We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Nebulizer?

By O. Wallace
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A nebulizer, also known as an atomizer, is a machine that vaporizes liquid medication into a fine mist to be inhaled into the lungs via a mouthpiece or mask. A nebulizer is used to administer medication primarily for those with asthma, but also for those with cystic fibrosis or other respiratory illnesses. Although studies have shown that both inhalers and nebulizers tend to be equally effective in delivering medications, nebulizers are preferred for use in more serious rescue situations when one is experiencing a severe asthma attack. Nebulizers can administer a higher dosage of medication, but inhalers are easier to use, preferred for their portability and low cost and good for everyday use.

Nebulizers can vary greatly in size and can run on either electricity or battery power. It consists of a compressor that pumps oxygen through plastic tubing into a cup that holds the liquid medication. Once the oxygen mixes with the liquid, it is delivered in vaporized form through the mouthpiece or facemask to the lungs.

Under normal circumstances, it should take about five to fifteen minutes to complete the nebulizer treatment. However, if a child taking the medication is uncooperative or crying, the treatment may take longer or the effectiveness of the dose may be reduced. A face mask may also need to be used for the elderly or for those unable to use an inhaler themselves.

Medications used in a nebulizer usually include Albuterol, which is a bronchodilator, as well as Atrovent, which is also known as ipratropium bromide. In order to use a nebulizer, a child must have some degree of coordination and be able to cooperate in order for the medicine to be delivered effectively. One of the benefits of using a facemask with a nebulizer is that an infant or elderly person can passively receive the medication when the mask is strapped on and he or she is sitting quietly.

In the case of an emergency involving a power outage, or when a patient needs a nebulizer treatment on the road, there are some nebulizers available on the market with batteries or cigarette lighter adapters. As with any piece of medical equipment, a nebulizer should be sanitized after each use per manufacturer’s instructions.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon997819 — On Mar 04, 2017

Is the medicine used in a nebulizer the same as that used in the hospital?

By anon249061 — On Feb 19, 2012

@anon105899: Doctors don't prescribe children a nebulizer for no reason. She probably doesn't have symptoms because she is on it.

By anon160662 — On Mar 16, 2011

can a nebulizer be used for allergies?

By anon132580 — On Dec 07, 2010

can a nebulizer be used for treatment of a cough or flu?

By anon105899 — On Aug 23, 2010

my sister gives my niece a nebulizer treatment and she has absolutely no coughing and no asthma. I'm so confused! why would she need it? i think it's just for attention.

By anon83134 — On May 09, 2010

you can continue even if the child is crying.

By leh1969 — On Mar 14, 2009

If my child is receiving a nebulizer treatment and is crying should I continue the treatment or stop and wait 5 minutes?

By adeluisa — On Feb 22, 2009

Hi,

I was offered a nebulizer that uses proton instead of compression. What is the benefit?

Thanks

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.