Nebulizer Knowhow; troubleshooting and maintenance
A nebulizer is used to administer respiratory medication to the airways. It is often prescribed for home use to treat various lung problems, such as emphysema, asthma and chronic bronchitis. Although it is easy to use, it’s helpful to know what to do if you encounter any problems.
Knowing your Equipment
If using a nebulizer is new to you, there are a few things to know. The compressor is the machine that generates the nebulizer. The nebulizer consists of a medication cup, a mouthpiece to inhale the medication through and tubing to connect everything together.
In instances where someone cannot hold a mouthpiece, a mask can also be attached to the medication cup. But a mouthpiece is the preferred method since more medication may be delivered to the lungs. Treatment times may vary based on the type of nebulizer and compressor you use, the amount of medication and your breathing characteristics.
Troubleshooting Your Nebulizer
Although nebulizers are typically easy to use, a few problems can develop. Consider the following troubleshooting tips:
No mist coming out: When you turn your machine on, if no mist is produced, make sure the compressor is plugged in, and the tubing is firmly attached to the machine and the medication cup. If everything is connected tightly and the compressor is on, make sure the medication chamber is not blocked. The little cone inside the medication cup has a tiny hole, which air comes out to produce an aerosol or mist. If the hole is blocked, it can prevent the mist from developing. Medication can crystallize and clog the hole, which may prevent proper misting. Take the cone out of the medication cup and rinse it off, allow it to dry and try again.