?
Yes, a doctors prescription is needed for a Nebulizer medication.