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What Does An Asthma Inhaler Do

What Can Exercise Do For Those With Asthma

How To Treat An Asthma Attack | What To Do During An Asthma Attack | Inhaler Treatment At Home

If you have asthma, itâs vital that you speak with your healthcare provider about starting an exercise program, as they can help you find a program that fits your needs and physical condition. Regular physical activity, especially aerobic exercise, has many benefits relevant to asthma and EIB:

  • Improved lung capacity and stronger respiratory muscles.
  • Reduced airway inflammation: regular exercise reduces inflammatory proteins, which are responsible for inflammation in the airways in those with asthma.
  • Improved circulation and better oxygen utilization.
  • Stronger cardiovascular health.

What Is A Nebulizer And How Does It Work

A nebulizer is a type of medical equipment that is used to administer the medication directly and quickly to the lungs of a person with severe respiratory conditions like asthma.

The electrical compressor is often mistakenly referred to as a nebulizer, which is incorrect. The nebulizer is the plastic bowl chamber , into which a liquid drug or solution is dispensed. Compressed air is then forced along the tube to the nebulizer chamber, where it is converted into fine mist, which can be inhaled via a mouthpiece or facemask. By this way, the lungs and the respiratory system can get the medicine directly and more efficiently.

Who Uses Nebulizers?

Nebulization is usually recommended when a person finds difficulty while using an inhaler or in a condition where the person needs to inhale large dose of medicines directly into the lungs. Heres why people choose nebulizer over inhalers.

It is usually prescribed for people with one or more of the following lung disorders:

Nebulizers are also used for treating common cough symptoms

While nebulizers are usually recommended to people with chronic illness, it may also be used to relieve coughs and other symptoms caused by respiratory illnesses. However, it is highly recommended to consult a doctor before using it.

There are different types of nebulizers:

  • Jet Nebulizers
  • Do You Need An Inhaler How To Tell And What Type You Might Need

    Many of us see or come across people using inhalers for several reasons, and were all familiar with asthma as a common health condition for which many people use inhalers. If you observe a person using an inhaler, youll possibly notice its because theyre having difficulty breathing. Using an inhaler helps individuals obtain quick relief from breathing problems.

    There are times where we can all feel short of breath, find difficulty in breathing, and so on. So, does that mean we also need an inhaler?

    This article will provide a walkthrough to answer the question do you need an inhaler? How to decide if you do need an inhaler, the types of inhalers that are available, and much more.

    But first, heres the quick reference answer to get you some much-needed info, then well get into more of the details around the topic.

    Do You Need An Inhaler? Not all asthma symptoms require an inhaler as there is a risk it can cause psychological dependence. The following are some severe asthma signs that may need the use of an inhaler-

    • Frequent bothersome asthma symptoms
    • Breathing complications, making it difficult to sleep
    • Asthma symptoms that cause frequent doctor visits

    But how do you know if you need an inhaler or not? What signs should you be looking out for? Lets explore this aspect further.

    Read Also: What Two Body Systems Are Affected By Asthma

    Does It Work Like An Inhaler

    The concept of an inhaler and a nebulizer is the same. They both work to deliver treatment directly into the lungs. In terms of function, a portable nebulizer works similarly to an inhaler. However, some differences in usage differentiate the two.

    The most common type of inhaler involves inhaling a given amount of medication using a mouthpiece. The spacers in inhalers make it easy for patients to inhale the required amount of medication.

    The main difference between an inhaler and a nebulizer is that a nebulizer is easier to use. It delivers medication easier compared to an inhaler. However, the user has to sit still for about 10 minutes for the medication to be dispensed.

    Whilst there are portable nebulizers, they are relatively larger than inhalers, thus, making them difficult to carry around.

    To Inhale The Powder Using The Inhaler Follow These Steps Do Not Use The Respiclick Inhaler With A Spacer:

    The Chemistry of Asthma Inhalers
  • If you will be using a new inhaler for the first time, remove it from the foil wrapper. Look at the dose counter at the back of the inhaler and check that you see the number 200 in the window.
  • Holding the inhaler upright, with the cap on the bottom and the inhaler pointing upwards, load the dose by opening the protective dust cap at the end of the mouthpiece until it clicks. Do not open the cap unless you are ready to use the inhaler. Every time the protective cap is opened, a dose is ready to inhale. You will see the number in the dose counter go down. Do not waste doses by opening the inhaler unless you are inhaling a dose.
  • Breathe out as completely as possible through your mouth. Do not blow or exhale into the inhaler.
  • Place the mouthpiece between your lips well into your mouth. Close your lips tightly around the mouthpiece. Inhale slowly and deeply through your mouth. Do not breath in through your nose. Make sure that your fingers or lips do not block the vent above the mouthpiece.
  • Remove the inhaler from your mouth and hold your breath for 10 seconds or as long as you comfortably can. Do not blow or exhale through the inhaler.
  • Close the cap firmly over the mouthpiece.
  • If you are to inhale 2 puffs, repeat steps 2-6.
  • Keep the inhaler clean and dry at all times. To clean your inhaler, use a clean, dry tissue or cloth. Do not wash or put any part of your inhaler in water.
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    Why Is My Reliever Inhaler Not Enough

    Reliever inhalers relax your airways, which help breathlessness, but they do not treat airway inflammation. As well as the relaxing effect of a reliever inhaler, you need the anti-inflammatory effect of a preventer. Once airways are less inflamed, they are less sensitive to triggers such as cigarette smoke and viral infections.

    What To Do In An Asthma Attack:

    1. Sit up straight

    2. Take your reliever medication as directed. Use your Asthma Action Plan for reference.

    3. Call 911 if your symptoms persist or worsen. Do this if you feel worse at any point or if there is no improvement after taking your medication.

    4. Follow-up with your doctor or healthcare provider

    An asthma attack can be a life-threatening emergency thats why you should always carry your reliever inhaler with you and never hesitate to call 911 if your symptoms persist.

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    Asthma Inhaler Type: Dry Powder Inhaler

    Dry powder inhalers are used for control medications such as long-acting beta-agonists and inhaled corticosteroids .2 These inhalers cannot be used with a valved holding chamber or spacer. To use these inhalers, you must be able to breathe in forcefully enough to draw the medication into the lungs.

    Figure 4. Dry powder inhalers

    Instructions for dry powder inhalers vary by device, so reading the instructions for your inhaler is especially important. Some product websites also have videos with a demonstration. General guidelines for using a dry powdered inhaler are:2,3

  • Do not shake your inhaler.
  • Load a dose according to the instructions for your device. You may need twist the inhaler or slide the cover. Each device is different.
  • Turn away from the inhaler and exhale.
  • Put your mouth around the mouthpiece.
  • Breathe in rapidly and deeply for 1 to 2 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.
  • If Your Asthma Symptoms Are Caused By Allergies Take Steps To Control Knownor Potential Triggers In Your Environment

    How to correctly use an asthma inhaler

    Allergy-proof your house for dust, mold, cockroaches, and other common indoor allergens to which you are allergic.

    Reduce your outdoor activities when the pollen count or ozone level is high.

    Choose foods that dont contribute to your asthma or allergy symptoms.

    Evaluate your workplace for possible allergens and take the necessary steps to reduce your exposure to them.

    In order to determine relevant triggers, you may want to seek consultation with an allergist who can further define these triggers.

    In addition, anyone with asthma should consider getting an annual flu shot. Older adults also should talk with their internist about getting a pneumonia vaccination.

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    Different Kinds Of Inhalers

    There are three basic types of inhalers that deliver medications. The most common is the metered-dose inhaler which uses pressure to push the medication out of the inhaler. Nebulizers use air or oxygen and deliver a mist of the medication through a tube or mask that fits over your nose and mouth. Dry powder inhalers deliver medication, but they require a strong and fast inhalation.

    Short-acting bronchodilators are used as quick-relief, reliever, or rescue inhalers. These bronchodilators open the airways and help stop or relieve acute asthma attacks very quickly. While theyre best known for working on sudden attacks, theyre also great to use before exercise to help stop asthma during your workout.

    While many people use short-acting bronchodilators, the overuse of an inhaler, tablet, or liquid/nebulizer, is a sign of uncontrolled asthma that needs better treatment. If you are using short-acting bronchodilators more than twice a week, call Charleston Allergy & Asthma about improving your asthma control therapy.

    Long-acting bronchodilators provide control, not quick relief, of asthma. Your board-certified allergist will prescribe the medication, which is usually taken twice a day along with inhaled steroids for long-term monitoring of symptoms.

    Unlike short-acting inhalers, long-acting inhalers do not work on muscle inflammation directly. Instead, they help the airways relax, allowing more air to pass through.

    Personal Asthma Action Plan

    As part of your initial assessment, you should be encouraged to draw up a personal asthma action plan with your GP or asthma nurse.

    If youve been admitted to hospital because of an asthma attack, you should be offered an action plan before you go home.

    The action plan should include information about your asthma medicines, and will help you recognise when your symptoms are getting worse and what steps to take. You should also be given information about what to do if you have an asthma attack.

    Your personal asthma action plan should be reviewed with your GP or asthma nurse at least once a year, or more frequently if your symptoms are severe.

    As part of your asthma plan, you may be given a peak flow meter. This will give you another way of monitoring your asthma, rather than relying only on symptoms, so you can recognise deterioration earlier and take appropriate steps.

    Want to know more?

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    How Do Healthcare Providers Diagnose Asthma

    Your healthcare provider will review your medical history, including information about your parents and siblings. Your provider will also ask you about your symptoms. Your provider will need to know any history of allergies, and other lung diseases.

    Your healthcare provider may order a chest X-ray, blood test or skin test. Your provider may order . This test measures airflow through your lungs.

    Where Do You Get A Reliever Inhaler

    Is it bad to use an inhaler when you don t have asthma ...

    You get a reliever inhaler from your GP or asthma nurse. Anyone with asthma, or suspected asthma, should be prescribed a reliever inhaler.

    Make sure you contact your GP for a new prescription before your reliever inhaler runs out.

    Some inhaler devices have a counter to show how many doses are left. When the numbers on the counter turn red, its time to contact your GP for a new prescription.

    You can arrange repeat prescriptions with your local pharmacy to make things easier.

    If for some reason you cant get a new prescription from the GP and you urgently need a replacement reliever inhaler, ask your pharmacist. They may be able to issue an emergency reliever.

    Find out more here about getting emergency supplies of medicines.

    Read Also: What Do You Do When You Have An Asthma Attack

    What Do Pink Purple And Red Inhalers Do

    These inhalers are usually combination treatments, containing two types of medicine.

    This type of inhaler contains both a long-acting beta-agonist and a corticosteroid. For example, Seretide is a purple-coloured combination inhaler and contains the active ingredients fluticasone and salmeterol.

    The two active components allow the medication to work in the two different ways described above simultaneously: both relieving symptoms and administering long term treatment.

    This type of inhaler may be prescribed to asthma patients who are finding it hard to control their symptoms.

    Even though a combination inhaler contains some relieving properties, you may still be prescribed a fast-acting reliever if your doctor thinks you need one.

    Aim For A Healthy Body Weight

    People with obesity tend to have more severe asthma and more frequent symptoms.

    People who are overweight and obese are also more likely to have obstructive sleep apnea . This is a condition that causes a person to stop breathing for short periods during sleep. People with OSA get very tired during the day. If they also have asthma, their asthma symptoms get worse, too.

    Studies show that when people with obesity lose weight, their asthma symptoms improve. Treating OSA also improves asthma symptoms.

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    Signs Of Asthma Absolutely Everyone Should Know

    You might think you know the signs of asthma because hey, it seems like one of those health conditions that is absolutely unmistakable. Its kind of obvious if you justcant really breathe, right? Sure, but asthma symptoms can present with a lot more complexity and subtlety than that. Many people do not realize they have asthma and deal with daily symptoms, Purvi Parikh, M.D., an allergist and immunologist with Allergy & Asthma Network, tells SELF. Because of that, you should be aware of the signs of asthma so you dont write them off for months or even years without realizing you have this persistentand ultimately treatablehealth condition.

    How Asthma Is Treated

    How to Prime an Asthma Inhaler

    While there is no cure for asthma, there are a number of treatments that can help control the condition.

    Treatment is based on two important goals, which are:

    • relieving symptoms
    • preventing future symptoms and attacks

    For most people, this will involve the occasional or, more commonly, daily use of medications, usually taken using an inhaler. However, identifying and avoiding possible triggers is also important.

    You should have a personal asthma action plan agreed with your doctor or nurse that includes information about the medicines you need to take, how to recognise when your symptoms are getting worse, and what steps to take when they do so.

    These symptoms are often worse at night and early in the morning, particularly if the condition is not well controlled. They may also develop or become worse in response to a certain trigger, such as exercise or exposure to an allergen.

    Read our page on the causes of asthma for more information about potential triggers.

    Speak to your GP if you think you or your child may have asthma. You should also talk to your doctor or asthma nurse if you have been diagnosed with asthma and you are finding it difficult to control the symptoms.

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    Will I Have To Take Medicine All The Time

    Maybe not. Asthma is a chronic condition that is controllable. Unfortunately, there is no cure for asthma. For that reason, you may have asthma symptoms when exposed to triggers. This is the case even if you dont have symptoms very often. Your triggers can change over time, and your treatment will depend on two things: how severe your asthma is, and how often you have symptoms. If your asthma is controlled, your treatment will focus on managing symptoms and treatment of episodes when they happen.

    If your symptoms happen at certain times and you know what caused them, you and your doctor can use this information to determine the best treatment. If, for example, you have seasonal asthma because of a specific pollen allergy, you may take medicines only when that pollen is in the air. But asthma that specific is not common. Many people with asthma take some form of medicine most or all of the time.

    What Does Good Asthma Control Look Like

    Most people with asthma can achieve good asthma control. This means that you:

    • Have asthma symptoms on no more than two days a week
    • Need your reliever no more than two days a week, or even not at all
    • Experience no limitations on your activities due to asthma and
    • Dont get any asthma symptoms at night or when you wake up

    Having good asthma control is more than relying on your reliever medication.

    Even if you think you are in control of your asthma, ask yourself, Am I needing my reliever on more than 2 days a week? If the answer is yes, your asthma might be controlling you.

    Take the Asthma Control Test today to determine your level of asthma control and see your GP for an asthma review.


    Reddel HK, Ampon RD, Sawyer SM, et al. Risks associated with managing asthma without a preventer: urgent healthcare, poor asthma control and over-the-counter reliever use in a cross-sectional population survey. BMJ Open 2017 7:e016688. doi:10.1136/ bmjopen-2017-016688

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    What Is An Asthma Action Plan

    Your healthcare provider will work with you to develop an asthma action plan. This plan tells you how and when to use your medicines. It also tells you what to do if your asthma gets worse and when to seek emergency care. Understand the plan and ask your healthcare provider about anything you dont understand.

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