Allergy Clinic Nebulizer
What is a nebulizer?
A nebulizer is a small cup that holds medicine. When attached to an air compressor, the medicine turns into a fine mist that can be breathed in.
- Set the machine or nebulizer on a hard surface, such as a table, and plug in. Place the long tubing in the small adapter on the nebulizer.
- Twist off the end of the vial and squeeze the medicine into the cup.
- Place the lid and mouthpiece on the medicine cup. Attach the smooth tubing from the nebulizer to the medicine cup.
- Turn the compressor on. A fine mist should be seen. If not, disconnect the tubing and feel for air coming from the machine. If air is coming, check that all connections are tight.
How do I use the nebulizer?
- Place the mouthpiece in your mouth. Some small children use a mask over the mouth and nose rather than a mouthpiece.
- Take slow, deep breaths through your mouth. Hold the breath briefly. Breathe out.
- Make sure the medicine cup is kept upright.
- Keep doing the treatment until it is done (no mist comes out, about 10 minutes). If the medicine sticks to the sides of the cup, gently tap the sides of the cup.
- After the treatment is over, take the cup apart. Rinse it with warm tap water, and allow it to air dry on a clean towel.
How do I clean the mouthpiece or mask and medicine cup?
- Clean the medicine cup and mouthpiece or mask every day it is used.
- Take apart the medicine cup. Wash the cup and mouthpiece or mask in dish soap and warm water. Do not wash the tubing that connects the cup to the compressor.
- Rinse with warm water and air dry.
- Clean or change the air compressor filter as needed following the directions (usually once a year).
How do I disinfect the mouthpiece or mask and medicine cup?
- After cleaning the medicine cup and mouthpiece or mask, soak in a mixture of one part white vinegar (5% solution from grocery store) to two parts water (1 cup vinegar to 2 cups water). Make sure the medicine cup is covered and soak for at least 30 minutes (up to 2 hours).
- Rinse parts well with warm water and air dry.
- Disinfecting should be done twice a week.
The Spanish version of this Health Fact for You is 6750.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 08/20/2012
Copyright © 03/09/2011 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4228
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