This Is How to Use an Inhaler the Right Way
Over 50% of people with asthma in a recent study found that their condition was poorly controlled.
This was down to either poor understanding of their condition or mishandling of their prescribed treatments, specifically using their measured dose inhalers.
If you have recently been diagnosed with asthma and are wondering how to use an inhaler, read our short guide.
We will take you through the best practice steps to ensure that your asthma is fully controlled and managed.
1. Prime The Inhaler
If you haven’t used your inhaler for a couple of weeks, you need to make sure it is ready to use before you inhale. Shake the inhaler firmly for a few seconds, and then spray it away from you.
Wait and then do this again for a total of four times. This will make sure you have the best quality dose in the inhaler when you take it.
2. Shake And Support
Before you inhale, make sure you shake the inhaler thoroughly. Remove the top and check the mouthpiece has no blockages. Then hold the inhaler firmly with your index finger supporting the top and your thumb supporting the bottom.
Do not hold it upside down, as this will affect the compression of the cylinder.
3. Clear Your Lungs
One step many people forget when using an inhaler is to fully exhale first. You want to take as much air into your lungs with your dose, so firstly, breathe out all the way. Push out all of the air in your lungs.
When your lungs are empty, make a tight seal around the mouthpiece with your lips.
4. Breathe In Slowly
Start to breathe in and press down on the inhaler once to release the dose. Continue inhaling so that the expressed gas can fill your lungs. Keep breathing slowly and deeply inwards. Once your lungs are full, hold your breath and count to ten.
If you find ten too difficult, try to five and slowly increase the count over time as you improve your technique.
5. Exhale Slowly
Once you reach the end of your count, breathe out slowly. You should be releasing just air through your lips, not the inhaler gas. Once you have fully exhaled, you can start breathing as normal.
Make sure you wash out your mouth and the mouthpiece of your inhaler afterward. Gargle and spit to remove any of the steroid residues from the inside of your cheeks or gums.
6. Use A Spacer
If you are still struggling with technique, do your research on the types of inhalers that will help you best. You may find that using a spacer will help you maximize the amount of medicine you can inhale.
How To Use An Inhaler: Perfect Your Technique
It can be tricky, especially when you are first given an inhaler to master the inhalation technique. It takes practice to get it right and get the most from your inhaler.
Do your research on how to use an inhaler properly and also when you are buying an inhaler. Some require you to press and inhale at the same time. If your inhaler is like this and you have difficulty handling it, it may not be the best inhaler for you.
If you found this article useful, please look at some of the other medical articles we have on our site.