Using your Inhaler


Getting to grips with using your inhaler is one of the best ways to control your asthma and prevent an attack. Here we provide a step-by-step guide for some of the more commonly used inhalers. If you have any problems using your inhaler or feel that your medicine isn’t working then you should go to your doctor.

There are two types of metered dose inhalers. The first uses a pressurized canister and a chemical propellant to force the medication out and down into your lungs, eg . This type of metered dose inhaler is often used with a spacer device to get the medicine more efficiently into your lungs. The second type of metered dose inhaler is activated when you breathe in, eg Easibreathe.

A spacer is a plastic container with two pieces that fit together like a glove. It attaches to an inhaler that helps deliver your asthma drugs to your lungs more efficiently. There are several sizes of spacer and you need to get one that fits your inhaler.

Using an MDI

1. Take the cap off and give your inhaler a shake.

2. Breathe out and empty your lungs.

3. Put the inhaler in your mouth and breathe in slowly.

4. Press the canister down to release the drug as you continue to breathe in.

4. Hold your breath for 10 seconds and then breathe out slowly.

5. Wait for a few seconds and repeat the dose if you need to.

Using a Spacer

1. Attach your spacer to your inhaler.

2. Put the mouthpiece of the spacer in your mouth.

3. Put one puff of your inhaler into your spacer.

4. Breathe in deeply.

5. Hold your breath for 10 seconds. Then breathe out slowly.

6. Repeat the dose if you need to.

Using Easibreathe

1. Give your inhaler a shake before you use it.

2. Open the cap and breathe out gently to empty your lungs.

3. Put the inhaler in your mouth and close your lips and teeth around.

4. Breathe in slowly. The inhaler will release a puff of drug, but don’t stop breathing in.

5. Hold your breath for 10 seconds.

6. Wait a few seconds if you need to repeat the dose. If not close the cap.

Using a Turbohaler

1. Remove the white cover.

2. Hold the inhaler upright then twist the grip as far forward and back as it will go. It will click.

3. Breathe out slowly.

4. Put the mouthpiece in your mouth and take a deep breath.

5. Hold your breath for 10 seconds.

6. Replace the white cover.

Using Discus (eg Accuhaler)

1. Pushing the thumb grip away until it clicks.

2. Slide the lever until it clicks.

3. Breathe out slowly away from the device.

4. Then with the mouthpiece in your mouth breathe in slowly.

4. Hold breath for 10 seconds.

5. Close the inhaler by sliding the thumb grip back until it clicks.

Conor Caffrey is a medical and science writer.

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