What is a Nebulizer
A nebulizer machine is a device comparable to an inhaler, but is more suited for children, disabled individuals, elderly patients, or those with illnesses who find using their hands and taking deep inhalations to be strenuous. Nebulizers create an aerosol that releases medication directly into the lungs without needing specialized breathing techniques. This is done so through a facial mask or mouth piece that attaches to the compressor by a tube. Full face masks cover the nose and mouth and are easier for infants and small children to use as it does not require hands to hold it in place whilst the mouth pieces do. With the mouth piece or facial mask in place, simply breath as you normally would until the vapor has completely dissipated. Depending on the type of medication, one nebulizer treatment can be done in 8-15 minutes. You can mix more than one medicine and give the treatment at one time but it may increase the total time it takes to compete a treatment as there is more medicine to distribute.
Often, children don’t like using nebulizers and may not cooperate the first few times they encounter the devise. In consideration of this, many nebulizer machines have been geared specifically toward kids in fun designs such as Buddy the Dog, an adorable blue dog compressor nebulizer. There is also a portable, interactive model that is perfect if your child loves to draw and doodle called the Neb-a-Doodle. Masks have been designed as child friendly creatures such as dragons and fish help children enjoy their treatment. Nebulizer masks should always sit snug to the child’s face so the medication won’t slip through a crack. This can cause the inappropriate dose of medication to be distributed and even cause eye irritation if the mist isn’t contained within the mask. You can also try to do fun activities such as playing a board game or reading a book during treatments to ensure your child stays entertained and doesn’t want to remove the nebulizer mask.
Nebulizer machines are intended for home use, as they require an electrical outlet to be plugged into. Portable nebulizers use a battery to operate instead of a power cable and are small enough to fit into a bag or purse. All of the portable models we carry use rechargeable batteries and many have the option for a car power adapter.
There are two types of nebulizer machines: jet and ultrasonic. A jet nebulizer pumps compressed oxygen in order to aerosolize the medicine which can then inhaled by the patient. An ultrasonic nebulizer uses high frequency sound waves. These ultrasonic vibrations cause waves that aerosolize the medication. The ultrasonic models offer faster delivery time and operate more quietly but in turn tend to be more fragile. Both the jet and ultrasonic nebulizer systems come in portable models and a variety of accessories are available for each.
We offer high powered breathing air compressor models that are for use with medications that require more flow and pressure to nebulizer properly.
We offer a variety of nebulizer machine accessories and supplies that allow you to keep your machine in perfect working order and fit your personal preference. We offer replacement filters, cups and caps as well as reusable and disposable masks and mouth pieces (nebulizers) in an array of styles. We carry nebulizer kits which typically include a face mask, medicine cup and tubing for your shopping convenience. Batteries and power cables are also available in case a replacement is necessary for your portable nebulizer model
How Do I Use a Home Nebulizer?
To use a nebulizer, you attach the nebulizer hose to an air compressor or known as nebulizer compressor, a small machine that takes air from the environment and turns it into a high-pressure stream. The drug is placed into a small cup. Air from the compressor converts the drug into an aerosol mist that you inhale through a mouthpiece. By taking slow, deep breaths, the medicine is delivered into your lungs. Small children or others who cannot hold the mouthpiece tightly in their lips can wear a mask to maximize the effects of the medicine.
Most Nebulizer compressors are small and lightweight, making them easy to use at home or away, and are compatible with any nebulizer kit. However, some nebulizers don't use air compressors. These are called "ultrasonic nebulizers," which use sound vibrations to create the drug aerosol. These units are quieter but more expensive. Also there are some pediatric medications that do not work with certain ultrasonic nebulizers so make sure you consult with your doctor about what product you are looking to use.
Unlike a metered dose inhaler, which only takes a couple of minutes or less to use, a nebulizer requires you sit down and relax for 5 to 15 minutes while you inhale the drug. Some people enjoy the experience of using a nebulizer, others don't have the patience.
Nebulizers require time and effort to keep them clean and operating properly. For most patients with asthma, a nebulizer is not necessary and other delivery methods like MDIs are appropriate.
First, you will need the following supplies:
- Air compressor
- Nebulizer cup
- Mask or mouthpiece
- Medication (either unit dose vials or bottles with measuring devices)
- Compressor tubing
Once you have the necessary supplies:
- Place the Nebulizer on a sturdy surface that will support its weight. Plug the cord from the Nebulizer into a properly grounded (three-prong) electrical outlet.
- Before using the nebulizer for your treatment, wash your hands with soap and water and dry completely.
- Carefully measure medications exactly as you have been instructed and put them into the nebulizer cup. Most medications today come in premeasured unit dose vials so measuring is not necessary. If you do measure use a separate, clean measuring device for each medication.
- Assemble the nebulizer cup and mask or mouthpiece.
- Connect the tubing to both the aerosol compressor and nebulizer cup.
- Turn on the nebulizer 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. If the treatment is for your child, he or she may sit on your lap. If you are using a mask, position it comfortably and securely on your or your child's face. If you are using a mouthpiece, place it between your or your child'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.
- If dizziness or jitteriness occurs, stop the treatment and rest for about 5 minutes. Continue the treatment, and try to breathe more slowly. If dizziness or jitteriness continues to be a problem with future treatments, inform your doctor.
During the treatment, if the medication sticks to the sides of the nebulizer cup, you may shake the cup to loosen the droplets.
How Do I Care For My Home Nebulizer?
Cleaning and disinfecting your home nebulizer equipment is simple and very important. Proper care prevents infection. Cleaning your nebulizer should be done in a dust- and smoke-free area away from open windows.
Follow these instructions when cleaning your nebulizer equipment:
- After each treatment, rinse the nebulizer cup thoroughly with warm water, shake off excess water, and let air dry. At the end of each day, the nebulizer cup, mask, or mouthpiece should be washed in warm soapy water using a mild detergent, rinsed thoroughly, and allowed to air dry. You do not need to clean the compressor tubing.
- Every third day, after washing your nebulizer equipment, disinfect the equipment using either a vinegar/water solution or the disinfectant solution your equipment supplier suggests. To use the vinegar solution, mix 1/2 cup white vinegar with 1 1/2 cups of water. Soak the nebulizer equipment for 20 minutes and rinse well under a steady stream of water. Shake off the excess water and allow to air dry on a paper towel. Always allow the nebulizer equipment to completely dry before storing in a plastic, zippered bag.
- Cover the compressor with a clean cloth when not in use. Keep it clean by wiping it with a clean, damp cloth as needed.
- Do not put the air compressor on the floor either for nebulizer treatments or for storage.
- Medications for your nebulizers should be stored in a cool, dry place. Check them often. If they have changed color or formed crystals, throw them away and replace them with new ones.
How Do I Care For My Home Nebulizer?
- Always have an extra nebulizer cup and mask or mouthpiece in case you need it.
Check the air compressor's filter as directed. Replace or clean according to the directions from manufacturer.