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What is the Correct Way to Use an Inhaler?

Inhalers are considered to be one of the best ways to relieve the symptoms of Asthma and COPD. In order to use an inhaler, one needs to learn to use it to make sure that the required quantity of dose has been inhaled correctly. If a person does not know how to use the inhaler in the correct manner, a greater fraction of the dose may get deposited in the back of the throat. This reduces the quantity of medication reaching the lungs which does not provide complete relief to the patient.

Metered Dose Inhalers

The pump inhalers consist of a canister which holds the medication. When the patient presses the inhaler pump, the medicine in the chamber is aerosolized and a specific quantity of medicine is released. The patient needs to inhale at the exact moment when the canister is pressed.

How to use it?

The inhaler often comes with a set of instructions that are written on the label that the patient needs to follow. However, in general, the following steps will guide you on how to use an inhaler. You need to take the cap off and look inside the mouthpiece to make sure there is nothing in it and shake the inhaler before use 10 to 15 times (1). Breathe out completely before pressing the pump. As you start to breathe through your mouth you need to press the inhaler one time and keep on breathing as slowly and deeply as you can. You need to hold on to your breath for 10 seconds or as long as you are comfortable and breathe out slowly (1).

Maintaining it

Keep your inhaler clean so that it sprays out the medicine perfectly. You need to rinse the mouthpiece in warm water and let them dry overnight. It is very essential to know how to use it properly so that it can be utilized in the correct way. You should not rinse any other parts besides the mouthpiece. With proper maintenance it is more likely to run for a longer period of time. You should not exceed the recommended dose and check with the expiry date each time to use the inhaler for asthma.

Storage

Storing the inhaler is very important and you should always do it at room temperature. It might not work if it is too cold. You need to make sure that it does not get too hot otherwise it will puncture it. All the details and information are also mentioned on the box of the inhaler which you can go through for better storage.

To conclude, Inhalers are the best friend of people who suffer from asthma. You need to ensure that the inhaler use is done in an appropriate manner, so that the required quantity of the medication reaches your lungs and helps alleviate the symptoms. You can also talk to your doctor and clarify any doubts regarding it. The medication is also prescribed by the doctor so you need to check in which are symptoms and properly inhale the medication when in trouble.

References:

  1. http://www.med.umich.edu/1info/FHP/practiceguides/asthma/mdi.pdf

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