Nebulisers are machines that turn the liquid form of your short-acting bronchodilator medicines into a fine mist, like an aerosol. You breathe this in with a face mask or a mouthpiece. Nebulisers are no more effective than normal inhalers. However, they are extremely useful in people who are very tired (fatigued) with their breathing, or people who are very breathless. Nebulisers are used mainly in hospital for severe attacks of COPD when large doses of inhaled medicines are needed. They are used less commonly than in the past, as modern spacer devices are usually just as good as nebulisers for giving large doses of inhaled medicines. You do not need any co-ordination to use a nebuliser - you just breathe in and out, and you will breathe the medicine in.
A version of this article appears in print on October 13, 2013, on page A 1 of the New York edition with the headline: The Soaring Cost of a Simple Breath. Get Free Email Alerts on These Topics Asthma Drugs (Pharmaceuticals) Prices (Fares, Fees and Rates) Series Inside Health » Too Hot to Handle Arts » The Harmony of Liberty Opinion » Should Beach Privatization Be Allowed? Room for Debate asks whether shorefront homeowners should have to open their land to all comers.
It’s common to worry about side effects from the medicines we take. But recent research has shown that the chance of side effects from taking a low dose of inhaled preventer medicine is very small. It's worth remembering that the preventer dose will be kept as low as possible to protect you or your child against the inflammation that causes asthma symptoms. Using it every day, as prescribed, means you’re less likely to need your reliever inhaler or a prescription of oral steroid tablets which will mean higher doses of steroids.