A nebulizer is a device used to deliver liquid medicine in the form of a fine mist (aerosol). Medicine may be given through a nebulizer to treat respiratory problems, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or pneumonia.

The nebulizer allows the medicine to go directly to a person's airways and lungs. And the medicine can be given over a long period of time. The person inhales the medicine while breathing normally through a mouthpiece or face mask. A nebulizer makes inhaling medicine easier for people who are having serious difficulty breathing or who have trouble using an inhaler. An inhaler requires careful timing and control of one's breathing.

Current as of: September 9, 2014

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & Lora J. Stewart, MD - Allergy and Immunology