A nebulizer is a device used to deliver liquid medicine in the form of a fine
mist (aerosol). It is sometimes used for
The medicine can be given over a longer period
It may be easier to use for small children or for people
who have serious difficulty breathing or have trouble using an
A nebulizer uses a face mask or mouthpiece to deliver medicine. You breathe in the medicine
face mask. The mouthpiece or face mask needs to be cleaned after each
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
Can deliver more
medicine than is needed, compared with an inhaler and a
spacer. This makes it easier to give a child too much
Needs maintenance on a regular basis.
If your child seems afraid to use a nebulizer, you may be able to help him or her by:
Putting the mask on your own face first to show your child there's nothing to be afraid of.
Have your child put the mask on a favorite stuffed animal to show that it isn't dangerous.
Distract your child during treatment, such as by watching a favorite TV show together or reading a book to your child.
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
March 14, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this