Nebulizers: Home and Portable
How Do I Use a Nebulizer? continued...
During the treatment, if the medication sticks to the sides of the nebulizer cup, you may shake the cup to loosen the droplets.
Your pediatrician should tell you the frequency of nebulizer use and how long you should use it. You should also be given an asthma action plan that explains which medications to use and when.
Using a portable nebulizer is similar to using a home nebulizer, except that you don't need to plug it in. Most models are small enough to hold in your hand during use.
How Do I Care for My Nebulizer?
Cleaning and disinfecting your asthma nebulizer equipment is simple and very important. Proper care prevents infection. Cleaning should be done in a dust- and smoke-free area away from open windows.
Follow these instructions when cleaning your nebulizer:
- After each treatment, rinse the nebulizer cup thoroughly with warm water, shake off excess water, and let air dry. At the end of each day, the nebulizer cup, mask, or mouthpiece should be washed in warm soapy water using a mild detergent, rinsed thoroughly, and allowed to air dry. You do not need to clean the compressor tubing.
- Every third day, after washing your equipment, disinfect the equipment using either a vinegar/water solution or the disinfectant solution your equipment supplier suggests. To use the vinegar solution, mix 1/2 cup white vinegar with 1 1/2 cups of water. Soak the equipment for 20 minutes and rinse well under a steady stream of water. Shake off the excess water and allow to air dry on a paper towel. Always allow the equipment to completely dry before storing in a plastic, zippered bag.
- Cover the compressor with a clean cloth when not in use. Keep it clean by wiping it with a clean, damp cloth as needed.
- Do not put the air compressor on the floor either for treatments or for storage.
- Medications should be stored in a cool, dry place. Some medications require refrigeration and some require protection from light. Check them often. If they have changed color or formed crystals, throw them away and replace them with new ones.