Saturday, May 15, 2010

How to use an inhaler correctly

Correct use of an inhaler can avoid an emergency department visit. If you have asthma and need your albuterol inhaler but you aren't using it correctly then you are not getting the medication and you could get sicker.

Here are some tips:

When you are using an inhaler for the first time you need to shake the inhaler for 3-4 seconds. Then puff it 2 times into the air. This will prime the inhaler and it will be ready to go.

The easiest way to make sure you are getting your medication is to use a spacer with your inhaler. Spacers make it much easier to use and will ensure you get the medication you are supposed to. I recommend spacers to everyone.

If you do not have a spacer:
1. Breathe out normally.
2. Open your mouth and put the mouthpiece into your mouth. Seal your lips around the mouthpiece.
3. Take a big breath in and press down on the inhaler at the same time.

This is NOT the ideal way to use an inhaler but if you do not have a spacer it will work.

If you have a spacer:
1. Breathe out normally.
2. Place your mouth on the mouthpiece of the spacer or put the mask over your face.
3. Press down on the inhaler.
4. Count 6 breaths.

This is a MUCH more effective way to get your medication.

Here is a video about inhaler techniques, with and without spacers.

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1 comment:

  1. I saw this on you tube and thought that it was a great idea to show patients how it's done. I'm surprised by how many patients don't correctly use their inhalers.