A nebulizer is a drug delivery device that turns liquid medication into a fine mist. This makes it easier to inhale into the lungs. Using a nebulizer takes a bit of practice, but once you’ve done it a few times, it should be relatively easy to use.

Why Use a Nebulizer?

Your health care provider will determine whether a nebulizer is right for you. Although the beneficial effects are generally the same, many people feel they get better symptom relief after using a nebulizer compared to when using a standard inhaler. Additionally, some people have trouble coordinating the depression of the inhaler canister with their breath. Nebulizers remove this from the equation and can be used as a substitute for an inhaler under the advice and direction of your health care provider.

Most nebulizers are small and easy to use. Some are even portable.

How to Use a Nebulizer

When you use a nebulizer, you’ll sit quietly taking slow, deep breaths for about 10 to 15 minutes. The following are general guidelines to setting up and using a nebulizer:

  1. Connect the hose to the air compressor.
  2. Fill the medicine cup with the prescribed dose of liquid medication.
  3. Attach the hose and the mouthpiece securely to the medicine cup.
  4. Place the mouthpiece in your mouth, sealing your lips tightly around it.
  5. Breathe in through your mouth until all the medicine has been inhaled.
  6. Wash the medicine cup and mouthpiece thoroughly with water and allow to air dry.
  7. Store your nebulizer in a safe place away from pets and children until your next treatment.

To learn how to clean your nebulizer properly, read Inogen’s How to Care for Your Nebulizer.