How Does a Nebuliser Work?
A nebuliser is a medical device used to change liquid medication into a fine mist that can be inhaled through the mouth. It does this by pumping compressed air or ultrasonic vibrations through the liquid to convert it into a spray that is easier to breathe in through a mouthpiece or face mask. Nebulisers can be battery-powered or electric and come in both portable and table-top versions.
They differ from inhalers which are small, handheld devices that asthmatics use to inhale their medication. Inhalers are often used with spacers as this helps to deliver the medication to the lungs properly, instead of the back of the mouth. Nebulisers also help increase delivery of the drug to the lungs - all you need to do is breathe regularly and the vapour will be sent directly to the lungs. This makes nebulisation a great option for small children and those who struggle with inhalers.
What is a Nebuliser Used for?
Nebulisers are used to distribute medication quickly and effectively to the respiratory tract. These medications are used by people with asthma or other respiratory illnesses to both relieve symptoms and prevent a flare-up from occurring. The medications help to:
- Relieve wheezing
- Relieve breathlessness
- Relieve chest tightness
- Help control phlegm and mucus build-up
Who Can Use a Nebuliser?
People who live with a respiratory illness can use a nebuliser. While inhalers are more commonly used by those with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), there are situations where nebulising will be more effective. This can include emergencies where you may need a higher dose of medication to breathe or require antibiotics for infection control, or if you have a severe respiratory illness, such as acute asthma, and require stronger nebuliser medication.
Nebulisers may be recommended if you have cystic fibrosis or bronchiectasis, or if you have arthritis which makes using inhalers difficult. They are also the preferred method for babies and young children to ensure they get the full dose of medication to the lungs.
How Long Does a Treatment Take?
The duration of treatment will depend on the type of nebuliser you use and the dosage of medication you require. Most nebulisers will take 10-20 minutes to complete treatment, however, more powerful machines, such as the Philips Respironics InnoSpire Elegance, can cut this down to 6-8 minutes.
Choosing the Right Nebuliser for You
There are many different types of nebulisers. Two of the most common are jet nebulisers and ultrasonic nebulisers, which are generally reserved for hospital use. It's important to purchase a nebuliser that suits your needs. Ask yourself these questions:
Is it for upper or lower respiratory tract diseases? Upper respiratory tract diseases, such as rhinitis, require a large particle size, while lower respiratory diseases, such as asthma and bronchitis, need a smaller particle size.
- Is it made for regular use and can I clean it easily?
- Is it easy to replace the parts, such as tubing, bowls, masks, mouthpieces, etc?
- Will I need to travel with a nebuliser? A portable nebuliser may be a better choice.
- Do I want an electric or battery-powered nebuliser?
- Is there an efficient after-sales process in place to help with the regular servicing of equipment?
Nebulisers for Babies and Children
Nebulisers are particularly beneficial for children and babies who are unable to use an inhaler correctly as they ensure they get the full dosage of their medication into their lungs simply by breathing normally. Shop our children's universal nebuliser kits by Able with bowl, mask and tubing included. We also have the Philips Respironic Lite Touch Mask for 1-5-year-olds with a soft, contoured cushion for less leakage and the Ecomed Breathe Eazy spacer and mask for babies to make taking puffers and metered dose inhalers easy and stress-free.
Check with your paediatric professional first to see which type of nebuliser is best for your child.
Nebulisers for Adults
We have a diverse range of portable and home nebulisers to help adults breathe easier and get on with their busy lives. We have the Breath-A-Tech mesh nebuliser that's portable so that you can carry it with you while traveling or outdoors. There's the Philips InnoSpire Elegance with powerful technology that will convert your liquid medication into a high-quality aerosol in just 6-8 minutes. We've got the Allersearch Econ-o-mist nebuliser for occasional use with tubing, jet nebuliser down and masks included. We've also got a range of filters, masks, spacers, bowls, and mouthpieces for when you need a replacement
How Often Will You Use a Nebuliser?
The number of times you will need to use your nebuliser will depend on the medication prescribed. . Consult with a health professional to determine the correct dosage and frequency for you. Prescribed nebuliser medication can have side effects if used incorrectly.
Home-Based vs. Portable
A sturdy, home-based nebuliser is preferable if you use it regularly and require a higher nebulising effect. If you tend to travel a lot and take your treatment at different times in the day, a portable nebuliser is a great way to take your medication wherever you are.
At Amcal, we stock the best compressors to suit your needs and lifestyle. We have portable nebulisers by Breath-A-Tech that are compact, lightweight, and quiet with precise delivery and both battery and power-operated options. For something more stable, we have home compressors by Allersearch with everything included, the Able Actineb Mini Nebuliser which is compact and cost-effective, and a range of children's nebuliser kits by Able, Allersearch, Philips, and Breath Eazy.
Tips for Using a Nebuliser
To help you get the most out of your nebuliser and ensure you are using it to optimal effect, make sure you speak to a health care professional who can teach you how to use it correctly. Here are some useful tips to keep in mind:
- Most people can use a nebuliser with just the mouthpiece, but a face mask can be attached if needed
- When using a nebuliser, place the pump on a hard surface, such as a table, to ensure it runs smoothly and to stop lint and debris from clogging the pump
- 80% of your medication should be nebulised within approximately 8 minutes. A standard dose should take around 10 minutes for most people
Cleaning Your Nebuliser
Cleaning the nebuliser is important to prevent clogging and to make sure you always get the full dose. It also helps to sterilise the equipment and minimise the risk of infection. You will need to replace the pump and filters for most nebulisers around every 6-12 months. Bowls, tubing and face masks should be replaced every 3 months with regular use.
Speak to a healthcare professional about the best way to keep your nebuliser serviced and functioning properly.
Comparing All the Brands
Amcal has got all the best brands to help Australians breathe easier and live better. We have high-performance adult nebulisers by Philips, portable nebulisers by Breath-A-Tech and reliable children's nebulisers by Able. We also have quality face masks, mouthpieces, filters, spacers and bowls for adults, kids and babies by Breathe Eazy, Allersearch, Philips and Able. Purchase them online with free postage over $89 or visit your nearest Amcal to discover the full range in-store.
FAQs About Nebulisers
What is a Nebuliser Used for?
A nebuliser converts liquid medication into a fine mist so that it can be inhaled easily and be delivered directly to the lungs. It does this by pumping compressed air through the liquid to vaporise it so that the user can breathe it in through a face mask or a mouthpiece. We have nebulisers for adults and children, including:
- Breath-A-Tech Portable Nebuliser
- Able Actineb Mini Nebuliser
- Philips Respironics InnoSpire Elegance
- Allersearch Econ-o-Mist Forte Nebuliser
What Does a Nebuliser do for Your Lungs?
Our nebulisers by Philips, Breath-A-Tech, Allersearch, and Able help adults and children to receive the right amount of respiratory medication they need to control their symptoms and prevent flare-ups. They help to:
- Reduce inflammation so that it is easier to breathe
- Relieve breathlessness and wheezing
- Relieve a tight chest
- Reduce congestion by helping to clear up mucus and phlegm
Is it Safe to Use a Nebuliser at Home?
Yes, nebulisers can safely be used at home by those with inflammatory respiratory tract diseases or delivered by their carer. While inhalers may be more commonly used, a nebuliser may be recommended if:
- The user is a child or baby
- You require a higher dose during emergencies
- You have a severe respiratory illness
- You have cystic fibrosis or arthritis
- You have bronchiectasis
Our health services can help you learn how to use your nebuliser correctly and give you instructions on how to take care of it.
Do I Need a Prescription to Buy a Nebuliser?
No, nebulisers can be purchased over the counter or online at Amcal without a doctor's prescription. However, the medication that goes with the nebuliser, such as salbutamol and other respiratory drugs, will typically require a prescription. Shop our range of portable nebulisers, adult and children nebulisers, masks, bowls, spacers, mouthpieces, filters, and more by leading brands like Breath-A-Tech and Philips.