By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , /

Vocal steam inhaler vs nebulizer? Are you wondering which one is better for
your voice? In this video, I am comparing my Mabis steam
inhaler and Mesh nebulizer. Stay tuned to find out which one I prefer
to use and why. Hi! I am Katarina, speech language pathologist
from How 2 Improve Singing and here on this channel, I share practical tips about using
your voice in a healthy way. So, if this is a topic that interests you,
consider subscribing to this channel and hitting that bell notification icon so that you don’t
miss any of my videos. In January 2019, I posted a video about my
favourite steam inhaler. Since then, I have been receiving questions
about vocal steamers and nebulizers. What is the difference? Do you recommend nebulizers for singers and
voice users? So, I decided to test a nebulizer, and in
this video, I am going to tell you what I think. First, let me give you an update on my favourite
steam inhaler Mabis. As I was preparing for this video, I noticed
that the price I quoted in the original video went up. I bought my personal steamer in December 2018
and it cost me 50 CAD, which at that time translated into about 30 US. Today, the same steam inhaler costs almost
70 CAD. At the current exchange rate, that comes to
about 50 to 55 US. I also noticed that Mabis steam inhaler is
no longer available for purchase on the US Amazon website. You can still buy it on the Canadian Amazon
site and you can also buy it on the Walmart website. So, things have changed in one year. If you haven’t seen that video, you can
watch it right after this one. I will link to it at the end of the video. In that video, I am talking about the benefits
of steaming for voice and I also shared a little trick that gives you even more steam. Now, let’s talk about nebulizers. I bought mine from and at the time
of purchase, it cost almost 46 Canadian dollars, which translates to about $35 US. As you can see, on the Amazon site, it has
a crazy name “Portable Mini Humidifier Machine Handheld Travel Steam Compressor Vaporizers
Cool Mist Kits for Adults & Kids” but in reality, it is a Mesh Nebulizer as you can
see on the packaging. I opted for this one because it was one of
the cheaper nebulizers but it also seemed to be widely available at the same time. So, what is a nebulizer? A nebulizer is a machine that turns liquids
into mist. Nebulizers are mainly used for administration
of medication in the form of mist for conditions like asthma, allergies and other respiratory
illnesses. But recently, singers and professional voice
users started to take advantage of this machine too. Therefore, there are only a handful of studies
examining the effectiveness of nebulizers for voice. Compared to steam inhalers, which produce
warm steam, nebulizers create cool mist made of much smaller particles. It means that the mist is easily inhaled into
the lungs. One might think that it also means better
hydration but we have no research studies to confirm that yet. The size of the particles, however, can be
a double-edged sword. Small particles can really get down to your
lungs and cause trouble, if these particles are harmful. Therefore, it is recommended that you use
sterile water or sterile saline water with nebulizers to avoid infection of the lungs. Don’t use home-made solutions, stick to
sterile products. So, take that into account when deciding about
using nebulizers. Now, should you use sterile water or sterile
saline water? There is one study that compared the use of
sterile water and sterile saline water and the results showed that only saline solution
had positive effects on the subjects’ perceived vocal effort. This means that only subjects who used saline
water in their nebulizer experienced relief from dryness. Therefore, it is recommended that you use
0.9% isotonic saline water. 0.9%, not more, not less. Sterile isotonic saline water. So, what do I think about this particular
nebulizer? Here are three things that I like about this
nebulizer. #1 It’s small, compact and light weight. This is a no brainer, if you compare it to
the Mabis steam inhaler. Great size for travelling or moving around. #2 The price is right. Or at least right now. The price of this nebulizer is better than
the price of a steam inhaler. #3 It’s battery operated. This is a huge advantage because you don’t
need to be close to an electric outlet so you can really use it on the go. But the battery life is quite short as the
machine uses a lot of power. Now, here are my three main complaints about
the nebulizer: #1 As I explained earlier, it is recommended
to use sterile saline water. It took me quite a while to find it because
not every pharmacy carries it. You can buy sterile saline water on Amazon
but it costs almost as much as the device itself so I was not willing to do that. I went to several pharmacies until I found
this little guy. And for nebulizers, you need a very small
amount of liquid, less than 8 mml. So, it’s a pain to find it. But once you have it, you are good to go. #2 It is important to keep the device clean
because you don’t want bacteria or other unwanted particles to enter your lungs. So, the device has to be cleaned after each
use. The disinfecting procedure is not complicated
but it is something that has to be done. You need to let all the parts dry well to
prevent mold. #3 is my personal preference and you may not
agree with me on this one. The mist is cold, which some people may view
as an advantage. You definitely won’t burn yourself. But for me it also means less satisfaction
when I inhale the mist. I really enjoy the warm steam from a steam
inhaler. I like the warmth. It feels like you are in a spa or sauna. I personally, feel more hydrated when I inhale
steam. But again, this is my personal opinion. So, what is my verdict? I will stick to my steam inhaler for use on
a regular basis. It just gives me more satisfaction. Yes, it is much bigger and right now, it costs
more. But I really like the warm steam! I may take the small nebulizer with me when
I travel. I guess it all comes down to a personal preference. What about you? Do you use a nebulizer or steam inhaler? Which one do you like and why? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this video, give it a like and
check out my other videos right here below. I will see you in my next video.

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