Home Nebuliser

Hi All,

It's that time of year again for me when the hay fever kicks in setting off my asthma, I saw my consultant a couple of weeks ago & he wants me to have a nebuliser at home as I avoid going to A&E even when I know I should, because I have non wheezy asthma - prompting inexperienced Drs to tell me I'm having a panic attack!!!! Believe me I know the difference. At the moment everything is under control with the meds - fostair 200, montalucast, fexofenodine 180, Dymista & a very healthy dose of regular exercise & yoga.

My big problems start when the grass pollen is around. From research I've done it doesn't appear to be the done thing to have a home neb, does anyone else have one or experience of having one, what are the benefits/disadvantages.

20 Replies

  • Hi Tre

    Sorry that it's all about to kick off for you, and for the issues you get in a&e! Having had a severe flare up of my asthma over the last 18 months I know how frustrating inexperienced a&e docs can be! (I too have been told condescendingly that I was having a panic attack cause of no wheeze, when in actuality it was classed as a life threatening attack due to 33% PF and low blood pressure! 2 1/2 hrs later I argued my way from minors to majors who went into a major panic - found out later that my initial doc got told off!).

    I've found the easiest way to get the right help in a&e (especially if they don't know you) is to take your asthma plan/PF diary if you have one detailing your decline over the last few days (if that is the case) as well as clearly defining your personal PF numbers (I suffer from an brilliant best PF so me at 50% is the same as normal for most people my age 😒). I also take a list of my meds, what my normal symptoms/triggers/allergies are (also stating that I don't always get a wheeze - BUT DOCTORS SHOULD KNOW THIS ALREADY!!!! You could also ask your consultant for a letter detailing this so you can show them something 'official') and the contact info for my consultant. I've found this works best for me at my local hospital so hopefully it will help you too! I know going to hospital is a pain but it is needed with asthma attacks!

    Home nebuliser wise I've had one for the last month or so, which my docs advised me to get (multiple different GPs from the same practice plus a&e staff), as I am currently an uncontrolled severe asthmatic and was ending up getting a neb at the GPs 1+ x week for over 2 months plus 2 a&e trips... 😳. I only use it when my PF drops to below 50% and 2 vents isn't keeping it out of the red zone. My docs and I work on the premise that if 2 nebs back to back doesn't help/maintain for over 4 hours I go to a&e (where I am now known), else I will ring the GP within 1 working day to tell them I've used it. It helps in that when I'm bad I don't need to concentrate on coordinating my Ventolin/spacer/breathing, plus I am less likely to OD on vent before seeking further help. However, if I'm not so bad I use my vent/spacer as 10 puffs I'd a neb equivalent so will slowly work my way up to 10 stopping earlier if I'm feeling better. I dislike using my neb at night due to the noise/organisation required if I'm half asleep, so again will use 10 vents instead. For me it's helped stop me over medicating before getting more help as I too try and avoid a&e as much as possible.

    For me the advantages are time saving (I no longer need 1hr long weekly appts at my GP - just get told to have one if they think I need it), can be sent home earlier from hospital as I can continue treatment at home if needed, once set up easy to use, controlled med intake with clear 'rules' of when to use it and when to get help.

    Disadvantages wise I think the biggest issues I have are; noise, cost (of machine/masks - I'm a student 😅) And possibility of overuse to avoid further intervention.

    Home vents aren't usually suggested so if your consultant thinks you may benefit from one then it's probably worth a go, or else maybe try asking him if 10 ventolin puffs with spacer with an adult face-mask would ok instead if you really don't want one

    I hope this helps (and isn't to all-over-the-place/bitchy 😝), and that you remain controlled over the summer!!!

  • Thanks I can relate to so much of what you have said, I've got an appointment with my asthma nurse on Wed so I'll discuss it n more detail with her then. My pf is high too so when I tell a professional it's dropped they consider it good, so a written record is a good idea. 10 puffs of the ventolin works for a little while, but I don't think I get the full dose even through a spacer. I have steroids for immediate use & just contact the nurse to let her know I've needed them & if I need more, so they are happy to give me control.

    I hope you keep well x

  • Hi there , I have a home nebulizer, because I can get really sick really quickly. I am brittle but high functioning. However can drop off a cliff. So the deal with the doctors is that I tell them what I am doing. I.e. Use of nebs, use of steroids. And we have an agreed protocol based on my written treatment plan.

    I would say get one if only for peace of mind. But be aware that you need let your care team know how much you are using the nebulizer.

    For me it has saved an a&e visit on many occasions. But has to be use in conjunction with doctors or Asthma nurses.


  • Thanks for the reply, the peace of mind is worth a lot, I keep in close contact with the asthma nurse for when I need the steroids sometimes I need more than one course. It all depends on the pollen levels, tree pollen just about manageable.

    I hope you keep well x

  • Hi

    I've got a home nebuliser - my asthma changes very quickly and unpredictably. ( I also have epipens) I use it when I have a sudden attack and I also do regular nebs if my asthma is particularly flarey. My GP sent me home with an emergency one after a life threatening attack and after that my consultant decided I should have one at home all the time. I bought the nebuliser on amazon and get nebules on repeat prescription from my GP.

    Sometimes people are surprised and say that I shouldn't have a nebuliser but my doctors and nurses are clear that it is the best way forward for me. If they are saying you should have one I would give it a go.

    Good luck xxx

  • Thanks, the consultant was quite clear that it was the best way & the safest for me, I can see why it wouldn't be suitable for everyone, but they class mine as severe asthma because it doesn't respond to standard preventive measures.

    I think I'll feel more confident talking to the nurse now.

    Thanks again x

  • I have a home nebuliser upstairs beside my bed and a wee portable one in my handbag. They have made a huge difference to me and I think they really reassure my husband and my older girls who have had some nasty scares with my asthma. Severe asthma is a pain. Take care xxx

  • My hubby is generally calm when I have an attack but he & my grown up kids would also feel more reassured me having a home neb, easier than "helping" me with the blue inhaler

    Thanks x

  • I have one, if I'm really struggling to breathe, it enables me to to go to my GP ,instead of A&E, definitely worth having, only use it when absolutely necessary though.

  • Thanks, I know it would be for emergency use, fingers crossed I'll get one & not use it, x

  • I asked for home nwbuliser and was told no. That it wasnt recommended by thoraic protocal since by using a home nebuluser dr say I could become very sick and not realise it. So nebuliser must be given under nurse or doctor supervision. I was told this yet i read that many people have home nebulisers. So I am puzzled why I was told dont buy one.

  • My GP & Asthma nurse both said the same last year, it was the consultant that I saw a few weeks ago, who has recommend it. It's amazing how the attitude changes when things come from the consultants, it happened with my antihistamines too, according to the GP & pharmacist it's one a day, I can take up to 4!!!

    That said if they feel it could put you at greater risk then you've got to listen, we are all so very different , keep well x

  • Noticed that my Asda Pharmacy are now selling for about £50 if you decide to go shopping for one and have an Asda Pharmacy nearby. No idea how it would stack-up with other brands.

  • Thanks x

  • I have a home nebuliser because I have chronic asthma and tend to go downhill very quickly. It was my Respiratory Consultant that advised me get one.

  • The problem with a home neb is overusage even though you probably dont think you will people end up using it when they dont really need to thus when you need it it doesnt really work as your body will be so used to it on plus side itll give you confidence that if your struggling youve got device there

  • I know if you use one & don't need it then it can give you palpitations, they gave me one during an assessment when I was well!!!!

  • I hope you get better soon xxc

  • I don't wheeze with my asthma any more either I just get breathless and I cough and my PFR can be low

  • I too have a home neb. Have found it invaluable. Gets used on a daily basis. I have just bought a new one from Amazon which is battery operated a life saver literally when out and about with no access to mains plugs. It's silent to use at night too so doesn't wake my husband. Xx

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