Font Size
A
A
A

Nebulizer for Asthma Treatment


Topic Overview

A nebulizer is a device used to deliver liquid medicine in the form of a fine mist (aerosol). It is sometimes used for asthma because:

  • The medicine can be given over a longer period of time.
  • It may be easier to use for small children or for people who have serious difficulty breathing or have trouble using an inhaler.

A nebulizer uses a face mask or mouthpiece to deliver medicine. You breathe in the medicine through the mouthpieceClick here to see an illustration. or face maskClick here to see an illustration.. The mouthpiece or face mask needs to be cleaned after each use.

In general, a nebulizer may not always be the best choice for delivering daily asthma medicines to children because it:

  • Is hard to keep the mask on the child's face for the length of time needed for each treatment.
  • Isn't mobile. It is an electrical device that must stay in place while the child uses it.
  • Can be more expensive to use than a metered-dose inhaler (MDI).
  • Can deliver more medicine than is needed, compared with an inhaler and a spacerClick here to see an illustration.. This makes it easier to give a child too much medicine.
  • Needs maintenance on a regular basis.

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerLora J. Stewart, MD, MPH - Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics
Last RevisedDecember 7, 2011

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

To learn more visit Healthwise.org

© 1995-2012 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.





Medical Dictionary