Take Your Asthma on the Road with a Portable Nebulizer

by Kathi MacNaughton Health Professional

Many people with asthma have a nebulizer as part of their treatment plan. A nebulizer is a machine that takes a liquid asthma medication and turns it into an aerosol mist via either pressurized air or ultrasonic sound waves. Then the medicine travels through a tube, from where you breathe it into your airways.

Nebulizers are used commonly in infants and young children, who are too young to use a metered dose inhaler reliably. But sometimes older children and adults can benefit from using a nebulizer too.

Unfortunately, until recently, most nebulizers were large, loud and a pain in the neck to travel with. As AC-powered electric devices, they also needed a power source. But now there is another solution.

There are a few newer varieties of truly portable nebulizers called mini-nebulizers. These tiny nebulizers are not only small, they are battery-operated and much quieter. And yet, they still get the job done in dispensing your asthma medication.

Some Examples of Mini Nebulizers

New products come on the market all the time. I can't possibly cover them all. But I thought it might be helpful to look at a few examples of what's available.

  • AeronebGo Micropump Nebulizer. This handheld nebulizer looks almost like a large metered dose inhaler with a cord that attaches to the main unit. It can run on AC power or 3 AA batteries that will last for about 2 hours worth of treatments. It's virtually silent and easy to use. Treatments can be completed in under 15 minutes, with little fuss.

  • MicroElite Compressor Nebulizer System by Philips Respironics. This is just as small as the AeronebGo, but has a different design. Users say it's not silent, but still significantly quieter than the traditional type of nebulizer. It's fast -- treatments can be done in about 8 minutes It can be plugged in or run off a rechargeable lithium battery.
    Get more information here.

  • Omron MicroAir Handheld Ultrasonic Portable Nebulizer. This all-in-one handheld unit is unbelievably compact. It's fast, silent and works off AA batteries or AC power. It weighs only 3.4 ounces. Unfortunately, it's also a bit pricey. More information can be found here.

These are just a few of the choices. Do a search on the Web for "mini nebulizers" and you'll find others. Which one you choose will depend on your budget, your preferences and perhaps the type of medicine you'll use in it. It is probably a good idea to discuss your options with your physician before making a purchase.

If you are on the go and need to use your nebulizer while away from home and/or you're looking for a quieter and quicker alternative, then a mini nebulizer might be the answer for you!

Kathi  MacNaughton
Meet Our Writer
Kathi MacNaughton

Kathi is an experienced consumer health education writer, with a prior career in nursing that spanned more than 30 years — much of it in the field of home health care. Over the past 15 years, she's been an avid contributor for a number of consumer health websites, specializing in asthma, allergy, and COPD. She writes not only as a healthcare professional, but also as a lifelong sufferer of severe allergies and mild asthma, and as a caregiver for her mother with COPD.