A nebulizer mask can make a big difference in the comfort of your treatment. Nebulizer users are often very young or more mature and can have some difficulty cupping their lips around a mouthpiece for 5-15 minutes. A mask allows the user to sit back and relax while taking his/her treatment and to breathe comfortably through the mask. Masks come in many shapes and sizes, so make sure the mask is the right size for the user and fits on your nebulizer set.
While some nebulizer systems like ultrasonic units and the MicroElite compressor system require special masks to fit square to oblong attachments, most standard nebulizer sets have the same size opening once you remove the mouthpiece. These openings are either at the top of the nebulizer set, such as with all disposable nebulizers and some reusable ones like the Sidestream Reusable nebulizer, or in the front, such as with the PARI nebulizer sets. This is an important difference when you are considering a mask because it affects which mask will work with your nebulizer.
Nebulizers with the attachment on the top require a bottom loading mask. These masks have a special elbow to allow the mask to attach to the nebulizer. Popular children's masks, disposable nebulizers and other top attaching nebulizers are the pediatric dragon mask, Super Spike dog themed mask, and the Omron Pediatric Mask. Adults can use any standard mask.
Front loading nebulizers, like the PARI nebulizer sets, require special masks which attach directly to the nebulizer. Front loading nebulizers do not need an elbow to attach. PARI offers both adult and children's masks that are made of soft silicone and do not have any metal. They conform to the shape of the face and offer specially placed vents that prevent concentration of medication around sensitive facial areas.
Babies and toddlers often require special masks. One mask alternative for infants is a pacifier attachment. This special accessory attaches to any top opening nebulizer set and allows the child to receive medication through the nose while sucking on a pacifier. It provides a very direct treatment without use of a mask. This can be particularly beneficial for children who fight wearing a mask. When a child is hysterically crying, they only breathe in the top part of their lungs, preventing the medication from getting deeper in their lungs. PARI offers baby conversion kits for their nebulizers which allows the treatments to be conducted while sitting, reclining, or even lying down. This can help parents give a sleeping or relaxed baby a treatment.
With all these mask options, you can surely find one which will fit your needs. Remember to check how your mouthpiece attaches to ensure a proper fitting mask.