How to use a nebulizer to help manage your asthma

Written By

June 24, 2024

A nebulizer is a device that turns liquid medicine into a mist, making it easy to breathe in. If you have asthma, this can be super helpful because you just breathe normally to take your meds. To make sure your medicine works well and reaches your lungs, it's important to use your nebulizer correctly. Here's an easy guide to help you out. If you need extra help, we’re here for you. Simply self enroll for medication support, you can also call us at (410) 348-1905 or send us an email.

Getting Started

1. Ask About Your Medications: If you take more than one medication, ask your doctor if you can mix them or if you need to take them separately. Check out this guide from WebMD for more info.

2. Know Your Schedule: Make sure you understand when and how often to use your meds. 

3. Keep it Clean: Always keep your nebulizer clean. Learn the best cleaning tips by watching this video.

What is a Nebulizer?

A nebulizer has a few main parts: an air compressor that plugs into the wall, tubing that connects to the compressor and the medicine cup, and a mouthpiece or mask. To learn more about nebulizers, visit this page from KidsHealth.

Before You Use the Nebulizer

1. Wash your hands: Always start by washing your hands with soap and water.

2. Set Up the Compressor: Place the air compressor on a hard, flat surface like a table or countertop.

3. Connect the Tubing: Attach the tubing to the air compressor and then to the nebulizer.

4. Turn it On: place mouthpiece or secure mask then turn it all on.Prepare the Medicine: Open the top of the medicine cup. If your medicine comes in a small plastic container, break it open and squeeze the medicine into the medicine cup. If it comes in a bottle with a dropper, you might need to mix it with saline. Make sure you understand how to do this by reading this guide.

5. Assemble the Nebulizer: Put the top on the medicine cup and attach the mouthpiece or mask.

How to Use the Nebulizer

Watch this video to learn more by the American Lung Association.

1. Hold the Nebulizer Upright: This helps the medicine flow properly.

2. Using a Mouthpiece: If you’re using a mouthpiece, put it between your teeth and seal your lips tightly around it.

3. Using a Mask: If you’re using a mask, place it snugly over your face. It should cover your mouth and nose, but not get mist in your eyes. If it doesn’t fit right, you might need a different size. Check out this resource from the CDC for more tips.

4. Breathe Slowly: Breathe slowly through your mouth, not your nose. Take deep breaths occasionally.

5. Keep Breathing: Continue to breathe in the mist until all the medication is gone. This can take 5-15 minutes. If it takes longer, talk to your doctor.

Using your nebulizer correctly can make a big difference in managing your asthma. Follow these steps each time you use it to help your lungs get the medicine they need. For more tips on managing asthma, visit the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

The content on this site is not and should not be considered medical advice or a substitute for individual medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should always talk to your health care provider(s) for diagnosis and treatment, including information regarding which drugs, therapy, or other treatment may be appropriate for you. Learn more here.

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