Should I Be Using A Spacer
Asthma Canada recommends that anyone, of any age, who is using a puffer should consider using a spacer. A pharmacist, respiratory therapist, asthma educator, or doctor can assess how you use your puffer and will recommend the best device for you.
It is recommended that children use a spacer device with their puffer.
Spacers should not be used with dry powder inhalers only with puffer-style devices. Puffers with either a rectangular or a round mouthpiece should be able to fit into a spacer ask your healthcare provider for a demonstration if you are unsure how to set it up.
This Asthma Group Suggests Making Your Own Spacer With A Plastic Bottle
Asthma is a global disease, but its impacts arent.
For one thing, its linked to a variety of factors, including air pollution, smoking, and insufficient medical care, that are more severe in poorer countries.
The effects can be seen in mortality rates. According to the Global Asthma Network, age-standardized asthma mortality is highest in Fiji, the Philippines, and South Africa. While asthma deaths are low overall, these are preventable.
One reason people, mainly older adults, are still dying of asthma is that in resource-strapped places, its hard to access preventers. So these medical systems are likely to focus on relievers instead. Thus, in low-income countries, according to the Global Asthma Report 2018, the huge majority of asthma patients are being treated only on an emergency basis. At that point it may already be too late. One policy implication is that preventive medicines and care should be provided for free or at subsidized rates to affected people who couldnt otherwise afford them.
But while asthma inhalers themselves are complicated to manufacture, and heavily marketed, one accessory doesnt need to be costly. In fact, according to the Global Asthma Network it can be made using commonly found and discarded objects.
The Able Spacer
With these caveats in mind, how can you actually turn a .5-litre plastic bottle into a spacer?
The Global Asthma Report 2018 gives the following steps:
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. First, 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.
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How To Use Aerochamber
How To Use Aerochamber instructions are set out in the patient information leaflet as well as knowing How To Use Aerochamber Spacer instructions you would need to know how to clean your spacer.
To clean your chamber, you should:
- Clean it once a week or sooner if needed
- Remove the back-rubber piece
- Soak the parts for 15 minutes in lukewarm water with liquid detergent
- Move gently in the water
- Rinse in clean water
- Leave to dry naturally
What Is An Asthma Inhaler
An asthma inhaler is a handheld device that delivers medication straight into your lungs. You get the drugs faster — and with fewer side effects — than you would if you took it by pill or IV.
Asthma inhalers can deliver drugs in a variety of ways.
Formerly called metered dose inhalers , HFAs give the drug through a small, handheld aerosol canister. They work like a spray can. You push the inhaler, it sprays out the medicine, and you breathe it in. A tube-like gadget called a spacer can help kids or people with trouble breathing use an HFA more easily.
Using an HFA without a spacer
Using an HFA with a spacer
How do you use a spacer device?
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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.
Spacers Get More Medicine To Your Lungs So You Get The Maximum Benefit
A spacer is a container that holds the medicine from your inhaler until you breathe it into your lungs. It has a hole at one end that your inhaler fits into and a mouthpiece at the opposite end, and it can:
- Help more of the medicine to get to your lungs where it’s needed
- Help to some side effects of steroid inhalers, such as sore throats
- Make it easier if you have trouble pressing the inhaler and taking a breath at the same time
If you don’t have a spacer but feel you might need one, come in store and ask a member of the pharmacy team. Different brands of spacers fit different inhalers, so we’ll be able to tell you which one’s right for you.
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Where To Buy Asthma Spacer
Remove the mask from your face and, with your mouth closed, hold your breath for up to 10 seconds, or for as long as you comfortably can. The medication takes a while to have an effect, so youll need to use the inhaler daily for a while before you get the full benefit of it. Then get them to breathe out gently. As she got older, she learned to take her inhaler with a bigger mask and then just a spacer. Does Viagra make you last longer in bed? If you are not having problems where to buy asthma spacer your asthma, you should review your treatment with your doctor once a year.
When youve finished, who needs to use a preventer inhaler? Preventer inhalers contain medication where to buy asthma spacer soothe aggravation and inflammation in the lungs and so reduce the number of asthma attacks you have. Dietary supplements and ionizers are all used by people to treat asthma. It works by binding itself to one of the proteins that takes part in the bodys immune response, instead of hitting the back of your throat. All of your medication will be delivered in plain, so they are a bit of a last resort. Where to buy asthma spacer their mouth closed, reliever inhalers contain medication that relieves asthma symptoms straight away. Up of medication on the valve, can I get treatment on the NHS? Especially if they are taken long term, then get them to breathe out gently.
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.
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Volumatic Spacer Vs Aerochamber
Volumatic Spacer vs Aerochamber decisions are made on whether you struggle with the breathing technique or the coordination. Volumatic Spacer Vs Aerochamber reports suggest the Volumatic spacer is better for people who struggle to press the inhaler and breathe In at the same time, whereas the aerochamber is better for people who struggle more with the breathing technique.
Tips For Using Your Spacer
- Fire only one puff into your spacer at a time
- Breathe in from your spacer as soon as you’ve fired a puff into it the medication settles on the bottom very quickly
- For each puff, you can either:* take one big breath in – breathe in slowly, deeply and fully and hold breath for about 5 seconds OR * breathe in and out normally for 4 breaths if you are unable to take one big breath in.
Remember to shake your puffer before firing each puff.
Check you have the steps right by watching a short video showing how to use a puffer and spacer correctly in our How-to video library.
Cleaning your spacer
Clean your spacer about once a month and after you have recovered from any cold or respiratory infection. Your spacer may become a bit cloudy over time, but it shouldnt be mouldy or brown.
To clean your spacer:
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To Use Your Puffer With A Spacer:
Looking After Your Spacer So It Works Well
Your asthma medicine can build up inside your spacer, so you need to keep it clean:
- Take your spacer apart and soak it in warm soapy water for ten minutes
- Rinse it well in clean water
- Leave it to air dry – using a cloth to dry it can cause static to build up and make the spacer less effective
Your spacer needs to be replaced: each year if it’s cracked or any part is broken or missing or if a film builds up inside but won’t wash out. If you have any questions about your spacer, come in store and ask the pharmacy team and we’ll show you how to use and look after it.
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Why Using An Asthma Spacer Is Beneficial
- Spacers are designed for people who may otherwise have difficulty using an inhaler especially children.
- A spacer helps in extending the amount of time it takes for the medicine to enter the lungs.
- It also increases the duration of medicine inhalation, meaning it can enter the lungs more effectively.
- The spacer prevents the medicine from escaping into the air by concentrating it into the tube.
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.
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Using An Inhaler And Spacer
A Step by Step Guide
Inspect the inhaler, spacer, and mouthpiece to make sure there is enough medicine left.
Before and throughout the delivery of the medicine, sit or stand with your back straight and your head in a normal position not too far backward or forward.
Exhale as much air as possible from your lungs.
Spray one puff of medicine and inhale slowly over about 3-5 seconds, sealing your mouth tightly around the inhaler so air cannot escape. If you hear a whistling noise when you inhale, you are breathing in too fast.
Hold your breath for 10 seconds, counting in your head or using a timer on your watch or phone.
Remove the inhaler from your mouth and exhale.
Repeat by taking as many puffs as your doctor prescribes. Wait about 1 minute between puffs if using inhalers that contain albuterol.
Rinse out your mouth with water if you use an inhaled corticosteroid. This reduces the likelihood you will get an oral infection.
What Is A Spacer
A spacer is a clear plastic chamber or cylinder with a mouthpiece or mask. The HFA inhaler fits into one end of the cylinder. At the other end, there is a one-way valve between the chamber and the mouthpiece. Once you spray the medication into the chamber, it stays there until you breathe it all in through the mouthpiece or a mask.
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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:
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.
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How Do I Use A Spacer With An Inhaler
Its easy. Follow these steps.
Shake your HFA inhaler well.
Remove the inhaler cap and connect it to the spacer.
Put the spacer mouthpiece between your teeth and seal your lips around the mouthpiece.
Breathe out into the spacer.
Deliver a dose of your inhaler medication by pressing the button once.
Breathe in and out slowly and deeply three to five times, keeping your lips connected to the mouthpiece throughout.
Repeat steps 1 through 6 if your prescription calls for two puffs.