Ppoor inhaler practices are prevalent and people are often unaware of its dangers

New Delhi: Using an inhaler is the most effective way to treat asthma and its symptoms. It enables the medication to reach directly into the lungs. Inhalers come in two forms
  • A reliever to ease the symptoms quickly
  • A preventer to stop symptoms from occurring

For some people, using an inhaler can be quite tricky. The right technique is crucial to absorb the medicine dose and to control asthma form aggravating further. Even small details matter when it comes to the correct form to use an inhaler and can be helpful in preventing patients from having a life-threatening asthma attack.

Unfortunately, poor inhaler practices are prevalent and people are often unaware of its dangers. Patients are not taught to use the inhaler and spacer properly.

Common mistakes while using an inhaler

Not cleansing the debris from the opening of the inhaler

Doctors say it is very important to check if there is any dirt or debris in the inhaler and clean it thoroughly. Its opening can have dimes, lint, crumbs, etc. Any dirt present in it would only trigger the symptoms.

Not priming your inhaler

If an inhaler is dropped or hasn’t been used for more than two weeks, it is always advised to prime it first. Most brands instruct you to prime by spraying the inhaler 1-4 puffs before its use.

Not shaking your inhaler before use

You must properly shake your inhaler to mix the medication inside the gas canister. When not shaken properly, you do not get the full dose of medication.

Not exhaling deep before the use

To get the full dose inside and to reach deep into the lungs, you need to make room in the lungs. You should take a deep breath before using an inhaler.

Poor breathing techniques

When taking medication, the correct form of breathing is very important. Inhaling with too much force or less force, or not deep enough will get your dose only halfway through.

Most people with asthma are prescribed a spray inhaler known as pressurized metered inhaler (PMDI). A PMDI inhaler requires you to hold your breath once you release the medication; this helps the airways get medicine to reach the lungs.

Not using a spacer

The use of a spacer - a hollow chamber attached to the inhaler - with a PMDI inhaler will prevent the medication from lodging in the back of the throat, allowing the medicine to reach the lower area of the lungs where it is needed.

To forget the doses or not taking on time

It is essential to take your inhaler as prescribed. This means taking the right doses in the same routine, every day.

How to use inhaler correctly

  • Shake your inhaler properly and it should be attached to the end of the spacer
  • Make your lips sealed around the mouthpiece
  • Squirt one puff of the inhaler into the spacer
  • Take a slow deep breath in (like sucking on a straw) and then breathe out. Repeat five times while keeping your lips tight around the mouthpiece (with most spacers you should hear the valve clicking)
  • Repeat all steps if further puffs are needed

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.

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