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. 

albury vital air - nebulisers

As part of your treatment, you might be offered drugs delivered by a nebuliser if you have:

  • COPD - There is no evidence that nebulisers are more effective at delivering drugs than hand-held inhalers as part of your usual treatment.  But you may use a nebuliser in hospital if you have a severe flare-up. 
  • Bronchiectasis - Nebulisers can be used to deliver medications to help reduce the thickness of your phlegm so it's easier to cough it out, and to deliver antibiotics if you have a bacterial infection.
  • Cystic Fibrosis - Nebulisers are used to deliver medications to control the build-up of mucus and other symptoms if you have cystic fibrosis.