About Nebulization

Myths

MYTH 1

NEBULISATION CAUSES ADDICTION TO THE MEDICINE

FACT
  • Nebulisation does not cause addiction. Nebulisation uses the same medicines that are present in the tablets or syrups used for oral treatment; the only difference is that to enable nebulisation, these medicines are provided in a liquid form. Nebulisation simply converts this liquid medication into a mist or an aerosol so that it can be inhaled easily.

MYTH 2

NEBULISATION NEEDS HIGH DOSAGES OF MEDICINE

FACT
  • Nebulisation does not need high dosages of medicine. Nebulisation converts liquid medicine into a mist or an aerosol form so that it can be inhaled and directly reaches air ways and the lungs. Since the medicine reaches directly into the lungs, the dose of medicine required is lower than that present in tablets or syrups to give the same level of therapeutic effect.
  • In fact, the dosage for nebulised medicines is 10 to 20 times lower than with the oral or intravenous medicines.
  • However, the dosage for nebulized medicine is higher [~2-3 times] as compared to handheld inhalers. This is because during nebulization process, some amount of mist generated is lost during exhalation.

MYTH 3

NEBULISATION CAUSES A LOT OF SIDE EFFECTS

FACT
  • In nebulisation, low dosage of medicine [as compared to oral medication]is used as the medicine gets converted into a mist or aerosol form that can be directly inhaled into the airways and the lungs – this focused efficacy means that the chances of side effects are also less. This is unlike oral medicines (syrups or tablets), which not only needs to be given in higher dosages to have an effect but also first has to go into the stomach and then get distributed in the body, due to which they can potentially cause more side effects.

MYTH 4

NEBULISATION TAKES A LONGER TIME TO HAVE AN EFFECT

FACT
  • As the medication is delivered directly to the diseased or affected area, it actually acts in a shorter time compared with oral treatments such as syrups or tablets.

MYTH 5

NEBULISATION IS USED ONLY BY PEOPLE WHO ARE ASTHMATIC

FACT
  • Nebulisationuse is not for asthmatics alone. It can be used to provide speedy relief from congestion, wheezing and breathing difficulty in many respiratory conditions, including bronchitis, asthma, COPD, cystic fibrosis and bronchiectasis. It can be especially beneficial in infants, small children and elderly individuals who face difficulties with the use of other devices. But nebulisation should be given only if recommended by the doctor.

MYTH 6

NEBULISATION IS VERY COMPLICATED TO PERFORM

FACT
  • The procedure of nebulisation is simple and can be carried out at home too as per the doctor’s recommendations.

MYTH 7

NEBULISATION MAY LEAD TO REDUCED AND INCORRECT DOSAGE AS MOST OF THE MEDICINE MIST CAN ESCAPE INTO THE SURROUNDINGS

FACT
  • Using a mouthpiece correctly or wearing a face mask that fits tightly will ensure that the full medicine dose reaches your airways and lungs, thereby providing you with speedy relief.

MYTH 8

NEBULISATION CANNOT BE USED IN INFANTS AND YOUNG CHILDREN

FACT
  • Actually, nebulisation is an effective method to deliver medicines to the lungs and airways in infants and young children. In small babies, inhaling through a nebuliser is easier than with other devices. Also, smaller dosages of medicine are required compared with oral medicines, thereby reducing the risk of side effects.

MYTH 9

THE CHILD HAS TO BE SLEEPING DURING NEBULISATION

FACT
  • Nebulisation should be done sitting in an upright position [desired position]. You can either hold your child upright in your arms or make him/her sit in a chair. This position helps to minimise breathing difficulty and allows maximum lung expansion in order to ensure that the maximum amount of medication reaches the airways and the lungs.

MYTH 10

NEBULISATION USING A FACE MASK IS BETTER THAN WITH A MOUTHPIECE

FACT
  • A mouthpiece is better as it reduces contact of the medicine with or deposition on the facial skin or eyes and, thus, reduces the chances of side effects. It also increases the efficiency of nebulisation as the medication mist is directly taken in through the mouth. If a face mask is used, the patient should be encouraged to breathe through the mouth and not through the nose – otherwise, the medication aerosol will get filtered out in the nasal passage itself and will be unable to enter the airways.

MYTH 11

IT’S OKAY TO PERFORM NEBULISATION EVEN IF THE CHILD IS CRYING

FACT
  • A crying child breathes in a fast and shallow manner – the inhalations are short and the exhalations are long. Doing nebulisation at such a time will only result in reduced intake of the medication mist and lower deposition of the medicine in the lungs.

MYTH 12

A NEBULISER DOES NOT NEED MAINTENANCE

FACT
  • Like with every device, your nebuliser also requires proper and timely maintenance. All the parts such as the tubing, the mouthpiece or the face mask should be checked, cleaned and replaced as per the instructions provided in the device manual.
  • For more details, click here.

MYTH 13

THERE IS NO NEED TO CLEAN THE NEBULISER

FACT
  • Nebulisers should be cleaned after every use and disinfected daily. All the parts should be stored in a clean and dry place.
  • For more details, click here.

MYTH 14

THE NEBULISER NEEDS TO BE CLEANED AND DISINFECTED ONLY WHEN USED

FACT
  • To prevent infections, the nebuliser accessories such as the face mask, mouthpiece, baffle, filter and medication cup(except the tubing) should be cleaned after every use and disinfected daily.

MYTH 15

THE LONGER THE DURATION OF NEBULISATION, THE BETTER WILL BE THE RECOVERY

FACT
  • No, the effectiveness of treatment does not depend on longer duration of nebulisation. Nebulisation should be carried out for the specific duration recommended by your doctor after which continuing nebulisation does not impart any benefit. Typically, when you use a jet nebuliser, nebulisation should not be done for more than 10-15 minutes. You should never continue nebulisation till the liquid dries up in the medication cup. There is always some amount of liquid medicine left behind that cannot be nebulised; considering this, the dose of the medicine is already adjusted in the respule

MYTH 16

NEBULISATION CAN BE USED TO TREAT COUGH

FACT
  • Nebulisation should be used only if your doctor recommends it. Your cough can be due to any other cause and needs to be properly diagnosed by the doctor before he/she can make a recommendation, if needed, for the use of a nebuliser.

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