A mess of junk and household objects with the shape of a nebulizer mask missing from the center

Where Is My Nebulizer?

Last updated: September 2022

It was a toss-up, between a good thing and a bad thing. I wanted to do a breathing treatment as part of an airway clearing technique, to help clear some secretions to potentially use as a sample that may get sent to the lab. The first thing I had to do was track down my nebulizer as it had been moved during some preparations for some household renovations. When it was in heavy rotation, it had a permanent upstairs location. I had another one downstairs which was my travel version.

It subsequently stopped working and at some point, I must have brought the upstairs one downstairs and forgot it was there. I am grateful that my asthma has been so stable that I have not needed to do a breathing treatment in quite some time, however, I should have kept better track of it.

Lost then found: nebulizer for asthma treatment

I discovered that I had not stored my nebulizer in the best possible manner. As in, it had been sitting in a bin in my home office. I used to do a lot of before-work treatments and I am so grateful that this is not my current normal. I should have put them in a plastic bag after their last sterilization. Unfortunately, they did collect an amazing amount of dust in that bin and when I went to use them, I decided that even after sterilization I would unlikely feel comfortable using this particular nebulizer again.

Expiration timelines

This led to the question, do these things expire?

I discovered that they do indeed “expire” or at least the recommended replacement schedule is approximately every 6 months. The recommendations may differ depending on your insurance company, healthcare supply company, or healthcare system. They may suggest a different replacement schedule. This cadence is thought to ensure the best quality delivery from your device and reduce contamination procedures.

With this information in hand, I was thoroughly embarrassed and I knew that my nebulizers would need to be discarded, and immediately. These are not going to do me any good. I cannot believe I had them for so long.

Where and how should I store my nebulizer?

I was going to need to find a much better storage location for the next set of nebulizers and tubing. I had one compressor that came with a storage bag for tubing and nebulizers, which was great but starting to fall apart. I had used plastic bags for a while but they also tend to break down. I am thinking about making some form of a cloth bag with a liner. I haven’t figured out what that will be yet. I do know that I will be taking much better care of the next round of these. I swear that I initially took really good care of this equipment including a regular sequence of cleaning and sanitizing.

I am grateful that while my compressor is a dinosaur, it is still going strong. It was stored in a dust-free manner so it was saved from the current state which is my nebulizer. I will just have to replace the tubing and nebulizer and get a prescription refill since those are also horribly expired.

Where do you store your nebulizer and what are your methods for ensuring things are ready to go when you need them? I would love to hear about your tips and strategies. Share your experience by clicking on the button below.

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