Better to have too many than not enough I suppose. And always better to have several back ups, should one stop working.
Below are just some of the nebulizer units I have.


Because my lung function is so low, my airways don’t respond very well to inhaled bronchodilators that are administered through metered dose inhalers (MDIs) ie “rescue inhalers”. I do get some relieve from inhalers for milder symptoms, and in a pinch it can get me over the hump till I can a get a neb treatment, but generally when I’m really tight or air trapping, MDIs just don’t cut it. Even when used with a spacer I can’t inhale the particles deep enough into my lungs to reach my smaller airways, which is where most of my bronchospasm and airway obstruction occurs. On a good breathing stint, I take 4-6 neb treatments per day. On a bad breathing day you can triple that number, so it’s super important that I have neb machine handy and ready to go at all times.

Some of my nebs machines are the new vibrating mesh type, some are the older ultrasonic type, and some are the standard compressor driven jet nebs. Some are loud like a jackhammer, some don’t make any noise at all. Some are portable and battery operated, some aren’t. Some are new, some are old. Some require periodic maintenance, such as a filter change, some don’t. Some work better than others, some don’t work at all and I just keep em around for the spare parts. And of course I have my favorite ones, which I tend use the most.

In the house alone, I have 6 different machines in 4 different locations, most of which are in use every day. The compressor driven ones are the work horses and are virtually indestructible. One of my compressor nebs is 25 years old and still going strong. I use those the most when Im at home, because the portables, especially the vibrating mesh nebs are fragile and very temperamental. Youre lucky if one lasts a year before needing a replacement.

When Im outside on the back deck or watching TV in the living room , or driving in my car, I use one of my portable nebs. At night I use a mesh neb . Not only because it’s totally silent, but because I can nebulize a full 2.5 ml dose into my lungs in less than 3 minutes. That’s super important if you hope to get back to sleep quickly after taking a treatment.

As far as clinical efficiency and particle size and goes, the mesh nebs are unbeatable. They can generate particle sizes down to 0.5 microns, which means much better deposition to the smaller airways. And because these nebulizers generate a fine mist with virtually no air flow, you’re less likely to swallow air, which for me is a huge plus.

Being a severe asthmatic, a Respiratory therapist, and a frequent flyer to the local ICU, I get exposed to lots of new respiratory therapy technology and devices. And because I’m a blogger and so called influencer, manufactures will sometimes reach out and reward me with the occasional freebie. Sometimes Ill beta test new products just for fun. All of this adds to my increasing nebulizer inventory.

Oh, and disposable nebulizer kits, the ones that you use with the compressor driven units, I have a ton of those too. Some are expensive, have fancy inspiratory demand valves and deliver really good particle sizes, others are cheap and pure crap. A lot of them I get from my hospital stays. With my respiratory therapy charges sometimes exceeding $50,000 per hospital visit, the RTs are more than happy to give me a few extras to take home.

So that’s my take on inhaled medication delivery devices and how I use them. But you know what? I wish I didn’t have to rely on nebulizers to keep breathing. It would be wonderful to be asthma free and never have to not have to suck on another one of these things ever again!

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2 thoughts on “Ive got nebulizer machines coming out of my ass

  1. Stephen!!

    Wow! Unbelievable. That’s a lot of nebs here and there. I’m not as severe as you but I’m considering to do the same. Usually I have all the time my albuterol inhaler on my pocket. Just in case. Also I have one neb machine on the fists floor of my house and one on the second floor. I hope you are doing great!!!

    Juan

  2. Hi!
    Thank you for that article!

    I’m 25 and I’ve had mild asthma for most of my life but it became severe a few months ago after I had the flu. I started to experience symptoms that I had never experienced before such as extreme chest oppression and shortness of breath. My asthma used to be triggered by exercise only but now anything seems to trigger it. It’s hard to tell because I constantly have symptoms and itching chest. I have been relying a lot on ventolin and I’ve been taking 20 puffs everyday for at least 2 months despite taking a preventer. In May a doctor finally agreed to prescribe me a nebuliser at home after I asked him (most doctors I had seen before had refused). I’ve been using it three times a day but I find that the effects don’t last more than 2 or three hours.
    Also, I’m very concerned about tolerance to these meds. I read that using them every day for an extended period of time could induce tolerance and I’ve already noticed that ventolin was no longer working for me. Do you know how long it takes to reverse tolerance to ventolin ? Is there a way to prevent tolerance from happening ?

    Thank you!

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