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How To Use Asthma Pump Properly

Heres How To Use An Inhaler

  • Remove the cap from the mouthpiece and inspect it for residue or blockages.
  • Shake the inhaler vigorously for a few seconds.
  • Take a deep breath and then exhale completely.
  • While standing or sitting upright, begin to breathe in slowly with the inhaler in place and press the button. Continue breathing in after pressing it.
  • Hold your breath for 5 to 10 seconds, then breathe out slowly through your mouth.
  • How To Use An Mdi Inhaler With A 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 and gargle with water after you use the inhaler. Spit out the .

    During An Asthma Attack

    In a sudden asthma attack you can use your inhaler more and take up to 10 puffs. Wait 30 seconds and always shake the inhaler between doses. You can repeat this dose 10 minutes later.

    Immediate action required: Call 999 or go to A&E now if you or your child:

    • are struggling to breathe
    • have asthma symptoms that are not getting better

    Asthma attacks can get worse very quickly.

    For treating severe asthma attacks, salbutamol can be given through a nebuliser. A nebuliser is a machine that delivers the medicine as a mist inhaled through a face mask. This will probably be given to you by your doctor.

    What Is 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.

    To Use Your Puffer With A Spacer:

    Can You Use an Expired Inhaler?

  • 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.
  • Combination Single Maintenance And Reliever Therapy

    The guidelines were published in December in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunologyand on the NHLBI website.

    The combination medication has been found to be more effective for helping you avoid unexpected trips to the emergency room or your doctors office, and can also help you avoid larger corticosteroid doses which with long-term use raise the risk of side effects such as , high blood pressure, , and .

    If You Have Asthma Your Healthcare Team Will:

    • Explain how you can keep your asthma under control by avoiding your personal
    • Prescribe medication that will help minimize your symptoms
    • Show you how to take your medication properly, checking your inhaler technique
    • Work with you so you have a written Asthma Action Plan
    • Recommend that you visit on a regular basis so that your symptoms can be monitored and your treatments adjusted if necessary

    Keep Your Inhaler Clean

    Look at the hole where the medicine sprays out of your inhaler. If you see powder in or around the hole, clean your inhaler.

    • Remove the metal canister from the L-shaped plastic mouthpiece.
    • Rinse only the mouthpiece and cap in warm water.
    • Let them air-dry overnight.
    • In the morning, put the canister back inside. Put the cap on.
    • DO NOT rinse any other parts.

    Method 2 Of 2:using A Dry Powder Inhaler

  • 1Keep your dry powder inhaler dry. Your DPI may get ruined in a humid or moist environment because the medicine becomes clumpy, clogging the inhaler. To prevent your medicine from clumping, don’t store your DPI in the bathroom or in an area without air conditioning. Your breath also contains moisture, so it’s also important that you don’t exhale into the inhaler.
  • 2Remove the cap. The cap protects your inhaler from becoming dirty or contaminated. When you’re using the inhaler, make sure to put your cap down somewhere safe so that you don’t lose it. Depending on what kind of inhaler you have, the cap will look different.XTrustworthy SourceNational Heart, Lung, and Blood InstituteResearch and education center within the National Institutes of HealthGo to source
  • If your inhaler looks like an upright tube – called a rocket inhaler – then the cap will cover the length of the inhaler. It may be a different color than the base.XTrustworthy SourceNational Heart, Lung, and Blood InstituteResearch and education center within the National Institutes of HealthGo to source
  • If you have a diskus inhaler – called a flying saucer inhaler – you will remove the cap by placing your thumb on the thumb grip and pressing away from you. The cap will slide away to remove the mouthpiece.XResearch source
  • Do not shake your inhaler.
  • If you’re still having trouble, then check with the directions for your model because DPIs vary more in how they’re used compared with other inhalers.
  • What Not To Do With Your Inhaler

    When you’re still having trouble breathing even after using your bronchodilator inhaler, you may be tempted to use it again to give yourself a second dose of the medication. Despite the temptation, it’s important to stick with the dose prescribed by your doctor. If you feel as if your medications need to be adjusted, call your physician.

    Since inhalers are so commonly prescribed, and often work so well, people often don’t recognize how strong these medications actually are. Not strong, as in side effects, but strong as in dilating your airways. In recent years researchers have been trying to determine why the death rate for people with asthma has stayed relatively constant. Some physicians believe that patients don’t realize how strong these medications are in the arsenal for breathing and treat themselves too long at home before reaching out for help. If you find yourself wishing you could repeat the dose of your inhaler, don’t. But make it a point to call your doctor right away to see what she recommends.

    There are several other things you shouldn’t do with your inhaler :

  • Do not use your inhaler after the expiration date listed on the canister.
  • Do not store or use your inhaler near heat or an open flame.
  • Do not use other people’s inhalers.
  • Keep this and all medications away from the reach of children.
  • 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.

    Most People With Asthma Use An Inhaler Find Out How Good Inhaler Technique Helps You Manage Your Asthma Well

    Using the right inhaler technique, whether its your preventer or your reliever inhaler, helps you breathe the medicine straight into your lungs, where its needed. Youre less likely to get side effects, because not much of the medicine is absorbed into the rest of your body, and youre giving yourself the best chance of managing your symptoms.

    Want to check youre using your inhaler properly? Watch our short videos

    How does good inhaler technique help you manage your asthma?

    If youre using your preventer inhaler as prescribed, and using the right inhaler technique, it can help you:

    • cut your risk of an asthma attack
    • feel less breathless climbing stairs
    • cope better with your usual asthma triggers
    • get a good nights sleep
    • have less time off work
    • take part in exercise and family activities.

    Good inhaler technique can really make a difference to how well you manage your asthma. It could also mean youll be able to manage your asthma symptoms without needing to be prescribed higher doses. 


    How does good inhaler technique help you avoid side effects of medicines?

    Using the wrong technique can also mean youre more likely to get side effects like oral thrush or a sore throat, because the medicine might be hitting the back of your throat, or just staying on your tongue or in your mouth. Good inhaler technique means the medicine goes down into your lungs where its needed. 

    Are you using the correct inhaler technique?

    Getting your inhaler technique checked by your nurse or GP

    How To Use A Bronchodilator Inhaler The Right Way

    Patients Not Using Asthma Inhalers Correctly

    Carefully go through these steps in using your inhaler, taking care to not to skip any steps to “save time.”

  • Shake the inhaler thoroughly before using it.
  • Remove the cap from the inhaler’s mouthpiece.
  • Take in a breath and exhale completely.
  • With the canister pointing upward and the mouthpiece aimed at your mouth, put the mouthpiece into your mouth and close your lips around it.
  • Take a fast, deep breath through your mouth, while simultaneously pressing firmly on the bottom of the canister.
  • Hold your breath for five to 10 seconds, allowing the medication to be disbursed into your lungs. Remove the mouthpiece from your mouth and breathe normally.
  • If your doctor has recommended a second dose of medication shake the inhaler again and repeat steps three through six.
  • Replace the cap of the mouthpiece after each use to keep dust and other particles from getting into it.
  • Rinse your mouth with water after you use the inhaler.
  • Knowing Your Asthma Action Plan Is Step One

    For most people with asthma, managing the chronic condition involves a multi-pronged approach tailored to your symptoms and lifestyle.

    Step one for everyone, however, is having a firm grasp of your asthma action plan.

    Work with your doctor to create an asthma action plan that covers how to:

    In addition, monitor your symptoms carefully. Keep track of what they are, when they occur, and their severity.

    Journal of Asthma and Allergy,

    • In cold, dry air
    • In environments with airborne irritants, such as cigarette smoke

    Priming Your Ventolin Hfa Inhaler

      Before you use VENTOLIN HFA for the first time, you must prime the inhaler so that you will get the right amount of medicine when you use it.

    • To take the cap off the mouthpiece, squeeze the sides of the cap and pull out. See Figure B.
    • Shake the inhaler well.
    • Spray the inhaler 1 time into the air away from your face. Avoid spraying in eyes. See Figure C.
    • Shake and spray the inhaler like this 3 more times to finish priming it. The counter should now read 200 or 060, depending on which size inhaler you have. See Figure D.
    • You must prime your inhaler again if you have not used it in more than 14 days or if you have dropped it. Take the cap off the mouthpiece and shake and spray the inhaler 4 times into the air away from your face.

    How To Use Your Inhaler

    To make sure you are using your inhaler properly, follow these steps:

  • Remove the cap from the mouthpiece, ensuring that the mouthpiece is free from dust and grit.
  • Hold the inhaler upright and give it a good shake.
  • Breathe out gently.
  • Tilt your head slightly back.
  • Put the mouthpiece in your mouth, and close your lips around it. .
  • Start to breathe in slowly and deeply through your mouth, and at the same time press down firmly on the canister to fire one puff of the medicine . Continue to breathe in slowly and deeply.
  • Remove the inhaler from your mouth, continuing to hold your breath for about 5 seconds.
  • Breathe out gently through your nose.
  • Replace the cap.
  • If you need to take a second puff, wait about a minute before repeating steps 2-8.
  • Because your inhaler technique can deteriorate over time, its a good idea to check your technique with your pharmacist or doctor from time to time.

    If you have problems coordinating drug release and inhalation, you may be better using the puffer in conjunction with a spacer. Alternatively, you may be better off using a breath-activated device , which may also be more appropriate for people who have arthritis of the hands and find pressing the device difficult.

    Dont forget to wash your inhaler regularly. Some inhalers need daily washing and air drying. Your doctor or pharmacist can advise you and show you how to do this properly.

    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.

    How To Use A Spacer

    There are two techniques for using a spacer and both work well.

    One breath technique most common for adults in daily use

    Four breath technique used by children or anyone when breathless

    No matter what technique you are using, make sure you only put one puff of medicine into your spacer at a time. If you put more than one puff in, the medicine sticks together and then drops to the bottom of the spacer before you have time to breathe it in.

    How to use a Spacer with a facemask

    How to use a disposable cardboard spacer

    Getting The Most Out Of Your Inhaler

    Ask your doctor, pharmacist or asthma & respiratory educator to:

    • Explain how your inhaler should be used
    • Check you are using your inhaler properly
    • Tell you where to find the expiry date on your inhaler
    • Show you how to check if your inhaler is empty or nearly empty
    • Discuss any unwanted effects from your medication
    • Explain how to clean your inhaler and spacer

    Different brands of inhalers sometimes have slightly different instructions to each other for similar steps. The checklists in our How-To Video library have been simplified and standardised where possible to reduce confusion.

    Your inhaler will come with instructions in the package. Always check the package insert for any specific instructions.

    Method 1 Of 2:using A Metered Dose Inhaler With Or Without A Spacer

  • 1Remove the cap. The cap is a small covering located over the mouthpiece of the inhaler to prevent foreign objects from getting in the inhaler. Pull the cap to remove it and set it in a safe place.XTrustworthy SourceNational Heart, Lung, and Blood InstituteResearch and education center within the National Institutes of HealthGo to source
  • An uncapped inhaler can pick up germs and debris, which you will then pump into your lungs.
  • Make sure that you don’t lose your cap while you’re using your inhaler.
  • 2Inspect the inhaler. The inhaler should be clean, especially the mouthpiece. Remove the cap and check the inside and outside of the mouthpiece. Check the expiration date to make sure that it can still be used. Wipe any grime or debris off the inhaler with a dry tissue or cotton swab.XTrustworthy SourceCenters for Disease Control and PreventionMain public health institute for the US, run by the Dept. of Health and Human ServicesGo to source
  • If the mouthpiece is dirty, wipe it down with rubbing alcohol, and let it dry.
  • 3Hold the inhaler upright and shake it 5-10 times. Hold the inhaler in your hand with your index finger on top of the canister. The mouthpiece should be on the bottom with the top of the canister pointing up. Quickly move your inhaler up and down by pumping your forearm or wrist.XTrustworthy SourceNational Heart, Lung, and Blood InstituteResearch and education center within the National Institutes of HealthGo to source
  • 9
  • How To Use A Bronchodilator Inhaler Properly

    UCT develops easy

    Sanja Jelic, MD

    Sanja Jelic, MD, is board-certified in sleep medicine, critical care medicine, pulmonary disease, and internal medicine.

    If you have a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or another lung disease such as , learning how to use a bronchodilator inhaler is important for your health and self-care.

    Follow These Steps Every Time You Use Ventolin Hfa

    Step 1. Make sure the metal canister fits firmly in the plastic actuator. The counter should show through the window in the actuator.To take the cap off the mouthpiece, squeeze the sides of the cap and pull out.Look inside the mouthpiece for foreign objects and take out any you see.

    Step 2. Hold the inhaler with the mouthpiece down and shake it well. See Figure E.

    Step 3. Breathe out through your mouth and push as much air from your lungs as you can. See Figure F.

    Step 4. Put the mouthpiece in your mouth and close your lips around it. Push the top of the metal canister firmly all the way down while you breathe in deeply and slowly through your mouth. See Figure G.

    Step 5. After the spray comes out, take your finger off the metal canister. After you have breathed in all the way, take the inhaler out of your mouth and close your mouth.

    Step 6. Hold your breath for about 10 seconds, or for as long as is comfortable. Breathe out slowly as long as you can.

    If your healthcare provider has told you to use more sprays, wait 1 minute and shake the inhaler again. Repeat Steps 2 through Step 6.

    Put the cap back on the mouthpiece after you finish using the inhaler. Make sure it snaps firmly into place.

    How To Cope With Side Effects Of Salbutamol Inhalers

    What to do about:

    • feeling shaky â see if your asthma or COPD symptoms get better with just 1 puff of your inhaler rather than 2. If you find you need 2 puffs for symptom relief, be reassured that the shakiness will wear off after a short time.
    • faster heartbeat for a short while â make sure you are not taking more than the prescribed dose. If this happens regularly, talk to your doctor or nurse as you may need your treatment reviewed so that you do not need to use your salbutamol as often.
    • headaches â make sure you rest and drink plenty of fluids. Do not drink too much alcohol. Ask your pharmacist to recommend a painkiller. Headaches should usually go away after the first week of taking salbutamol. Talk to your doctor if they last longer than a week or are severe.
    • muscle cramps â if you get unusual muscle ache, which is not from exercise or hard work, talk to your doctor.

    Aerosol Inhalers/metered Dose Inhalers

    These are likely the one you are most familiar with: Also known as a puffer, this inhaler, or pressurized metered dose inhaler , is a canister filled with asthma medication suspended in a propellant. When the canister is pushed down, a measured dose of the medication is pushed out as you breathe it in. Examples of MDIs are: Ventolin, Flovent, Advair, Alvesco, Airomir, and QVar.

    This medication should be used with a spacer for increased delivery to the airways. When your inhaler is used alone, medicine often ends up in your mouth, throat, stomach and lungs. Medicine left in your mouth, throat and stomach may cause unpleasant taste and side effects. When you use a drug delivery system with your inhaler, more medicine is delivered to your lungs.

    How To Use An Mdi Inhaler Without A Spacer

    Take off the mouthpiece cover, then:

    • 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 , and close your lips tightly around it.
    • You can also hold the mouthpiece about the width of two fingers away from your .
    • Press the top down, and breathe in until your lungs fill completely — about 4-6 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 canister again before the next puff.
    • Recap the mouthpiece.
    • If your medicine has a in it, rinse your mouth and gargle with after you use the inhaler. Spit out the water.

    Quick Relief: Rescue Inhaler

    Rescue or relief inhalers quickly bring back normal 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 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.

    Using A Spacer With The Inhaler

    If you or your child find it difficult to use an inhaler, your doctor may give you a spacer to use with it.

    A spacer is a large metal or plastic container with a mouthpiece and a hole for the inhaler. When used with the inhaler it makes it easier to get the right amount of salbutamol into the lungs.

    Spacers are especially useful for giving salbutamol to young children.

    Your doctor, pharmacist or nurse can show you how to use a spacer with the inhaler.

    Most Common Problems With Dry Powder Inhalers

    • Thinking the inhaler needs a
    • Blocking the vent with your lips or fingers
    • Inhaling WAY too softly

    Since dry powder inhalers do not have a propellant, you get to be the propellant. I tell people the only way to get the powder out is to “suck like a milkshake” .

    Which happens to be the opposite of metered-dose inhalers. Is it any wonder people get confused and don’t take their inhaler the right way?

    Many people have both kinds of inhalers. Their controller inhaler may be a dry powder inhaler, and their rescue inhaler is a metered-dose inhaler. So, they have to do the opposite technique for each inhaler.


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