Difference Between Nebulizer and Inhaler

Inhalation therapy is commonly used to treat respiratory illnesses such as COPD, cystic fibrosis and asthma. The instruments which are used to dispense these drugs can be preventers or relievers, including inhalers and nebulizers.


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Nebulizer vs Inhaler

The difference between nebulizers and inhalers comes in the difference between their size and appearances, the way they are being operated, their cost. Other factors also come into play, such as portability, the difference in their uses and side-effects they cause. A nebulizer is a large, bulky appliance. Whereas, Inhalers are compact and easy to carry.

Nebulizer vs Inhaler

Compressors, such as nebulizers, are used to deliver oxygen or any other compressed air. With the use of a tube, the confined air can be given to your mouth. Nebulizers rely on electricity to function.

Inhalers are metal or plastic devices that carry a pressurised medication solution inside a tin canister. When the user presses the canister, the medication is dispensed in predetermined amounts into the mouth.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonNebulizerInhaler
Size and AppearanceBulkier in size and appearance. Small in size and can be held in hands.
Operated via? Operated with the help of electricity, thus they are either battery operated or work with plug-ins.Do not require electricity or battery for their operation.
Cost Expensive and higher cost. Cheaper and cost-effective.
Portability Not portable or travel friendly. Portable, pocket and travel are friendly.
Side effects Tremors, anxiety, severe breathing issues.Poor breathing problems.
UseSevere difficulty in breathing issues, tracheostomy collar. Minor breathing problems or asthma.

What is Nebulizer?

A nebulizer is a device that is often larger in appearance. Compressors, such as nebulizers, are used to deliver oxygen or other compressed air. With the use of a tube, the confined air can be given to the mouth.

Nebulizers are electronic devices that are specifically designed to treat respiratory disorders. As a result, they are more expensive than inhalers. Ambulizers and hospitals both have nebulizers.

Because asthma treatments are delivered via nebulizer, nebulizers can induce side effects in patients such as tremors and anxiety if they are not utilised properly.


What is Inhaler?

Inhalers are compact and can be carried in one’s hand. Inhalers are devices that contain the medicine solution in a pressurised form inside a tin canister.

Inhalers are little plastic devices that operate without the use of power or batteries. Inhalers are less expensive and more cost-effective. As a result, they’re useful for folks who have respiratory problems.

When an inhaler is not utilised correctly in conjunction with breathing, it might result in poor breathing problems for asthma patients—people who suffer from minor respiratory issues or asthma use inhalers daily.


Main Differences Between Nebulizer and Inhaler

  1. If not used correctly, then nebulizers can cause side effects in patients like tremors and anxiety due to the delivery of asthma medicines via nebulizer. On the other hand, If an inhaler is not used correctly in coordination with breathing, then it can cause poor breathing problems for individuals suffering from asthma.
  2. Nebulizers are used extensively for administering patients who face severe difficulty in breathing or who have tracheostomy collars in hospitals and ambulances. On the other hand, inhalers are used in day to day lives by people suffering from minor breathing problems or asthma.
Difference Between Nebulizer and Inhaler


  1. https://www.atsjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1164/ajrccm.163.1.9910042
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0091674981900129
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