Types of Nebulizers

Most nebulizers work by using air compressors to create the mist containing the medicine. A different kind, called an ultrasonic nebulizer, uses sound vibrations. Nebulizers come in three main types:

  • Jet – Compressed air turns the medicine into a mist (tiny particles of medicine that float in the air).
  • Mesh – Medicine is passed through a tiny mesh to create a fine mist.
  • Ultrasonic – High frequency vibrations turn medicine into a mist. The droplets tend to be a bit larger. This kind of nebulizer is quieter, but costs more.

A nebulizer can be a smaller portable device or a plug-in tabletop machine you use at home. You will need a prescription from your health care provider to get a nebulizer. Check with your health plan to see if it will cover the cost of the device. Most plans will cover it.