A nebulizer turns liquid medicine into a mist to help treat various respiratory conditions. They come in electric or battery-run versions. They come in both a portable size you can carry with you and a larger size that’s meant to sit on a table and plug into a wall. Both are made up of a base that holds an air compressor, a small container for liquid medicine, and a tube that connects the air compressor to the medicine container. Above the medicine container is a mouthpiece or mask you use to inhale the mist.
A number of different medications can be given using a nebuliser, including salt water solutions and antibiotics.
Nebulisers can also be used in palliative care and to give drugs to very young children, such as those with viral bronchiolitis.
If you have asthma, you are unlikely to be offered a nebuliser for routine use. Most people with asthma don’t need to use a nebuliser routinely. The latest research shows that using a reliever inhaler with a spacer is easier and just as effective for treating mild to moderate asthma.
As part of your treatment, you might be offered drugs delivered by a nebuliser if you have: