Do you clean your nebulizer cup regularly? Do you ever replace it?
I’m almost embarrassed to say at one point in my asthmatic life I used the same nebulizer cup for years without ever really cleaning or replacing it. Yes, that is gross and unsanitary if you were wondering. Last year I wrote up a post about how to clean your nebulizer which probably gets the most hits out of anything on this blog. I used to clean them with vinegar, but a soak in warm water with dish soap for 30min to an hour is just as effective and you don’t run the risk of “inhaling pickles” afterward.
Today is July 1st which means the start of the 2nd half of the year. Nebuilzer parts: cup, tubing, and filter, should be replaced at least every six months. To make it easy on myself I do this January 1 and July 1 of every year.
Where do I find replacements?
If you’re in the ER/hospital or receiving breathing treatments at a doctor’s office, that’s one easy place to acquire replacements parts. If they’ve never offered to give them to you, just ask. They do not reuse them for other patients and are immediately trashed. They’ll probably even bag up the tube and nebulizer cup for you like take-out dinner. Most nebulizer cups and tubing will work with most nebulizer compressors, but it’s good to check. Occasionally I’ve been given tubing with a much too wide mouth from the hospital, but that’s because it’s made to fit onto those giant nozzles in hospital rooms for room air and oxygen.
You’ll still need to replace the filter in your compressor and that is something you won’t be able to get from the doctor’s office. Some people like to use durable medical equipment supply companies, but I’ve never had much luck due to having an opinion about the equipment I use. I’ve also had several local companies try to screw me over with what I’m purchasing, trying to make me buy overpriced bundles instead of just buying what I need, etc.
I like to use JustNebulizers.com to buy all my neb parts. I’ve even purchased two Pari Trek S systems from them over the years. They always have a promo code to use, they always provide a promo code with your last order, and the one time there was an issue with my shipment it was immediately fixed. It’s hard to argue with good customer service. If you are having trouble deciding or knowing what filter you need, check out their Nebulizer Filter Finder or give them a call for assistance.
Some nebulizer compressors call for more or less frequent filter changes than every six months, but if you’re using it on a regular basis like I am it’s good to replace. I’ve even replaced at 3 months before just because the filter looks dirty. Remember dudes, you’re asthmatic and don’t want to be breathing this stuff in.
Lastly, don’t forget to file with your insurance. Every plan has different rules about how often you can buy stuff, but sometimes you will be reimbursed and the cost will count towards your deductible and/or max-out-of-pocket expenses.