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There Are Two Common Kinds of Nebulizers

If you have just been diagnosed with asthma or COPD, your doctor may prescribe medication that can help you breathe but that you need to have a nebulizer to take. There are different kinds of nebulizers that you can choose from. 


A nebulizer is a machine that turns the medicine into a mist that can be easily inhaled. Most nebulizers need to be plugged into the wall, but some smaller ones can run on batteries or be charged like a cell phone. A larger nebulizer will use a tube that runs from the machine to a small reservoir for the medication and then to a mouthpiece for you to use to breathe in the medication. Smaller machines may be all one piece with a mouthpiece directly on the unit so there are no tubes. There are two common types of nebulizers, compressor and ultrasonic. 

Compressor Nebulizer

A compressor nebulizer is also known as an atomizer nebulizer or jet nebulizer. The machine has an air compressor inside it. When the machine is turned on and the tubing is connected to the reservoir and mouthpiece, the air that comes from the compressor bubbles into the medication and then turns it into a mist. That mist is then easily inhaled by you or the user. If the nebulizer is used for a child or for someone who has other issues, the tubing and reservoir may be attached to a face mask or nasal cannula so that it doesn't need to be held and can still be used. 

Ultrasonic Nebulizer

Instead of using air power to turn the medication into a mist, an ultrasonic nebulizer uses very high and very fast sonic vibrations. The vibrations are generated by an electric oscillator. One benefit of using this kind of nebulizer is that it is generally more mobile. That means that you can take it with you wherever you are going so that you can take your medication if you are going to be away from home for long periods of time. Ultrasonic nebulizers also don't always need to have AC power, and that also makes these units more mobile. 

If you have asthma or COPD, your doctor may prescribe you a nebulizer and medication that is supposed to be aerosolized. There are different kinds nebulizers that you can use, and you can talk to your doctor about which one will work best for you and your needs. 

Additionally, you can talk to a company such as Aerospan RX for more information.