One of the best predictors of your asthma or allergy drug working is the effectiveness of getting the drug directly to your lung's tissues. That's where specialized 'delivery devices' like nebulizers come in. As with all devices for the delivery of medication, the intent is to get the full dose of your prescription to the specific areas where you need it.

Nebulizers may also be called compressor nebulizers. A nebulizer delivery system consists of the nebulizer itself (small plastic bowl with a screw-top lid) and a source for compressed air. It's really quite simple in its function. The idea is to ensure that the medication is dispersed as completely into the air as possible. This allows you to breathe the medication in more effectively.

These devices come in many types. Older versions can be larger and more bulky. Also, non-portable nebulizers are likely to be larger than portable nebulizers.

In the selection of a nebulizer, don't be deceived by size. The real issue for you or your child is effectiveness. With this in mind, consider discussing the selection of a nebulizer with your doctor. Your doctor has likely seen or dealt with patients who are using various models. Those patients have shared their experience and your doctor has seen the results first hand. This gives your physician a unique perspective that goes beyond the theoretical.

Keep in mind that new products are always being developed. If a nebulizer hasn't worked for you in the past, it may work for you now. Your biggest challenge is to know yourself and what will work in your lifestyle. You are always on the go? Think portable. You are a homebody who prefers your own backyard garden? Consider a non-portable nebulizer that is set up and ready to go whenever you are.

Also keep in mind that your needs may change over time. Technology also changes over time. This may mean that you could change your device of choice over time.

The three main categories currently available are non-portable nebulizer compressors, portable nebulizer compressors and ultrasonic nebulizer compressors.

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