Important Reminder About Spacers
Always follow the instructions that come with your spacer. As well:
- Only use your spacer with a pressurized inhaler, not with a dry-powder inhaler.
- Spray only one puff into a spacer at a time.
- Use your spacer as soon as youve sprayed a puff into it.
- Never let anyone else use your spacer.
- Keep your spacer away from heat sources.
- If your spacer has a valve that is damaged, or if any other part of the spacer is damaged, do not use it. The spacer will have to be replaced.
- Some spacers have a whistle. Your technique is fine if you do not hear the whistle. However, if you hear the whistle, this means you should slow your breath down.
- It is very important that you consult your healthcare professional to review proper inhaler technique.
Before Using A Beclometasone Inhaler
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine can only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start using a beclometasone inhaler it is important that your doctor knows:
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breastfeeding. This is because it is particularly important that your asthma should be well controlled if you are expecting a baby, and your doctor will want to advise you about your care.
- If you have ever had pulmonary tuberculosis .
- If you are taking or using any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, as well as herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
Why Use A Spacer
A spacer used with a puffer delivers more medication into the lungs than using a puffer on its own.
When used with preventer medication the spacer helps to prevent thrush of the throat and mouth, by reducing the amount of medication that comes in contact with the back of the throat.
Using a spacer makes co-ordination easier.Spacers can also be very helpful during an acute asthma episode as they are just as effective as a nebulizer.
Don’t Miss: How Long Do Asthma Symptoms Last
An Inhalation Technique For Each Inhaler
Asthma inhalers include two main parts the medication and the delivery device. There are many types of delivery devices, MDIs, Diskus, Respiclick, Flexhaler, Ellipta, and Respimat. The goal of creating new delivery devices is to make inhaling the medication easier. Some inhalers require a slow, steady inhalation for 5 – 7 seconds. Others, such as dry powder inhalers require a deep, fast inhalation for 3 seconds.
The truth is, not everyone can master the different inhalation techniques, and a spacer doesnt always help. In fact, a recent study published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, found no evidence that spacer use led to an improved effectiveness of inhaled corticosteroids delivered using a metered-dose inhaler. The authors called for additional research to better understand and confirm their findings. They emphasized the importance of patient education on inhaler technique, whether or not a spacer is prescribed.1
The spacer does not necessarily ensure we will use our inhalers correctly, and education on inhaler technique is important. So, how do you learn and measure the correct inhalation technique?
How To Use A Budesonide Inhaler
- Before you start the treatment, read the manufacturers printed information leaflet from inside the pack and any additional information you are given. These will give you more information about the specific brand of budesonide inhaler you are given, and will also provide you with a full list of side-effects which you could experience.
- Unless you have been told otherwise, use the inhaler twice daily, in the morning and evening. Your doctor will tell you how many puffs to use each time. Try to use it at the same times each day, as this will help you to remember to use it regularly. Make sure you know how to use your inhaler device properly. If you are not sure, ask your nurse, doctor or pharmacist to show you.
- Some people using steroid inhalers find that the back of their throats can become sore. If you rinse your mouth with water and brush your teeth after using your inhaler, this is less likely to develop.
- Your doctor may give you a spacer device to use with some budesonide inhalers, particularly if you struggle to co-ordinate breathing in and pressing the inhaler device. This helps to make sure that the medicine travels right into your lungs. Your doctor or pharmacist will be able to advise you on using the device.
Read Also: What Happens If You Smoke Weed With Asthma
Caring For Your Spacer
The most important aspect of inhaler spacer care is keeping it clean. You can do this with clean, warm water and liquid dishwashing detergent.
Allow the spacer to air dry, rather than drying it with a towel or paper towel. Static can build up inside the spacer, which makes the medication stick to the sides of the tube. Towel strands may also be left behind in the spacer. You dont want to inhale those. You may use a towel on the mouthpiece if you wish.
You should also clean your spacer before using it the first time. Once or twice a year, have your doctor check your spacer for cracks and to make sure its working properly with your inhaler.
How To Use An Inhaler
Metered-dose inhalers usually have 3 parts:
- A mouthpiece
- A cap that goes over the mouthpiece
- A canister full of medicine
If you use your inhaler the wrong way, less medicine gets to your lungs. A spacer device will help. The spacer connects to the mouthpiece. The inhaled medicine goes into the spacer tube first. Then you take two deep breaths to get the medicine into your lungs. Using a spacer wastes a lot less medicine than spraying the medicine into your mouth.
Spacers come in different shapes and sizes. Ask your provider which spacer is best for you or your child. Almost all children can use a spacer. You do not need a spacer for dry powder inhalers.
The steps below tell you how to take your medicine with a spacer.
Read Also: What Happens If You Smoke Weed With Asthma
Looking After Your Spacer
Replacing and disposing of your spacers
You should replace your spacer at least every year, especially if you use it daily, but some may need to be replaced sooner ask your GP, asthma nurse or pharmacist if youre unsure.
Check the information leaflet that comes with your spacer to find out how to dispose of it. Spacers are not widely recycled so you may need to dispose of it in normal household waste.
If youre using a spacer with rubber valves, replace it if the valves become stiff or brittle.
Tips for cleaning your spacer
If its a new spacer, clean it before you use it for the first time, then once a month afterwards.
- Take your spacer apart and gently clean it with warm water and a detergent, such as washing-up liquid.
- Only a small number of brands of spacer are dishwasher safe, so check the instructions on the label.
- Use warm water instead of boiling water, as boiling water may damage the spacer.
- Be careful not to scrub the inside of your spacer as this might affect the way it works.
- Leave it to air-dry as this helps to reduce static and prevent the medicine sticking to the inside of the spacer.
- When its completely dry, put your spacer back together ready for use.
- Wipe the mouthpiece clean before you use it again.
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.
Recommended Reading: Asthma Attack Without Inhaler
Controller And Reliever Medicines Work Together
There are two main kinds of asthma medicines: preventer medicine and rescue medicine. Each medicine is important, and each medicine does a different thing for your lungs.For most people with asthma, the doctor will prescribe both kinds of medicine:
You use a reliever inhaler to treat your symptoms when they occur. They should relieve your symptoms within a few minutes.
Some people think they can skip the preventer medicine and only use the rescue medicine. This is dangerous. If youve been prescribed a preventer medicine, use it. The rescue medicine by itself will not control your asthma over the long term. To make sure you get all your medicine into your lungs, be sure you know how to use your inhalation device.
Recommended Reading: Cough Variant Asthma Mayo
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.
Don’t Miss: Asthma Prognosis In Adults
How To Use A Spacer
A metered dose inhaler is a metal canister that contains a spray or mist form of asthma medication. Pressing a button at one end of the canister releases the mist through a nozzle or mouthpiece. The inhaler releases the same amount of medication each time the button is pressed.
You may need to shake your inhaler a couple of times to loosen up the medication inside. Dont forget to remove the cap that covers the mouthpiece.
If you dont have a spacer, place your teeth and lips tightly around the mouthpiece to make sure as much medication as possible is breathed directly into your lungs. You can also hold the inhaler an inch from your opened mouth, but youll need to press the button and breathe in quickly so that you capture as much mist as possible. Your doctor can help you with the best approach for you or your child.
If you use a spacer, one end of the tube attaches to the inhalers mouthpiece. The other end of the spacer has a similar mouthpiece for you to use. Time your breathing carefully with the release of the medication. If you breathe in too early, you wont have enough breath to get all the medication into your lungs. If you breathe in too late, a lot of medication can settle in the spacer.
Breathing in too fast can also cause the medication to stick to the back of your throat instead of going down your airways. Ideally, you want to take a long, slow breath of about three to four seconds.
How To Use An Asthma Inhaler
Step-by-step instructions on how to get the right dose of your asthma meds.
Youve used your inhaler maybe hundreds of times, but have you been doing it wrong this whole time? Theres actually a pretty good chance you havent 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 cant 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 wont 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 youre not sure youre using your inhaler the right way, or just want a refresher course, heres a step-by-step guide to using an inhaler correctly:
Don’t Miss: Can You Get Asthma Inhalers For Free
What To Remember When Using Your Inhaler
- Stand or sit upright when using your inhaler
- Remove the mouthpiece cover, check inside to ensure its 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 dont 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.
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.
You May Like: Why Does My Inhaler Make Me Jittery
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.
Video: How To Clean And Store Your Asthma Spacer
Storing your spacer
When youre not using your spacer, storing it properly will keep it in good condition, helping you or your child to get the best from your asthma medicine.
- Dont put your spacer in a plastic bag as this will cause it to build up static and reduce the effect of the asthma medicine.
- Keep your spacer away from dust and liquids.
- If you carry your spacer in your bag, keep it in a plastic-free sealed purse or small bag so it doesnt get scratched, and so small objects dont get stuck inside it.
- You may find it useful to give your child a special plastic-free medicine bag or pencil case to keep their inhalers and spacer in. You could help them to decorate and personalise the case, so they are more likely to use it.
You can call our Helpline on 0300 222 5800 to talk to a respiratory nurse specialist about using asthma spacers. Or you can WhatsApp them on 07378 606 728.
Read Also: Can You Smoke Weed If You Have Asthma