Nebulizer Use

  • Wash your hands.
  • Place your medicine in the nebulizer cup.
  • Turn on the machine. A mist will start to form.
  • Breathe in normally and every 10 breaths take in a deep breath and hold it for 5 to 10 seconds. To make sure you get all of your medication into your lungs, be sure you are breathing through your mouth. Sometimes it is helpful to use nose clips.
  • A nebulizer treatment should last about 10 minutes or until the mist is gone.
  • A dirty nebulizer can make you sick, so it is important to keep your nebulizer clean.
  • After the treatment, remove the nebulizer from the tubing and then take apart the mouthpiece or facemask, and tubing if present, and nebulizer cup.
  • Empty out the nebulizer cup, rinse out the cup with water, shake off excess water, and place on paper towel to dry.
  • At the end of the day wash the nebulizer cup and mouthpiece or facemask in warm soapy water (a mild dishwashing liquid is a good choice).
  • Rinse the soap completely off of the equipment and place on a clean paper towel to dry.
  • Disinfect your nebulizer cup and mouthpiece/mask at least once a week using either a vinegar/water solution or the disinfectant solution your equipment supplier suggests.

Helpful Nebulizer Tips

If a mist does not form:

  • First check to see if the machine is plugged into electrical outlet or if you are using a portable device, make sure battery is charged.
  • Make sure that the tubing is securely connected to the nebulizer machine and nebulizer cup.
  • Inspect the tubing for bends or kinks, check the nebulizer cup for cracks, and/or clean the nebulizer machine’s air filter.
  • If these actions do not correct the problem, call the place where you purchased the nebulizer machine or the nebulizer machine manufacturer for further help. 

Nebulizer use guidelines courtesy of The American Association for Respiratory Care