A nebulizer turns your COPD medicine into a mist. It is easier to breathe the medicine into your lungs this way. If you use a nebulizer, your COPD medicines will come in liquid form.
With a nebulizer, you will sit with your machine and use a mouthpiece. Medicine goes into your lungs as you take slow, deep breaths for 10 to 15 minutes.
Many people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) do not need to use a nebulizer. Another way to get your medicine is with an inhaler, which is usually just as effective.
Nebulizers can deliver medicine with less effort than inhalers. You and your doctor can decide if a nebulizer is the best way to get the medicine you need. The choice of device may be based on whether you find a nebulizer easier to use and what type of medicine you take.
How to use a Nebulizer
Most nebulizers use air compressors. Some use sound vibrations. These are called "ultrasonic nebulizers." They are quieter, but they cost more.
Follow these steps to set up and use your nebulizer:
- Connect the hose to the air compressor.
- Fill the medicine cup with your prescription. To avoid spills, close the medicine cup tightly and always hold the mouthpiece straight up and down.
- Attach the other end of the hose to the mouthpiece and medicine cup.
- Turn on the nebulizer machine.
- Place the mouthpiece in your mouth. Keep your lips firm around the mouthpiece so that all of the medicine goes into your lungs.
- Breathe through your mouth until all the medicine is used. This usually takes 10 to 15 minutes. Some people use a nose clip to help them breathe only through their mouth.
- Turn off the machine when you are done.