About Nebulization

FAQs

  1. WHAT IS A NEBULISER OR NEBULISER SYSTEM?

    A nebuliser is a medical device that turns liquid medication into a mist or an aerosol so that it can be inhaled directly into the lungs through a face mask or a mouthpiece.

  2. ARE INHALERS AND NEBULISERS THE SAME THING?

    Nebulisers and inhalers are different types of devices. They both are used to deliver medicines in aerosol or mist form to the airways and the lungs. Nebulisers are usually powered by electricity or batteries. An inhaler is not powered by electricity and is usually handheld.

  3. WHO SHOULD UNDERGO NEBULISATION?

    Nebulisation should be done only on a doctor’s prescription or recommendation. It is suitable for a certain group of patients who cannot use the handheld inhalers effectively – for example, patients who are very sick, those who are old and have comorbidities that limit their physical and cognitive skills, those who need higher dosages of medicine, or infants who cannot use handheld inhalers with or without spacers, or in emergency conditions.

  4. CAN I USE A NEBULISER AT HOME?

    A nebuliser should be used at home only when prescribed by a doctor and after clearly understanding the instructions on how to use it. The medicine dosage and the frequency of use should be in accordance with your doctor’s prescription. Moreover, proper cleaning and maintenance of the device should be done regularly as per the instructions in the device manual

  5. DOES NEBULISATION CAUSE ADDICTION TO THE MEDICINE?

    No, nebulisation does not create any addiction whatsoever – the medicines are the same as those that are administered through handheld inhalers.

  6. DOES NEBULISATION NEED A HIGH DOSAGE OF A MEDICINE?

    A nebuliser delivers the medication directly to the lungs and the airways. Hence, the medicine dose required is much less than that present in the tablets or syrups used for oral therapy.

  7. CAN NEBULISATION BE PERFORMED IN THE CASE OF INFANTS AND SMALL CHILDREN?

    Yes, it is safe to perform nebulisation in infants and small children with breathing difficulty – but it should be done only if prescribed by the physician and only after following the instructions on the use of a nebuliser correctly. As a parent or caregiver, you should first clearly understand the steps to perform nebulisation before you use it to treat your child or patient. To know more, click here for Nebulisation in Children.

  8. CAN I PERFORM NEBULISATION ON MY CHILD ON MY OWN?

    Nebulisation should be done only if it is prescribed by the doctor. The instructions pertaining to usage, dosage, cleaning and maintenance need to be followed correctly. The medication dosage, nebulisation frequency and duration should be strictly adhered to as per the doctor’s prescription.

  9. HOW MANY TIMES CAN NEBULISATION BE PERFORMED IN CASE OF A CHILD?

    A nebuliser must be used as per your doctor's recommendation. The medication dosage, frequency and duration of the nebulisation should be strictly adhered to as per the doctor’s prescription.

  10. DOES NEBULISATION RESULT IN AN OVERDOSAGE OF MEDICINE?

    Nebulisation should be performed using the medicine dosage as recommended by the doctor. If it is strictly followed, there are no chances of overdosing.

  11. DOES NEBULISATION HAVE MORE SIDE EFFECTS COMPARED WITH ORAL MEDICINES?

    When certain medications such as steroids or anticholinergics are to be administered, there are chances of some side effects if the mist comes in contact with the skin or eyes. In such cases, the side effects can be prevented by using a mouthpiece and cleaning of the nose and mouth area after nebulisation with warm water to prevent side effects. Irrespective of any type of nebulised medication used, rinsing of the throat and mouth with water should be done. On the other hand, unlike oral medicines where a high amount of medicine is administered, the systemic side effects are much lower in nebulisation since less amount of medicine is administered.

  12. HOW MUCH MEDICINE SHOULD BE FILLED IN THE MEDICATION CUP? CAN WATER BE USED TO DILUTE THE MEDICINE?

    The fill volume should not be less than 2 mL, especially when you are using a jet nebuliser. For mesh nebulizers, the fill volume should not be less than 0.5ml. For a nebuliser to work efficiently, the correct fill volume should be used. If dilution is required, normal saline should be used. Water should not be used as it can lead to a dangerous condition called bronchospasm, and cough.

  13. CAN TWO PEOPLE SHARE A MOUTHPIECE OR FACE MASK?

    No, it is not advisable to share the mouthpiece or face mask. Sharing can increase the risk of spread of infections from one person to the other. If disposable nebulisers are used, they should be used once and then disposed of.

  14. IS IT BETTER TO USE A MOUTHPIECE OR A FACE MASK?

    A mouthpiece is better than a face mask. With the mouthpiece, the mist directly enters the respiratory system. It has been documented that nebulisation using a mouthpiece is more effective than a face mask. However, a facemask can be used, as per the doctor’s recommendations, in patients who are not co-operative and in an acute condition.

  15. WHY IS A TIGHT-FITTING FACE MASK IMPORTANT IN NEBULISATION?

    A proper and tight-fitting mask can improve the delivery of the nebuliser medication and reduces the chances of wastage of medicine. The tight-fitting mask also prevents the medicine from coming in contact with the eyes. A patient using the face mask should be encouraged to inhale through the mouth.

  16. WHY DO NEBULISERS NEED TO BE CLEANED AND DISINFECTED?

    It is essential to clean the nebuliser and its accessories after every use and disinfect daily. If any liquid is left in the nebuliser and its parts, germs such as yeast, bacteria and fungus can colonise and multiply. This poses a risk of infection to the patient undergoing nebulisation. Cleaning the accessories after nebulisation and daily disinfection of the nebuliser kills these germs and ensures future germ-free treatment to the patient.

  17. WHY SHOULD THE USER BE IN AN UPRIGHT POSITION DURING NEBULISATION?

    The user should sit comfortably in an upright position or at a 45-degree angle so as to minimise breathing difficulty and also to allow maximum lung expansion in order to ensure that the maximum amount of medication reaches into the airways and the lungs.

  18. SHOULD NEBULISATION BE STOPPED AFTER 10-15 MINUTES?

    When using a jet nebuliser, most of the medicine is nebulised in this time span and the leftover medicine cannot be nebulised further. When most of the medicine is nebulised, a spluttering sound is heard, which indicates that the nebulisation should be stopped. However, it is important to note that for mesh (3-10 min) and ultrasonic nebulisers (5-10min), the nebulisation time is even shorter than jet nebulisers.

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