Best Practices for Using a Nebulizer While You Have Coronavirus

Nebulizers, Sleep Apnea
woman using nebulizer

According to the CDC, the coronavirus COVID-19 effects individuals with underlying health conditions, including lung disease.1 Receiving a COVID-19 diagnosis with a respiratory illness, such as COPD, cystic fibrosis and even asthma, can be alarming. Though having a pre-existing respiratory disease not increase your risk of infection, it is linked to a more severe case of the disease if infected. 

If you are infected, the most important thing to do is to continue your current treatment plan. Individuals who stop taking their medication run the risk of increasing symptoms of their own respiratory illness, as well as those associated with COVID-19. If you have concerns about your current treatment or want to stop your current treatment, consult your doctor to discuss your options.

Will a Nebulizer Make COVID-19 Symptoms Worse?

If your current treatment plan includes the use of a home or portable nebulizer, you may have some questions. Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that using a nebulizer will worsen COVID-19 symptoms. In fact, neglecting treatment of your respiratory illness while sick with coronavirus may cause more harm.

Do I Use a Nebulizer Differently While Sick?

If diagnosed with COVID-19, the current recommendation is to use your nebulizer as you normally would while healthy. Do not make any changes to your dosage and maintain your regular treatment schedule. Remember to continue adhering to a strict cleaning and sanitization schedule while using your nebulizer. If you have questions or concerns regarding your treatment, consult your physician.

Where Should a Nebulizer Be Used?

According to one finding, there is a considerable risk in the transmission of COVID-19 infection if a nebulizer is used in an area where the virus is present.2 Due to the aerosol method of medication delivery, virus and bacteria particles can be carried into the deep lung. Therefore, your nebulizer treatments should take place in a private space.

Minimizing Transmission Risk While Using a Nebulizer

With a COVID-19 diagnosis, individuals should follow the CDC guidelines of self-quarantine and social distancing. Nebulizer treatment should only be administered in the same room as the quarantine and never in the presence of others. This reduces the risk of the virus being spread to other individuals.

Cleaning Your Nebulizer

Regardless of a global pandemic, it is important to properly clean and maintain your nebulizer equipment. Failure to do so can increase your risk of sickness. Additionally, the build-up of dust and dirt can lead to inefficient treatment times.

Since each nebulizer machine is different, cleaning regimens may vary. Follow the manufacturer’s advice on how to properly care for your device. These can be found either in the paperwork included with your nebulizer or on the manufacturer’s website.

Replacing Nebulizer Parts

Just as cleaning your nebulizer is an important part of effective treatment, so is replacing old and worn out parts. Patients do not need to replace parts more frequently if infected with COVID-19. However, parts such as masks, mouthpieces, tubing and filters are disposable and should be replaced regularly. It may even be beneficial to keep a small supply of parts on hand at all times.

The Oxygen Concentrator Supplies Shop provides a wide variety of nebulizer machines and parts and supplies. Most replacement recommendations can be found in the user manual for your equipment, as each unit will be different.

If you have questions regarding your current nebulizer equipment or purchasing replacement parts, the staff at The Oxygen Concentrator Supplies Shop is here to help! Our expert customer care team is available via phone at 888-941-1688 or via email at contact@oxygenconcentratorsupplies.com.

References:

  1. Amirav I, Newhouse MT. Transmission of coronavirus by nebulizer: a serious, underappreciated risk. CMAJ. 2020;192(13):E346.