What Does a Nebulizer Do for Your Lungs?
A nebulizer is an important type of medical device that allows you to have medication administered directly to your lungs in a safe and quick way. The device takes a liquid medication and turns it into an extremely fine mist, which you can breathe in through either a mask or a mouthpiece. This allows the medication to go right to your lungs so that it can get to work much more quickly than using a pill or even an IV.
Can You Buy a Nebulizer Over the Counter?
Yes. The nebulizers themselves can be purchased right over the counter. Here at CVS we carry a variety of different types of nebulizers so you can get the one that will work best for you. The Mabis NebPak Ultrasonic Nebulizer, for example, is one of the most popular options. You can purchase it without a prescription from most CVS stores, or order it online and have it delivered to your door. While the nebulizer itself can be purchased over the counter, some medications used by the nebulizer will require a prescription. Also, note that depending on what type of insurance you have, it may only be covered if your doctor writes a prescription for the device.
Is a Nebulizer Better Than an Inhaler?
Nebulizers are not necessarily better than inhalers, but are simply different and used in different situations, even if they are similar. While both of these medical devices are used to administer medication to the lungs, they each have situations where they are better. Inhalers are used when medicine needs to be quickly administered to the lungs for just a short period of time. For example, if you are having an asthma attack, using an inhaler to deliver steroidal medicine to the lungs quickly can provide instant relief. If, on the other hand, your lungs have been damaged and need consistent exposure to a medication to help with the healing, a nebulizer is the best choice. Since nebulizers provide a steady mist of the medicated air, you can breathe it in consistently over the course of several minutes, or even longer. As with any medication or medical device, you should talk to your doctor or a CVS pharmacist to make sure you are using the right device at the right times. For many people, having both a nebulizer and an inhaler available is key to optimal respiratory health.