What is an Asthma Nebulizer?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 08 January 2020
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
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An asthma nebulizer is a medical device which is designed for use in the administration of asthma medications. The nebulizer turns the medications into a fine mist which can be easily inhaled, ensuring that the medications will penetrate the airways and lungs and that the patient will get the full benefit of the medication. Hospitals and clinics usually keep asthma nebulizers on hand to treat asthmatic patients, and some people with asthma also use these devices at home as part of their asthma treatment plan, as directed by a physician.

Nebulizers work by forcing compressed air through a container of liquid medication, generating a fine mist. The mist is pushed through a tube which can be connected to a mask or similar attachment so that the patient can breathe in the mist. Nebulizers tend to be noisy, because of the compressor needed for the air, although some companies have developed portable asthma nebulizers which are a bit quieter and less disruptive. Historically, asthma nebulizers were large and heavy, but the need for portable devices has pushed several companies to scale down so that asthma patients can travel with their nebulizers.


To use an asthma nebulizer, tubing is connected, the reservoir is filled with the prescribed amount of nebulizer solution, and the breathing apparatus is held by the patient or strapped on, in the case of a face mask. Then, the nebulizer is turned on to aerosolize the fluid medication for inhalation. While the asthma nebulizer is a common incarnation of this device, similar equipment is used for people with cystic fibrosis and some other respiratory conditions.

People with asthma can experience breathing difficulties which make it difficult to use an inhaler, or may need medication in a volume which is not feasible with an inhaler. Using an asthma nebulizer for medication delivery takes longer, but it tends to be more effective. Patients may also find that they benefit simply from resting while breathing the cool mist.

An asthma home nebulizer may be prescribed by a doctor when it is believed that a patient could benefit from regular breathing treatments. In this case, the patient may have a set schedule to use, or the asthma nebulizer may be used as needed, depending on the situation. In other cases, patients may come in to a hospital or clinic for breathing treatments, with nebulizer administration being used when the patient is in distress.



Discuss this Article

Post 4

@Markerrag -- More than one asthma inhaler has been banned in one country or another due to concerns about the amount of CFCs they release. If you can't find an inhaler that seemed popular, there is a good chance that the CFC issue brought its availability to a sudden end.

Meanwhile, you should probably see your doctor and get an inhaler prescribed for you. They usually don't cost too terribly much and work better than over the counter stuff, anyway.

Post 3

One of my favorite asthma nebulizers was wan that was filled with epinephrine and was available over the counter for a reasonable price. I am not sure what happened to that particular asthma inhaler as it seemed popular but I can't find it anymore.

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