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How To Use Asthma Inhaler

What Is An Asthma Inhaler

How to correctly use an asthma inhaler

Most asthma medicines are inhaled through the mouth using an inhaler or puffer. There are several types and the device you use will depend on your age, how your lungs work and which device you find easiest to use. A doctor, pharmacist or nurse should show you how to take your asthma medicine.

Some medicines are breathed in directly from the inhaler; others are breathed in through a ‘spacer’ you puff the medicine into a container and breathe through a mouthpiece at the other end.

This increases the amount of medicine that reaches the small airways of the lungs.

Most children over 4 can use a small spacer and puffer. Babies and children under 4 may need a face mask.

Additional Feature: Valved Holding Chamber

A valved holding chamber is a device that is placed on the mouthpiece of the metered-dose inhaler . It has a one-way valve that prevents you from breathing into the device. It can be used with a mouthpiece or facemask.

There are several advantages of using a valved holding chamber. You do not need to coordinate releasing the medication and breathing. You release the medication first. Then you breathe in. It also prevents medication from spraying directly into the back of your mouth and sticking there.2 Using this device can help get more medication into your lungs.

Figure 2. Metered dose inhaler with a valved holding chamber

To use the valved holding chamber with a metered dose inhaler:2,3

  • Shake the inhaler.
  • Remove the cap on the valved holding chamber. Look inside to make sure nothing is in the chamber.
  • Place the rubber ring around the mouthpiece on the metered dose inhaler.
  • Breathe out until your lungs are empty.
  • Place your mouth around the mouthpiece.
  • Press on the canister to release one puff of medication.
  • Within 5 seconds of releasing the medication, start to breathe in slowly. Breathe in for 3 to 5 seconds.
  • Hold your breath for 10 seconds.
  • Rinse out your mouth with water and spit it out, especially if you are taking an inhaled corticosteroid. Rinsing helps to prevent thrush . It also reduces the amount of medication you swallow.
  • Will Medicine Help Me Breathe Better When I Exercise

    Yes. Exercising, particularly in cold air, may cause airway swelling or exercise-induced bronchoconstriction . Quick-relief asthma medicines, taken before exercise, usually control this. If you need repeated doses of quick-relief medicine during and after exercise talk with your doctor. Your medicines may need to be adjusted. Thanks to these medicines, many Olympic and professional athletes have successful sports careers even with their asthma.;

    It is important for everyone, including people with asthma, to be as active as possible for good health. Talk with your doctor about how you can be physically active while keeping your asthma well-controlled.;

    Also Check: Can Allergies Cause Asthma Attacks

    How To Use Metered

    With metered-dose inhalers being the most widely used among all inhaler types, this might be the kind you might be familiar with. Here are the steps to use a metered-dose inhaler:

    Step 1: Take off the cap of the inhaler and shake the inhaler well.

    Step 2: Hold the inhaler in an upright position and stand up or sit up straight.

    Step 3: Exhale and breathe out all the air in your lungs as you tilt your head slightly backwards.

    Step 4: Hold the mouthpiece between your teeth, close your lips around to achieve a proper seal.

    Step 5: Start breathing in slowly through the mouth and press down the canister fully to release one spray. Continue breathing in slowly and deeply. This coordination is important to follow to ensure the proper dose of the medication is delivered.

    Step 6: Remove the inhaler from your mouth.

    Step 7: Hold your breath for ten seconds, or as long as you comfortably can, and breathe out slowly.

    How To Use An Mdi Inhaler With A Spacer

    How to use an Albuterol Inhaler with Spacer
    • Put the inhaler into the spacer.
    • Shake it for 5 seconds.
    • Hold the inhaler up with your index finger on top and your thumb underneath to support it. Use the other hand to hold the spacer if you need to.
    • Breathe out.
    • Put the mouthpiece between your teeth, and close your lips tightly around the spacer.
    • Press the top down and breathe in until your lungs fill completely — about 3-5 seconds.
    • Hold the medicine in your lungs as long as you can , then breathe out.
    • If you donât get enough air in the first breath, wait 15-30 seconds and try again. Shake the inhaler again before the second puff. Donât fill the chamber with two puffs of medicine at once.
    • Recap the mouthpiece.
    • If your medicine has a steroid in it, rinse your mouth and gargle with water after you use the inhaler. Spit out the water.

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    What If The Patient Has Trouble With Hand

    Oftentimes, patients will not be able to coordinate their breath to align properly for when they initiate the dose. In this case, its important to use a space or holding changer. This way, the patient can initiate the dose within a chamber that the aerosol will be held temporarily so the patient is better able to inhale the full dose.

    You can even purchase your own spacer on Amazon, however, you should speak with your doctor or medical professional about what medical equipment is right for you.

    How To Use Breath

    Breath-actuated metered-dose inhalers have similarities in the formulation with metered-dose inhalers but using them is different because you dont need to press to spray the medication. Here are the steps to use a breath-actuated metered-dose inhaler:

    Step 1: Shake the inhaler well and remove the cap of the inhaler. Check if the mouthpiece is clean.

    Step 2: Sit or stand up straight and breathe out completely.

    Step 3: Hold the inhaler in an upright position and place it between your teeth.

    Step 4: Close your lips around it to form a seal.

    Step 5: Breathe in slowly and deeply. Continue breathing in after the medication has been released.

    Step 6: Take out the inhaler and close the cap. Hold your breath for around ten seconds, or as long as comfortable.

    Repeat this process if you have to take more than one dose.

    These techniques only cover some of the most commonly found inhaler types. No matter what inhaler you have, you can find the proper technique listed down in the patient leaflet that comes with the inhaler. And if youre not sure about your inhaler technique, you can always get in touch with your doctor. Breathefree also has a Digital Educator Initiative where you can get a demonstration of proper inhaler technique, free of cost.

    Read Also: Does Asthma Cause Throat Clearing

    How To Use An Asthma Inhaler

    Step-by-step instructions on how to get the right dose of your asthma meds.

    You’ve used your inhaler maybe hundreds of times, but have you been doing it wrong this whole time? There’s actually a pretty good chance you haven’t been using your inhaler correctly. In a recent study, less than one in 10 people with asthma knew how to properly use an inhaler.

    “The main reason most patients use their inhalers wrong is that no one has shown them the proper technique,” says Brian Gelbman, MD, associate clinical professor of medicine;at Weill Cornell Medical Center. “In our current healthcare environment, many practices can be very busy and may neglect to take the extra few minutes to show patients how to use their inhalers.”

    But if so few people actually use their inhalers the right way, it can’t be that big of a deal, right? Unfortunately, this mistake can be bad news for your health.

    “The risk of using your inhaler wrong is that you won’t be receiving the proper dose of your medication and will likely be under-treating your asthma,” says Dr. Gelbman. “This can ultimately result in unnecessary escalation of care, such as stronger medications with higher risk of side effects or even emergency room visits or hospital stays.”

    If you’re not sure you’re using your inhaler the right way, or just want a refresher course, here’s a step-by-step guide to using an inhaler correctly:

  • Take off the inhaler’s cap. Make sure it’s clean.
  • Hold the inhaler upright and shake it vigorously.
  • Quick Relief: Rescue Inhaler

    How to Use an Inhaler

    Rescue or relief inhalers quickly bring back normal breathing when you are:

    • Short of breath

    You should keep a rescue inhaler with you all the time. Use it:

    • When you have a flare of symptoms
    • Before you’re going to be around your asthma triggers
    • When you run into unexpected triggers

    A rescue inhaler is for short-term symptom relief, not to control your asthma in the long term. If you’re using yours 2 or more days a week, or more than 2 nights a month, talk to your doctor about a daily control inhaler.

    Also Check: What To Do When Someone Has An Asthma Attack

    Alternative To An Inhaler: Nebulizer

    A nebulizer is a machine that turns the asthma medication into a fine mist. A nebulizer can be used for rescue medications and control medications.2 Nebulizing can be expensive and time-consuming.2 The machines are bulky. For these reasons, nebulized medication is mainly used for people who cannot use a metered-dose inhaler with a valve holding chamber and face mask.2 The advantage of using a nebulizer is that the person can breathe in and out like normal. The nebulizer can be used with a mouthpiece or snug-fitting face mask.2

    General guidelines for using a nebulizer are:3

  • Wash your hands before you start.
  • Assemble the machine, tubing, medicine cup, and mouthpiece or mask.
  • Pour the medication into the medication cup.
  • Place your mouth around the mouthpiece.
  • Turn on the machine.
  • Take normal breaths through your mouth.
  • Continue for about 10 minutes, until the medicine cup is empty or the mist stops.
  • Rinse out your mouth with water and spit it out, especially if you are taking an inhaled corticosteroid. Rinsing helps to prevent thrush . It also reduces the amount of medication you swallow.
  • What type of asthma inhaler do you use? Do you use a spacer or valved holding chamber with it? Let us know in the comments below!

    What To Remember When Using Your Inhaler

    • Stand or sit upright when using your inhaler
    • Remove the mouthpiece cover, check inside to ensure it’s clean and give it a shake
    • Hold the inhaler upright with your thumb on the base and fingers on the top of the canister your hand should make a C shape
    • Breathe out as far as is comfortable and place the mouthpiece in your mouth, between your teeth. Close your lips around it and don’t bite
    • Breathe in through your mouth just after you start to breathe in, press down on the top of the canister to release a puff of medicine. Continue breathing in steadily and deeply
    • Take the inhaler out of your mouth and hold your breath for about ten seconds .
    • If you need another dose of medicine, wait for about 30 seconds before taking the second dose.

    The above steps are for those using metered dose inhalers , which are the most popular type of inhaler. If you use an alternative type of inhaler, please visit our asthma page;so we can help you ensure you are using this correctly.

    We offer inhalers through our;online servicemeaning you dont have to visit a doctor every time you need an inhaler.

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    What Drugs Are In The Inhaler

    Many inhalers contain steroids, like prednisone, to treat inflammation. Others have a type of drug called a bronchodilator to open up your airways. Some have both — this is known as a combination inhaler.

    Anti-inflammatory asthma inhalers prevent asthma attacks and reduce swelling and mucus in your airways. They include:

    How To Use An Inhaler With A Spacer And Mouthpiece


    Learning how to properly use an inhaler with a spacer and mouthpiece for asthma ensures the medicine gets deposited into the lungs. Incorrect technique can leave some of the particles from the medicine on your tongue or throat, where it is useless. Inhalers spray the medicine out so that you can breathe it deep into the lungs. A spacer, or holding chamber, is an attachment that should always be used with your inhaler. The spacer holds the medicine in place so you can breathe it in easier. If you have any further questions about inhalers, spacers or mouthpieces contact your doctor’s office, asthma care team or pharmacy.

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    Will Medicine Help Me Sleep Better

    Yes, if you have nighttime asthma symptoms. Many people wake up with asthma symptoms such as coughing or wheezing. You can control nighttime symptoms by taking asthma medicines as directed by your doctor.;

    Removing triggers where you sleep may help you sleep better. Many people are allergic to dust mites and mold found in bedding materials. Using mattress or pillow encasements can help contain those allergens. Dehumidifiers can also be helpful to reduce the humidity in your home that dust mites and mold need to exist. Using air cleaners in your bedroom may also help reduce your exposure to allergens and irritants .;

    To Use Your Puffer With A Spacer:

  • Shake the inhaler well before use
  • Remove the cap from your inhaler, and from your spacer, if it has one
  • Put the inhaler into the spacer
  • Breathe out, away from the spacer
  • Bring the spacer to your mouth, put the mouthpiece between your teeth and close your lips around it
  • Press the top of your inhaler once
  • Breathe in very slowly until you have taken a full breath. If you hear a whistle sound, you are breathing in too fast.
  • Hold your breath for about ten seconds, then breathe out.
  • If you need to take more than one puff at a time, wait a minimum of 30 seconds between puffs and be sure to shake the puffer before each puff. Only put one puff of medication into the spacer at a time.
  • Read Also: Relieving Asthma Without Inhaler

    Check List For Good Usage

    • Ask a health professional to demonstrate how to use your inhaler and check your technique.
    • Make sure the inhaler is not past its expiry date.
    • Make sure your inhaler is not empty.
    • If you are using a spacer, make sure it is clean visit the Australian Asthma Handbook for recommendations on how to clean a spacer.

    Inhaler Recipes For Body Mind & Spirit

    How To Properly Use Your Asthma Inhaler

    There are 24 essential oil inhaler recipes and labels below.; Ive grouped them into 4 main categories:

  • Inhaler Blends for Body Support:;immune support, headaches, seasonal allergies, motion sickness, clear breathing, and upset stomach
  • Inhaler Blends for Energy & Happiness:; motivation,wake up, fatigue fighter, uplifting, and gratitude
  • Inhaler Blends for Calm & Focus: grounding, calming, stress relief, tuned in, and get focused
  • Inhaler Blends for Comfort & Cravings: curb your cravings, beat the binge, comfort, confidence, and creativity
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    Asthma Inhaler Type: Metered

    Metered-dose inhalers are used for rescue medications and control medications such as long-acting beta-agonists and inhaled corticosteroids .2

    Figure 1. Metered dose inhaler

    General guidelines for using a metered-dose inhaler are:2,3

  • Shake the inhaler.
  • Breathe out until your lungs are empty.
  • Place your mouth around the mouthpiece.
  • Start inhaling, press on the canister to release one puff while continuing to breathe in for 3 to 5 seconds.
  • Hold your breath for 10 seconds afterward.
  • Rinse out your mouth with water and spit it out, especially if you are taking an inhaled corticosteroid. Rinsing helps to prevent thrush . It also reduces the amount of medication you swallow.
  • If you are taking more than one puff of a rescue medication, wait 15 to 30 before taking the next puff. For other medications, there is no need to wait between puffs
  • Metered-dose inhalers can be difficult to use. It is hard to coordinate releasing the medication and breathing in. This is particularly hard for young children and elderly adults.2 If you use a valved holding chamber, you do not need to coordinate the puffing and breathing.2

    How To Use An Inhaler

    This article was co-authored by Alan O. Khadavi, MD, FACAAI. Dr. Alan O. Khadavi is a Board Certified Allergist and a Pediatric Allergy Specialist based in Los Angeles, California. He holds a BS in biochemistry from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and an MD from the State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn. Dr. Khadavi completed his pediatric residency at Schneider Childrens Hospital in New York, and then went on to complete his allergy and immunology fellowship and pediatric residency at Long Island College Hospital. He is board certified in adult and pediatric allergy/immunology. Dr. Khadavi is a Diplomate of the American Board of Allergy and Immunology, a Fellow of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology , and a member of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology . Dr. Khadavi’s honors include Castle Connollys list of Top Doctors 2013-2020, and Patient Choice Awards “Most Compassionate Doctor” in 2013 & 2014.There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 92,039 times.

    Read Also: Relieving Asthma Symptoms Without Inhaler

    Additional Accessories For An Inhaler:

    It depends on the customer preferences, but inhalers sometimes come other accessories. These include neck or key chains, which can be attached to the inhalers and allow for easy carrying during exercise or on a set of keys.

    Latest offerings also include cases and pouches, which help protect the inhalers much in the same way that cell phone cases protect cell phones.;These cases and pouches also can help keep the devices clean.

    Can Medicine Alone Help My Asthma

    How to use an inhaler with a spacer

    Not usually. Although medicines help a lot, they may not be able to do the job alone. You have to avoid the things that cause or trigger your asthma symptoms as much as you can. Asthma triggers can be found outside or inside your home, school, or workplace.;

    Improving the indoor air quality in your home is an important part of asthma control. Your indoor air can be more polluted than outside air. Our interactive Healthy Home can show you ways to improve the indoor air quality of your home. A healthier home can reduce your exposure to allergens and irritants.;

    Also Check: Late Onset Asthma Elderly


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