When operating a nebulizer, the patient must connect the hose to the air compressor, fill the medicine cup with the prescribed medication, attach the mouthpiece and hose to the medicine cup, and then place the mouthpiece in the mouth to breathe in until the unit process all the medication. The patient needs to switch the nebulizer off when done before washing the medicine cup and mouthpiece with water and allowing it to air dry until the next treatment, notes MedlinePlus.
A nebulizer is a small machine that turns medicine from a liquid form into a mist, and the medicine goes straight to the lungs as the patient takes slow, deep breaths. It usually takes between 10 and 15 minutes to complete a single treatment. Patients may need to use a nose clip to ensure that breathing occurs only through the mouth, and young children may benefit from wearing a mask, according to MedlinePlus.
Doctors often prescribe medications that require the use of a nebulizer for patients who suffer from asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other forms of lung disease. An inhaler is also effective for these patients, but the nebulizer delivers medicine with less effort than an inhaler, as MedlinePlus explains.