Nebulizers are machines that aerosolize certain medications, allowing the patient to breathe the medicine directly into the lungs. Nebulizers contain several parts including the nebuliser unit and nebuliser kit that includes a mask or mouthpiece, tubing, and a medication cup. Individuals who have respiratory problems such as asthma, COPD, bronchitis or emphysema use nebulizers to help with breathing problems. Nebuliser maintenance includes changing the mask when needed.
Make a schedule to change the nebuliser mask. According to JustNebulizers.com, changing masks routinely every six months is recommended. Change the face mask or mouthpiece, medicine cup, and tubing. Nebuliser masks and kits can be purchased at medical supply stores, pharmacies, or online.
After Illness or Infection
Change the nebuliser mask after an illness or infection. Germs that caused the illness, or bacteria that cause the infection, may deposit on a nebuliser mask when the patient uses it while ill. Replace the mask to prevent the illness from returning. Change to a new mask when treatment has started or after the condition is resolved.
When Mask Does Not Work Properly
If the mask does not allow the patient to breathe in mist, and cleaning does not resolve the issue, change the mask. Nebuliser masks have small openings that allow the medicine to enter the mask. These openings may become clogged if the mask is not cleaned properly after each use. If clogs prevent the medication mist from entering the mask, replace the mask.
Cracks, Rips, or Imperfections
Cracks, rips, tears, or imperfections require the mask to be changed. Nebuliser masks are often made of plastic and cracks can occur over time or if the mask is handled roughly. Frequent use can also cause the plastic to break down, making it prone to cracks or rips. If any imperfections such as discolouration or spidering are noticed, replace the nebuliser.