Asthma Nebulizers and Inhalers: What helps you breathe easy?

Little girl expresses to breathe easy
Beautiful little girl blowing dandelion on green meadow

Don’t know how to differentiate between asthma nebulizers and inhalers? Unsure of what helps you breathe easy? Read these handy FAQs to find out all you need to know on asthma nebulizers and inhalers.\r\n\r\n

How do I know if I need an asthma nebulizer or an inhaler?

\r\n\r\nYou should begin by discussing your condition with your healthcare professional. Find out what medication you are being prescribed and how often you need to take it, and then you can discuss the most effective way to administer it. Asthma treatment holds many factors to consider, such as the age of the patient: young children and the elderly often find asthma nebulizers more effective as they are easier to use. On the other hand, someone who is constantly on the move may find an inhaler or a small portable nebulizer easier to carry than a larger model.\r\n\r\n

What kind of nebulizer is right for me?

\r\n\r\nWhich kind of nebulizer is best for you depends on your lifestyle. If you are constantly on the move then a smaller model that you can fit in your bag or hold in your hand will be more convenient. If you will be taking your medication in the same place each day – for example at home or the office – then a bigger asthma nebulizer can be kept on the table. Whichever model you decide is right for you, the most important thing is to use it as prescribed, as it helps you breathe easy.\r\n\r\n

My child suffers from asthma. Should we use an inhaler or a nebulizer?

\r\n\r\nInhalers are easily portable and very convenient, but it can be hard for children to use them correctly as the inhalation of the medication has to be carefully timed. That means that the full dose may not reach the lungs, reducing its effectiveness to help your child breathe easy. Nebulizers are easier to use as all the patient has to do is breathe normally through the mask or mouthpiece, but some larger models can be relatively noisy which some children may find unpleasant. If you are looking for a nebulizer for kids, the colorful C801-KD is designed especially for kids and has an ultra-quiet compressor, so may be a good choice.\r\n\r\n

I’m constantly on the go during the day. Does that mean I can’t use a nebulizer?

\r\n\r\nNot at all. It’s true that larger asthma nebulizers are best suited to being kept in one place, such as at home or the office, but there are several smaller models available that will fit easily into a purse or bag so you can take it with you wherever you go. This is an effective alternative to inhaler medications.\r\n\r\n

What are the common mistakes with inhaler and nebulizer use?

\r\n\r\nInhalers can be tricky to use correctly. The most common mistakes are not shaking it properly before use, inhaling too sharply or at the wrong time, and not holding your breath for long enough once you have inhaled the medication. On the plus side, the dose is metered so if you avoid these mistakes you will get the correct dose.\r\n\r\nNebulizers are more easy to use: simply put on the mask or mouthpiece and breathe normally. As you will most likely add the medication to the nebulizer yourself it’s important to ensure that you add exactly the dosage prescribed.\r\n\r\n

How do I know if I have enough medication left?

\r\n\r\nThis can be a problem with older inhalers as there is no way to know how much medication is left, and they continue to make a puffing sound even when the dispenser is empty. Newer inhalers over the counter sometimes have a dose meter, you can get around this by keeping a note of how many times you have used the asthma inhaler.\r\n\r\nAsthma nebulizers typically have the medication added manually to the medication cup reservoir before each use, so it’s much easier to tell how much you have remaining.