What to Know About the Tabletop and Portable Nebulizer

clean nebulizer with medication

A nebulizer administers medication in the form of a mist. It can help people with breathing problems. We spoke with Anthony Barone, a registered respiratory therapist and neonatal pediatric specialist (RRT-NPS) with CHC Solutions, Inc., and learned important and useful information about them.

What Does A Nebulizer Do?

Nebulizers give people necessary medication. There is a class of drugs called bronchodilators that relax the smooth muscles in the lungs allowing people to breathe easier. Those who smoke or have different types of lung disorders may need this type of nebulized medication.

Nebulizers are also used to administer antibiotics. For example, kids with cystic fibrosis will get routine nebulized antibiotics. One class of drugs they may use is mucolytics which break down the bonds of mucous in their lungs to make it easier to cough it up.

How Does It Work?

Basically, a nebulizer is an air compressor. It has a medication cup and oxygen tube that attaches to it. The nebulizer compressor creates a flow normally between 5-8 liters per minute. This blows the air into the medication cup and creates a mist out of the medication that is then inhaled.

Barone said, “Cleaning is so important because a lot of the medication is crystal at its most basic form. So, when it dries, it becomes hard and can clog up the equipment.”

How Do I Clean the Nebulizer?

The tabletop nebulizer is very reliable. It comes with a disposable kit, and you use it and clean it as advised. Eventually, after you have gotten all possible use out of the machine, you talk to your physician, dispose of it and get a new one.

There are cleaning instructions for the portable nebulizer as well. For both types of nebulizer, follow the instructions on how to clean it because it can vary depending on what company manufactured that specific nebulizer.

When it comes to cleaning common medical equipment like the nebulizers, Barone suggested using a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water. “That is the closest you can get to sterile in the home. It can kill 99.9% of germs and bacteria.”

How Can I Get A Nebulizer?

Insurance coverage may be more difficult to get for the portable nebulizer, but some people have health savings accounts. You may be able to use some of that money to pay for the portion that insurance is not able to cover.

It is nice to have a portable nebulizer because it is small and battery operated. This makes it easy to use anywhere and you can take it on the go. Also, the size of the particles with the portable nebulizer tend to be smaller, so you get better deposition of the drug within your lungs.

A benefit of the nebulizer is that the cost of nebulized medication is traditionally cheaper than the drug delivered by a metered dose inhaler. The majority of nebulizers that we provide are tabletop.

Generally, insurances will cover you getting a new tabletop nebulizer about every 2 to 3 years. However, they don’t always last that long. If someone is using it regularly, it can break down. Your physician may deem it broken beyond repair after inspection. Then you can get a prescription for a new one and submit that to insurance for authorization.

Visit https://www.chcsolutions.com/continuum_connect/specialty-products/the-best-way-to-clean-your-nebulizer/ to learn more about how to clean your nebulizer.

*Disclaimer: Any health and wellness content presented is for general informational purposes only. Such content is not intended to replace or serve as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.