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How does a nebulizer work?

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Quick Answer

A nebulizer changes medication from a liquid state to a vapor by using an air compressor to force pressurized air through a tube connected to a medicine-containing vessel, explains Healthline. The vapor is easy to inhale from the nebulizer’s medicine vessel through an attached mask or mouthpiece.

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Full Answer

A nebulizer requires electric or battery power and administers single or multiple types of medication that are fast- or slow-acting, states Healthline. The user positions the device with the medicine vessel positioned upright and uses an adjustable valve to control the rate at which the nebulizer dispenses the medication, reports Drugs.com.

A doctor prescribes the specific type of drug and dosage for a patient to use in his nebulizer. The user places a container of premixed drugs in liquid form into the nebulizer before use, or the drugs may require mixing before placement into the device, explains Healthline.

Nebulizers are more effective than inhalers when used for treating constricted airways as they don’t require the user to take a deep breath before receiving the medication, according to Healthline. Additionally, they are easy for an adult or child of any age to use. Nebulizers are available in convenient and portable smaller sizes or in larger sizes designed to sit on a table top.

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