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What is a Nebulizer? How does it help me breathe?


What is a Nebulizer? How does it help me breathe?


If you have asthma or any breathing related issues, your doctor may prescribe a nebulizer as treatment.

You may begin to ask;

What is a nebulizer?

How does it help me breathe?

This blog will address your questions.


A nebulizer is a medical device which delivers liquid or aerosol medications that can help you breathe to your lungs via a mask or mouthpiece.  It helps in converting liquid medicine into vapour or mist so that it can be inhaled directly into the lungs. It uses electricity to generate compressed air which turns medication from in a liquid form into vapour. The medicines are inhaled as mist because it hastens the action of the medication on the respiratory tract.

Medications given via nebulizer can treat acute conditions or can prevent respiratory problems from developing. Nebulizers are typically used for the treatment of breathing-related problems like cystic fibrosis, asthma, COPD and other respiratory diseases or disorders.

Another medical device that is frequently confused with the nebulizer is the metered-dose inhaler; they are pocket-sized inhalers. Inhalers and nebulizers both deliver the same medicine.

Nebuliser or Inhaler, which is better for me?

  1. In an emergency, if you are struggling to breathe and need a high dose of your reliever medicine, then you probably need a nebulizer.
  2. An inhaler requires you to take deep breaths, but during a severe asthma attack it is not a viable method as your airways have become narrow and taking deep breaths is not a possibility.
  3. A nebulizer is easy to operate and therefore it is a perfect alternative for old people and small children who otherwise find inhalers difficult as it requires a little coordination. Also, the medication in a nebulizer treatment flows continuously.
  4. A nebulizer is portable and comes in very handy during an acute attack situation. It takes approximately 10 minutes to deliver a full dose of medication and the relief is immediate.
  5. Having a nebulizer at home provides some psychological support to the person.
  6. Nebulizers as a treatment for lung disease are better than oral medications or inhalers. Most people who have severe asthma prefer nebulizer over inhaler to get better relief.

How can I maintain my Nebuliser?

  1. After each use, clean your nebulizer. Disconnect the mask, mouthpiece, and chamber and wash all three pieces with warm soapy water and air dry them before storing them away
  2. Change the mouthpieces, masks, and tube once every three months.
  3. Even if you need to use someone else’s nebulizer, make sure you don’t use their mouthpiece, mask or tubing.

All in all, a nebulizer helps you clear the blockage in your respiratory tract and enables you to breathe normally, without wheezing.