What is Nebulization?

A nebulizer is a device that converts liquid into a fine mist that can be inhaled. Nebulization is the term used for treatment that involves administering medication through a nebulizer.

Why is Nebulization Prescribed?

Because breathing in misted medication is easier than swallowing pills or taking other forms of respiratory therapy, it is often prescribed for children, infants and patients who have difficulty swallowing or sitting upright. It is a common type of treatment for airway inflammation caused by conditions like asthma, cystic fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and sleep apnea. Nebulization may also be prescribed to treat allergic reactions that cause anaphylaxis – an acute swelling of the airways – as well as viral or fungal infections like pneumonia or bronchitis.

What to Expect During Nebulization

The initial nebulization treatment is often performed in a hospital or doctor’s office where the patient is taught how to continue treatments at home. Each treatment takes approximately 20 to 30 minutes. Here is what to expect:

  1. Always wash your hands before handling your medications and nebulizer device.
  2. Pour the prescribed amount of liquid medication into the nebulizer cup or attach the prefilled nebulizer to the adaptor.
  3. Attach the tube from the nebulizer cup to the air compressor.
  4. Connect the nebulizer to the mouthpiece or mask. If the patient has a tracheostomy, the stoma area should be cleaned with Curity alcohol prep pads or another sterilization method before donning a trach mask for aerosol treatment.
  5. Place the nebulizer mouthpiece in the patient’s mouth or put the mask over both mouth and nose, then adjust for a comfortable fit.
  6. Turn on the device and inhale slowly and deeply at regular intervals until all the medicine is gone.
  7. If the nebulizer cup is disposable, discard it after the treatment. Otherwise, rinse the mouthpiece and nebulizer cup with warm water and allow to air dry. Nebulizer masks should be cleaned regularly with warm water.

Other Breathing Therapy Supplies

Find nebulizer cups, masks and tubing sold individually as well as reusable and disposable nebulizer kits with mouthpieces or masks for adults and children in various sizes and styles. Also find tracheostomy masks and other breathing therapy supplies like spirometers, individual saline doses and more.