When you have someone in the family who has asthma and it is more of a hassle to go to the hospital to have the nebulization done, the next practical step is to actually have your own nebulizer machine at home. Of course, along with the medication that the doctor has given, you have to follow some basic instructions on how to perform a nebulization.
- Prepare the machine. There are actually different instructions on how to set up your nebulizer, because there are some variations in nebulizers depending on the manufacturer. So make sure that you have your manual with you when it's your first time to set it up for use. Also, check the mask or mouthpiece for dirt and clean it before using it or letting someone else use it. But even if these are the most important parts, make sure that the tube and the machine itself are clean.
- Place the medication. Some doctors give a medication of two types of liquid to be placed in the nebulizer although some only give one. Make sure to read your doctor's instructions, along with the instructions from the home nebulizer manual. There is a specified cup where you can place the medicine so make sure it is sealed in before you turn on the machine. Take note that a pediatric nebulizer would have different requirements to that of an adult's, so extra care must be performed in placing the medication. The doctor may have indicated the need of applying only a small volume of the medication instead of the full dose. Again, refer to your doctor's instructions and the nebulizer manual.
- Secure the mouthpiece or mask. Make sure that you are biting the mouth piece properly and that you can breathe through it comfortably. If you are using a mask, make sure that none of the mist gets out through any side of it, so you can get the full benefits of the medicine placed there. Occasionally tap the cup of medication so it can be misted because there may be a tendency that they are all kept to one side.
- Sit comfortably. Once the mouthpiece or mask is in place, turn on the machine and inhale and exhale at a regular pace. This allows the medication to settle in your respiratory tract. You can try holding your breath for at most ten seconds before exhaling to get most of the medication in your airways.
- Monitor. Nebulizer treatments must be monitored carefully because this type of therapy will not be quite as effective if the mask is not properly put on or the medication was not put properly placed. You have to check for the connections before you turn it on and during the nebulization process. More often than not, the medication will be completely misted in 15 to 20 minutes. The machine will give a sound when the medicine has been fully consumed.
Performing nebulization is not as difficult as you may think. But proper care must be observed before, during and after the procedure to secure your health or the health of the person using the nebulizer. Remember to wash the mouthpiece or mask with warm water after every use and dry it before being stored in a dry place for the next use.