In theory, both inhalers and nebulizers should deliver the same dosage of medication. But getting a good treatment and the correct dose of medication with an inhaler is largely dependent on the user’s technique.
Misusing an inhaler may prevent the medication from being deposited into the lungs. It may also increase the side effects. Unfortunately, many people do not use their inhaler correctly. Common mistakes include forgetting to prime the inhaler, not using a spacer with an MDI, and inhaling too slowly or too fast.
It’s also important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using a nebulizer. But a nebulizer is very user-friendly. Typically, fewer mistakes are made using a nebulizer. For instance, a nebulizer is not dependent on inhalation technique as much as an inhaler.
Another advantage of using a nebulizer is it allows for a passive treatment. There are instances when a person is too sleepy or weak to use an inhaler correctly. A nebulizer with a mask can be used even if a person is asleep or you are giving a treatment to a young child.
In the past, nebulizers usually required an AC power source, which made them less convenient than an inhaler. But today’s nebulizers are available in battery operated models. Small, portable nebulizers are also available that fit in your pocket and can go anywhere.