Many people buy a nebulizer system and assume they are ready to go for years to come, but nebulizers require some simple maintenance to keep them in good, working order. As the component that requires regular replacement, the nebulizer is the most important part of the whole nebulizer system, and it consists of the mouthpiece, medication cup, and tubing.
The nebulizer set included with your compressor may be a disposable or a reusable set. If you can’t boil it (according to the instructions), it is disposable. If using a disposable nebulizer, you must replace it roughly every 10 treatments, as its performance capability diminishes after each use. Even if you’re using a reusable nebulizer - that is one that can be boiled - instead of a disposable one, you must still replace it at least every six months. You may want to replace the nebulizer even sooner if you notice any discoloration, as this most likely corresponds to bacteria growth within the nebulizer. By replacing your nebulizer, you ensure that your nebulizer is generating the correct particle size for your medication, and that nebulizer treatment times remain at their minimums. Replacing the nebulizer includes replacing these nebulizer parts: the nebulizer mask or mouthpiece, the nebulizer cup (where the medication goes), and the nebulizer tubing.
Here are some signs your nebulizer needs replaced:
- No mist is coming out
- You see lots of mist (that means the particles are too large)
- Any piece is discolored
- Any piece is cracked or scratched
- You’ve been using it for 6 months or longer
If you fear you won’t remember when to change out your nebulizer, PARI has come out with a TimeStrip® device they package with each of their LC reusable nebulizers. It is a sticker that has a button you press when you first start using the new nebulizer kit and in 6 months, the word “Now” turns red, informing you it is time to replace your nebulizer set. The LC Sprint is a customer favorite because it is dishwasher safe, features an easy to fill and use flip top cup, and has a short (~5 minutes) treatment time.