Is Nebulizer Good for Colds?

“Is nebulizer good for colds?” is something to ask when dealing with respiratory distress from an illness.

As a device designed to help alleviate respiratory concerns, it can be a valuable tool when dealing with a cold.

Let’s explore how a nebulizer can help you get through cold and flu seasons more comfortably.

Table of Contents

    How Do Colds Affect the Body?

    When you’re dealing with a cold, your body reacts in several ways.

    When the illness enters your system, your body identifies it as a foreign object and begins fighting it.

    You might experience various symptoms such as fatigue, general discomfort, a moderate fever, and inflammation.

    Inflammation is one of the most challenging cold symptoms, especially for those prone to respiratory distress.

    Extra fluid is sent to the site of the infection, causing white blood cells to begin fighting against the foreign illness.

    As a result, this can cause considerable discomfort, especially in your lungs.

    The excess fluid can begin to accumulate for some, leading to pneumonia, especially if the symptoms are prolonged.

    In these instances, using a nebulizer can significantly assist with the respiratory distress of a cold.

    It’s also important to note that colds bring on other symptoms, such as congestion and coughing.

    Using a nebulizer is a great way to alleviate these two symptoms, especially if you have medication paired with the device.

    If you have a pre-existing condition, it’s best to talk to your doctor to determine the ideal treatment method when working through a cold.

    Is Nebulizer Good for Colds?

    With all of the common cold’s effects on your respiratory tract, it’s easy to see how nebulizers can help.

    These devices can help alleviate respiratory discomfort, especially in the lungs.

    They are essential for people with asthma and other pre-existing conditions that affect their breathing.

    Let’s jump into the list of ways using a nebulizer can help your body work its way through a cold.

    Reducing Inflammation

    As mentioned, the primary way nebulizers are helpful when you’re sick is they assist with fighting inflammation.

    When you inhale the fine mist created from anti-inflammatory medication, it travels straight into your lungs.

    This process reduces the swelling of the organs, allowing your body to breathe more comfortably.

    Depending on the medication your doctor prescribes, a nebulizer can also help prevent the development of pneumonia.

    The amount of fluid in your chest from a cold will also reduce inflammation.

    It is an essential therapy for people dealing with asthma and other respiratory illnesses.

    Impeding Mucus Production

    Apart from fluid in your chest, another considerable symptom of a cold is mucus production.

    This affects your airways, but it can also affect your chest, with mucus being produced near your lungs.

    Using a nebulizer is a great way to help reduce mucus production, making it easier to breathe.

    When you inhale your medicine deep into your lungs, it breaks the mucus.

    It’s a helpful way to transform an unproductive cough into a productive one, removing the mucus from your system.

    It essentially speeds up the length of time for your airways to clear, allowing you to breathe comfortably.

    Aside from using medications to reduce mucus production, you can use sterile saline as a mucus treatment.

    When inhaled, sterile saline opens your airways, loosening mucus and thinning any secretions so you can cough more efficiently.

    The more you cough, the more you can clear mucus from your lungs, making breathing easier.

    pronebu for blog

    Opening Airways

    Nebulizers paired with medication are an effective way to open airways, apart from clearing mucus and fluid from the chest.

    The effects are most often seen in patients with asthma or COPD, whose airways can tighten due to illness.

    If you’re experiencing considerable wheezing or coughing, bronchodilators (medicines that open your airway) like Albuterol can help.

    When these medications are transformed into a fine mist and inhaled, they target the smooth muscle lining of the lungs.

    They help by reducing inflammation in this area, making it considerably easier to breathe.

    Should I Use an Inhaler for a Cold?

    When dealing with a cold, many people try to decide whether using a nebulizer or an inhaler would be preferable.

    Although inhalers are helpful when it comes to delivering medication, they aren’t ideal compared to nebulizers.

    Inhalers are great for on-the-go treatments, but they aren’t recommended for severe respiratory distress.

    When you use an inhaler, getting the right amount of medication to the lungs can be challenging.

    You must use a special breathing technique and hold the inhaler correctly.

    It’s also important to pull the correct amount of medication from the device into your lungs, requiring practice.

    Using a nebulizer is incredibly straightforward and doesn’t require a special breathing technique.

    Instead, you simply breathe as you usually would for about 15 minutes or however long your treatment sessions are.

    Typically, you would continue using a nebulizer until the entire dose of medication has been consumed.

    At the end of the day, both tools can assist in better breathing.

    However, when reducing inflammation and removing mucus, a nebulizer is preferred.

    The efficiency of medicine delivery paired with the soothing sensation of its mist is essential for beginning the healing process.

    What Medications Do Nebulizers Use for Colds?

    As earlier mentioned, nebulizers are best used with bronchodilators, which are specialty medications designed to open your airways.

    Whether you’re suffering from a cold or flu, there are three primary medications you’re likely to be prescribed by your doctor.

    As with any ailment, ensure you only use approved medicines in your nebulizer, or you could risk significant illness and injury.


    Instead of taking antibiotics orally, getting them through a nebulizer can be preferred.

    The antibiotics are available in a liquid form and will turn into a fine mist when added to the nebulizer.

    This process ensures they directly reach the lungs and respiratory system, helping to fight off infections.

    When dealing with a cold, you could be prescribed antibiotics depending on their effect on your lungs.

    They are for severe infections that could lead to pneumonia and other significant ailments in most cases.


    The most commonly prescribed medications for nebulizers are bronchodilators such as Albuterol.

    They are also given to patients suffering from asthma and COPD, illnesses that make it harder to breathe.

    With these medications, you’ll find your airways will open after treatments, making it easier to breathe comfortably.

    Sterile Saline

    Sterile saline is a unique formula that can significantly help with symptoms of a cold.

    It can also be preferred as the first step for those finding it challenging to breathe from a cold.

    Inhaling this medication thins mucus, making it easier to cough it up and clear your chest.

    How to Use a Nebulizer for a Cold

    Thankfully, using a nebulizer for a cold is just as simple as using it on any other day.

    However, you may want to take a couple of additional steps to ensure you thoroughly clean the device after use.

    It’s important to follow the specific instructions offered with your nebulizer, as each model is different.

    Some of the most common steps for using a nebulizer for a cold include:

    1. You’ll need to connect the tubing for the device to the compressor, allowing the machine to run.
    2. You’ll then want to fill the medicine ampoule or cup with your medication, following your specific dosage.
    3. Attach the mask or mouthpiece to the primary hose connector on your medicine cup and put the mask on as needed. Ensure it fits snug so you’ll be able to inhale all of the necessary medication.
    4. Turn the nebulizer on and breathe normally, allowing the air to enter your lungs until the medication is consumed.
    5. Turn the nebulizer off, disconnect the parts, and clean it thoroughly when finished. Also, ensure you leave plenty of time for the parts to dry completely before reassembling and reusing the device.

    Using Nebulizers for Cold Relief

    Is nebulizer good for colds? As a helpful device for people with breathing concerns, it can be a fantastic tool.

    With the right medications, you can reduce breathing discomfort from a cold within 15 minutes.

    Leave a Comment