If you or your child suffers from asthma, chronic bronchitis, respiratory infections, COPD emphysema, and/or allergies, then you may be using a nebulizer to help deliver medications that help you to breathe. A nebulizer is a medical device that is connected to a compressed air machine. The nebulizer uses a mist to deliver life-saving medications.
How to Use a Nebulizer
Using a nebulizer is not complicated once you understand the steps:
- Is your medication pre-mixed, or do you need to mix it yourself? Once you know this, place the mixed medication into the ampule and squeeze the contents into the nebulizer.
- Connect the mouthpiece to the T-shaped part and connect it to the cup. Your device may just have a mask that connects to the cup.
- Place the mouthpiece in your mouth and seal with your lips. If you have a mask, place it over your mouth.
- Turn on your air compressor machine.
- Breathe slowly through the mouth.
- Hold your breath for 1 to 2 seconds before breathing out.
- Be sure to use the machine until all the medicine is gone (about 10 minutes).
- Store your medicine as instructed until the next use.
Clean your Nebulizer Daily
Proper use and storage of your medicine and nebulizer parts is essential to your breathing therapy. Be sure to have a strict cleaning routine that helps to keep germs away from your machine. This will help to reduce the risk of infection that can make your illness worse. Cleaning your nebulizer will also help it last longer. It is important that you do not use harsh cleaning items on your machine or on nebulizer parts. The only thing that belongs in it is your medication, sterile or distilled water, or a vinegar solution in the medicine cup of the nebulizer.
It is important to clean your nebulizer on a daily basis. To do that, you simply wash the mask, mouthpiece, and T-shaped part of the cup with a mild dishwashing soap and warm water. The tubing should be set to the side and not washed. Rinse under clean water for about 30 seconds. Shake off the excess water and allow it to air dry on a clean cloth or paper towel.
When Should I Replace Nebulizer Parts?
Your nebulizer comes with an owner’s manual. It is important to become familiar with all its parts and recommendations for maintenance. However, generally speaking, nebulizer cups and masks are designed to be used for about 6 months. The tubing should be replaced once you notice any cracks or tears.
Taking proper care of your nebulizer is an important part of maintaining the machine. It is up to you to ensure that you use it properly so that you can experience the full benefits of your therapy.