What are the Different Types of Albuterol Nebulizers?

Kasey James
Kasey James
An asthma inhaler.
An asthma inhaler.

The different types of albuterol nebulizers have various features to work for all kinds of patients with respiratory distress. Some albuterol nebulizers are designed to work at home while others are for hospital use. Most patients want a nebulizer that works quickly, fits well, and is easy to clean. Doctors will help their patients find the type of nebulizer that will work best for them.

People who are unable to use an inhaler may prefer using a nebulizer mask.
People who are unable to use an inhaler may prefer using a nebulizer mask.

Albuterol nebulizers that are created for home use come with a small motor that connects to a tube. The other end of the tube is hooked to the medicine reservoir and the face mask. The motor pushes out air which allows the liquid albuterol to be dispersed as vapor. The patient uses the mask to breathe in the medicine. A children's nebulizer often comes with a smaller face mask for a better fit.

Studies show that nebulizers are just as effective as inhalers in delivering medications.
Studies show that nebulizers are just as effective as inhalers in delivering medications.

Various medical companies develop and sell albuterol nebulizers, so each brand can be a bit different. Some take a long time to administer the medication while others have a bigger motor and will take much less time. Many at-home nebulizers come with a car kit. This kit allows the nebulizer machine to be plugged into a vehicle outlet so that albuterol can be given on the road.

If an albuterol nebulizer does not come with a car kit, it can be quite difficult for asthma patients to travel. In this case, an asthma inhaler is often used in place of a nebulizer. These inhalers usually come with a metered-dose of albuterol so that the patient knows exactly how much medication he or she is taking. Dry powder inhalers are also used in lieu of a nebulizer. They also contain a set dose of albuterol.

Hospital-grade nebulizers are often much bigger in size. They have large motors and are usually mounted to the wall in the patient rooms. The medical staff that uses albuterol will change the tubing and the face mask for each patient. Since the albuterol nebulizers are so big, they administer all the medication much quicker than a home machine.

These nebulizers are often paid for by medical insurance. If a patient does not have health insurance, these machines can be very expensive. Some medical companies that sell nebulizers may be willing to help patients who have trouble paying for a nebulizer out of pocket.

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Discussion Comments

SarahGen

I have to use an albuterol sulfate nebulizer daily. I don't like nebulizers with a big motor because the medication comes out too fast and I feel like I'm suffocating with the mask on. I had one with a big motor first, but switched to one with a small motor for this reason. It takes longer for me to get my dose, but it's less stressful for me.

ZipLine

@donasmrs-- Don't worry, everything will be fine. A nebulizer is not very difficult to use and a doctor or nurse will show you how to treat your son with it, if you're going to do it at home.

My daughter was born premature and was given albuterol and a nebulizer to help her breathe. She was having respiratory distress and wheezing because she was on respiratory support when she was born.

The albuterol nebulizer solution was great, it helped us get through the first several months. If she was older, the doctor would have given albuterol as an inhaler but she was too young to use an inhaler. A nebulizer works best for infants and children. The mask allows the infant to get the right medication dose. We didn't have any problems using a nebulizer. My daughter's doctor showed us how to use it in the hospital.

donasmrs

I just found out that my four year old son needs albuterol nebulizer treatment. I'm scared and worried. I'm not sure if I will be able to use it correctly. I'm also sad that my son needs this.

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    • An asthma inhaler.
      By: Tobilander
      An asthma inhaler.
    • People who are unable to use an inhaler may prefer using a nebulizer mask.
      By: chamillew
      People who are unable to use an inhaler may prefer using a nebulizer mask.
    • Studies show that nebulizers are just as effective as inhalers in delivering medications.
      By: Monkey Business
      Studies show that nebulizers are just as effective as inhalers in delivering medications.