Home Nebs

I know this has been a hot discussion topic recently and I just thought that rather than it being all over the place, it would be nice if we could have a discussion about it somewhere all in one place really. I do NOT intend this to be a place for medical advise (as this would be unethical and inappropriate), but a general place to just talk about this subject in a way that we could support each other.

I am among the few who do benefit from having my own nebuliser at home, but I do understand the plight of those who have wanted to get hold of this therapy at home and have had road blocks. I have gotten upset enough times about it, but have understood my doctor has known best.

So I open the floor out to the rest of you.

22 Replies

  • I've bumped up a long thread in August 2010 on this subject 'To neb or not to neb..'.

    Medical opinion seems to have changed on the subject although there are still GPs (like mine) who allow home nebs.

  • Thanks for that, have read it and found it facinating. My GP was a bit unsure at 1st, but has said that the improvement in me both physically and mentally (50+ trips to a and e in a year really battered my self confidence) and we haven't looked back.


  • i have had a home neb since i was a child and having been brought up with one i belive it has saved my life more times than i would care to think. However i do believe they should only issued to those of us who are sensible enough to know when it is getting out of control even with home nebs i have many admissions each and have a agreemnet with my consultant that if im needing them more than once every four hours i need to be admitted and i stick to that rule. Its a vital part of my medication but its not for everyone many dont the same self disciplines when it comes to medication that i done and can be irresponsible which can lead to other problems

  • I have one, but have very very strict rules on it, firstly I can only use it if going to a&e and docs will make it worse, for me the cold is an extreme trigger and just stepping outside the door when its v cold is enough to send it over the edge so home management at extreme times is the only option, but when this happens I have to inform GP straight away and she only gives me a few vials, this ensures I dont continue to treat myself as if these run out over a day or so I have to do other things and then it also means I have to go and see her to get new ones as we both agreed not to put on repeat for both our security so if I use them I have to go in..

    I do have slightly more vials when I go on hols but thats agreed in advance.

    I do think for a lot of people they are not a good idea, and for some its a lifesaver and there is no other option but all I can say is that for me this agreement for me only came after years of trust between me, my gp and consm and seeing and mapping out how over the years sometimes going to get help makes me worse!


  • I just thought I'd put another side to it, I'm 20 and on home nebs, which I have had since I was 16 or 17 when my asthma became a problem, I'm under one of the top consultants and specialist centres of the country and under another two consultants yet I'm prescribed on repeat prescription 100 5mg ventolin nebs at a time, nobody tells me how I should use them, and I'm expected to judge for myself when I need to go to hospital... so just thought I'd say not everyone has strict instructions.

  • Just thought I would add that Ally is right, but it does depend a lot on what type of asthma you have, I think they are more reluctant if like me you have type 2 bittle asthma where you can go from being fine to needing icu intervention in a matter of minutes then treating yourself witha neb in attack is very risky and are far more reluctant to allow it, than someone who had nebs for general maintenence


  • I use a neb at home & have had one now for two months since getting out of hosp. I have a forty mile round trip to my local hosp so my Dr reasoned, & rightly so, that I would benefit from having one at home. He said he felt I was sensible enough to know when I need to go to hosp & told me to use the neb up to four times a day or more if really needed. I now have nebules on a repeat prescription too which makes things easier. I am using the neb at least twice a day at present due to a sinus infection that went to my chest. I know without it I couldn't function on a day to day basis.


  • This is really interesting as I am on one on the advice of my consultant on a morning and night maintenance dose then as and when throughout the day.

    I had always assumed that this was the way it was used, for most people on it, so it's interesting to see how others use them!

    I find it helps quite a bit- especially in the night when I am really bad!

    However I do have a question. Do you know it says to disinfect with milton once a week? The smell makes me wretch. Is there anything else I can use instead? I seem to have a sensitive nose!

  • Wss- Mine says it can also be disinfected using alcohol (70%)- would that be better?

  • I use Dettol with mine and it seems to do the trick. I hate it when my mask has that really crispy layer around it.

    Heres an interesting one, do people prefer masks or mouthpieces? Personally I prefer masks as I find a mouthpiece too awkward when am struggling.

    Any thoughts?

  • Son and I both prefer masks. When in hospital, he has always had a mask.

  • I prefer a mask too.


  • I use either. I prefer a mask when I'm acutely unwell but apart from that use a mouthpiece because it minimises wastage. I also have to use a mouthpiece for ipratropium and budesonide so as not to damage my eyes.


  • I admit I sometimes prefer to use a mask as it keeps my hands free for whatever I was up to. Have even taken my freeway freedom to band practice with me a few times as I can have my neb on my face leaving my hands free to play bass. I find my freeway a lot more practical for band practices or gigs as you have to hold an Omron while it's going and as a bassist, I have to have my hands free to play my instrument.

    Plus it always looks a little interesting on stage :p

  • I hate mouthpieces its even worse when acutly unwell as I seem to move my mouth when in an attack and cant do that when unwell.

    I dont like my portable neb at the mo got a ormron i dont like the machine attached to the mask want one with tubing

  • i have a home neb because if i did not i would have to live permenantly in hospital because blue inhalers of any kind just do not work on my asthma. I know at what point to increase medication and at what point to go to hospital. I have only ever used masks. I do not know how to use the other thing,


  • The little blue thing that goes in your mouth is rubbish! I find I get too much saliva in my mouth and start to dribble!

    Thanks for the other suggestions. I will try some dettol instead. I'm not sure what it means by alcohol. I don't think they mean vodka LOL so is there something you can buy in the chemist?

  • WSS, what type of neb is it? I use Miltons OK on the compressor neb bits but not on the Omron as it contains metal.

    Otherwise I use very hot water and a bit of wash up liquid. Some neb bits can be boiled. Mask not as it can reshape! Boiling water from the kettle should kill most bugs.

    Mask V Mouthpiece - varies - Omron is mouthpiece, freeway elite, either depending on how I feel.

    The Freeway Micro elite, mouthpiece but I have to hold it as it drags down a bit with the stiff tubing, Mask OK ish. Would like a more flexible system for it really.

    When I am rubbish, masks all the time.


    PS I am brittle and the neb was prescribed for home use otherwise I would be in hosp all the time. I have a strict protocol for its use, I use it regularly daily and in an attack but if two don't work then it is 999 & epipens. All other avenues were looked at and exhausted before I had a home neb.

  • It's a respironics. It was given to me by the hospital so I am very lucky not to have had to buy one. It has definitely kept me out of the hospital! Oh the same as me with everything else tried before the neb. It's definitely not a quick fix!

    The bits I'm sterilising don't have metal in so will try the detol as the washing in hot soapy water is done daily.

    Cheers everyone :)

  • I like the dettol wipes as well, they really are fantastic for keeping my masks nice and clean. It's weird really, for something that if I am honest, I thought would be a miracle cure, it really is a lot of responsibility, but at the same time, its kept my hospitalisations down from 1 or 2 times in a week to 1 or 2 times a month, which has to say something really.

    The 6 month period before I got my neb (thanks to a wonderful AUKer who gave me my compressor and my docs who got me my nebules) I felt like a human guinea pig as I was being tried on all kinds of things, just to make something stick.

    Now, fresh from another night in a and e, and exhausted, in need of cuddles and drawing chibis for people. (currently working on a super cute cartoon chibi of Metal Gear Solid hero Solid Snake)

  • Im fortunate enough to have my own neb at home.

    My wifes parents bought it for me. If you get a note from your doc, the vat is knocked off. Its mains powered, and has helped me soooo much over the years. I am getting one of those batt powered microneb soon. Now I will have peace of mind whilst I am out as well. One of my daughters lives app 50 miles away, we visit at least once a week. The drive is along quite isolated roads. Now I wont need to rely on a filling station letting me plug my mains op neb in

  • Hi howie :) I would recommend the Omron Microair. I have one of those as well as a mains powered compressor and they are both godsends. I can go out and enjoy my life now rather than living in fear

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