The short answer is yes. You are legally allowed to bring a nebulizer, CPAP, and other approved medical devices onto a plane in your carry-on luggage. However, these devices do have to be taken out of your luggage and put through the scanner individually.
A small portable nebulizer is the best type of nebulizer to bring on an airplane if you intend to use it (or think you might need to). Trying to use a larger device could prove to be very difficult. The other thing you need to consider is how much liquid medication or saline solution you will be bringing because there are limitations. However, in most cases, medication is exempt from TSA regulations.
Read our guide to learn more about bringing your nebulizer and nebulized medication on an airplane with you. If you anticipate needing breathing treatment while on the plane, you are able to bring your device in your carry-on with you.
What Is A Portable Nebulizer?
A portable nebulizer machine is a smaller device that makes it easy to get breathing treatments while you are on the go. These devices will take your liquid medication and turn it into a fine mist that you breathe in through your mouth, using a mouthpiece or mask.
Portable nebulizers are different than traditional ones because they do not require tubing or any type of air source. They are also smaller, which makes it easier to take them with you to work, school, or anywhere you need to go. Because of the size and convenience, you can also use it anywhere that you would use an inhaler. The breathing treatments take anywhere from three to seven minutes to complete.
When you compare a nebulizer to other treatment methods, like oral medication, nebulized therapy is a better treatment. Oral medications have to go through your gastrointestinal tract and then into your bloodstream in order to get to your lungs and get relief from your symptoms. But with a portable nebulizer machine, the medication will go directly into your lungs to open your airways and help you breathe better instantly.
What Conditions Can I Use a Nebulized Therapy For?
There are a number of respiratory conditions that you can use nebulizers for. Whether they are chronic or acute, a nebulizer can help reduce inflammation in your airways and open them up so that you can breathe better. You can use nebulizers for COPD, asthma, allergies, and more.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of the conditions you can use a portable nebulizer machine for:
Your doctor can help you determine whether breathing nebulizers would be beneficial for your condition.
Bringing Your Portable Nebulizer on an Airplane
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has put forth requirements that the public must adhere to while traveling. There are restrictions on the types of devices you can bring on the plane, as well as other items that could be considered dangerous. However, you are able to bring a nebulizer and the batteries you need in order to use it. These are not included in the TSA restrictions.
When you do pack your nebulizer in your carry-on luggage, it will have to go through the X-ray screening machine with the rest of your luggage. However, you will need to take the device out of your bag so that it can go through the X-ray machine by itself. The TSA agents are required to look closer at devices like these in order to ensure the safety of all passengers and staff.
Once your portable nebulizer device has been cleared by security, you are free to use it whenever you need it, including while on the aircraft. And when you use a TruNeb™ device, it is so quiet and convenient that you won’t have to worry about bothering other people around you – no one will even notice!
Can I Bring My Liquid Medication on an Airplane?
TSA requirements say that you can only bring up to 3ml of liquid onto a plane. However, similarly to nebulizer devices, liquid medications that you are prescribed to use with your nebulizer are exempt from this rule. These liquids will have to be checked during your X-ray screening.
The TSA agent will ask that you remove all liquids from your carry-on or personal luggage and put them through the X-ray machine in their own container. The purpose of putting these medications and your nebulizer through the additional security is to check for any potentially dangerous or hazardous materials. TSA’s primary goal is to ensure the safety of all travelers and airline staff members.
When You Should Pack Your Portable Nebulizer
The last thing you want is to be without your breathing treatment when you need it most. If you plan on traveling on an airplane and any of these situations apply to you, then you should pack your portable nebulizer in your luggage.
- You recently had a flare-up: If you have recently had a flare-up of your COPD or asthma or other chronic respiratory condition, it would be wise of you to bring your portable nebulizer machine. This will ensure that you have access to treatment when you need it most.
- The time of year: If you know that you are susceptible to breathing symptoms during a certain time of year, you should take your treatment with you anytime you travel during that time.
- You will be gone for an extended time: An “extended time” can vary from person to person and how often they normally use treatment. If you regularly use your nebulizer for breathing treatments, you should consider bringing it.
You should always air on the side of caution and bring your nebulizer if you think you will need it. Even if you do not end up using it, it is better to be safe than sorry.
How To Use a Portable Nebulizer on an Airplane
Using a portable nebulizer machine on an airplane really is not that difficult, especially when you use the TruNeb™ device. Here are the directions on how to use it while you are on an airplane.
- Wash and/or sanitize your hands. Then open the nebulizer cup on the top of the device and pour in your prescribed dose of medication or saline.
- Install the mask (with the adaptor) or the mouthpiece.
- Press the power button to turn the device on.
- Breathe in the atomized mist until it’s finished. Be sure to keep a tight seal with the mask or mouthpiece over your face or mouth.
- Power the device off when the medication is gone and the treatment is finished.
You should also clean and disinfect your device, but this might have to wait until you have landed or are on solid ground. Here is how to clean your device.
- Remove the mouthpiece and any accessories.
- Add 6ml of distilled water to the medicine chamber.
- Run a full cycle through.
- Shake out any remaining drops and allow the device to air dry.
To disinfect your nebulizer, simply repeat the cleaning steps and add 2 to 3 drops of white vinegar to your distilled water and then run a full cycle. After this solution is nebulized, run one more cycle of just distilled water. Wipe out the medicine cup with distilled water to ensure there is no vinegar residue left over.
What Is the Best Portable Nebulizer?
TruNeb™ is the best portable nebulizer you can find. The quiet, convenient breathing treatment gives you relief when you need it most. The TruNeb™ will turn your liquid medication into a fine, thin mist that you breathe in. This method helps the meds to reach your lungs quicker so that you get fast relief every time.
Here are just a few of the advantages of using our device:
- Completely Quiet: With our portable nebulizer, you will enjoy noise-free breathing treatment every time you use it.
- Perfect For Kids and Adults: Both kids and adults can use this device. It has a smaller mask for kids as well as the option for a mouthpiece so they can be comfortable while using it.
- Unique Design: Our device is not much bigger than the average inhaler. It’s pocket-sized and when you use the mouthpiece, it’s not much different than using an inhaler, aside from the slightly longer treatment time.
We promise that you will be impressed by our handheld nebulizer. If you are not, we will give you your money back within 30 days of purchase. Try the TruNeb™ risk-free today!