Nebulisers at home?

I have suffered from asthma since I was little, but it was very mild and did not affect my life at all. For some reason this year it has become much worse- in fact I have been hospitalised twice in the last 6 weeks.

It seems to start with a cold and a sore throat and then it moves onto the chest and takes an age to shift. I am currently waiting to see a consultant and am taking all my medication- symbicort, ventolin, singulair, and antibiotics and prednisolone until the latest bout clears up.

The issue of having nebulisers at home for when this happens next time has been raised to try to prevent me from having to go into hospital. I have no idea what causes things to get so bad whenever I get a cold- allergy tests have also been suggested to try to see if I’m allergic to anything which I think is a good idea.

I understand you can buy nebulisers… or would they be issued from the doctors/hospital? Would be grateful to hear from anyone who has been through anything similar, as I don’t really no the procedure.


8 Replies

  • I've had the same options debated for a while but the hospital have decided against prescribing me one. I think im right in saying that hospitals only tend to issue home nebuliser either if someone become worse very rapidly with their asthma and these are to be used whilst an ambulance is coming or if someone would be unable to stay out of hospital without one and uses it as part of their daily treatment. Your doctor will generally try all other medicine they can before prescribing one, there are a few reasons for this the first is that if you're unwell enough to need a nebuliser you probably need to be in hospital where they can monitor you properly and also give things like oxygen. Also nebulising can improve symptoms initially but they can get worse quite quickly, and a lot of people will keep nebbing and not get medical help and this can be fatal. Though hospitals have differnt policies on prescribing nebulisers.

    If you are prescribed a nebuliser to use at home the GP or consultant will give you a prescription for the actual nebules (salbutmol, atrovent etc.) but they won't pay for the actual nebuliser. They may give you the option to loan a nebuliser though i understand these are often quite bulky and noisy so most people opt to buy a smaller and more portable one.

    Hope this help!


  • Thanks Annie- you’ve helped make things clearer in my mind. I suppose the only thing to do is wait until I get this consultant appointment and see what they suggest. These frequent trips to hospital are really disrupting, so I hope whatever they decide to prescribe me with will help prevent an admission in the future.

    Thanks a lot, and hope all is well with you.


  • Hi Sarah,

    I hope you're feeling better. My daughter was given a portable nebuliser for use at home from her chest consultant at our local hospital. ( We are in Glasgow ) It was given to try and lessen the amount of hospital admissions. It did initially work and she managed a few weeks in between admissions but her asthma was very severe. I think you should ask your consultant when you go to the hospital. The nebules for it were prescribed as routine scripts and she used it with no problems for about 13 years. I wish you good health and a wheeze & chest infection free Christmas. LIZ x

  • Seren, I was very similar to you. My Asthma really flaired up three years ago, requiring me to have three/four stays in hospital. I found that during my stays the nebulisers really helped me. I mentioned this to my Consultant on a ward round and he recommended that I try one at home. This was arranged throught the respiratory team nurses at the hospital.I have now been using one for the past two years (provided from the hospital - free of charge) I also have a small portable (that plugs into the car) that I bought myself, but found this is not as good as the portable neb provided by the hospital. If I were you I would ask to be tested for allergy's!

  • Thanks for the messages. I'll certainly ask the consultant for all the options and see what they have to say. I hope to be tested to see if I'm having a reaction to something too- worth a try! Still on steroids and singulair, and normal inhalers- another doctor's note today- which means another week of boredom in the house! At least xmas is coming.

    I'm not used to having a bad chest/asthma for such long periods- I'm a Welsh tutor, so it's really messing with work. But again, thanks for the advice- I undertand how things work a bit better now.

    Sarah x

  • Home nebuliser

    I refused a home nebuliser for years til I had to take one. I use my neb four times a day so I can have some normality.but Before I took it I discussed with the dr my action plan. How to recognize when things where not working. When to go to the dr with symptoms. Without my neb I would have been constantly at a and e. It has helped but it had to he my decision.

  • As Anzharry said Nebuliser at home are a last resort and are only used if they are the only way to stop you living in hospital permenatly. I wouldnt ask your consultant for a home neb but ask him for medication to control your asthma. It can often take months to find the correct combination but persiver it is worth it in the end.

    Good luck and happy new year!

  • I used to have a neb at home which was used frequently but it was returned to the hospital last year because my respiratory team decided that if i need a neb its hospital time (live there anyway) as I crash uber quick. I've started having a Community Matron come over and she's fab-now having a neb back because she's with me everytime i need it during the day. Nighttimes will still be hosp tho but it gives me some freedom back which I haven't had in a long time.

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