Proper Asthma Inhaler Use

Proper Asthma Inhaler UseAt Asthma & Allergy Physicians of Rhode Island, we specialize in the treatment of allergies and asthma. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, asthma affects close to 18 million adults and over 6 million children in the United States.

Often, asthma is treated with inhalers. However, many asthma patients do not get the full benefit of treatment because they’re using their inhalers incorrectly.

We recommend you bring your asthma inhalers and/or medications with you to your appointments. If at all possible, hold your inhaler dose prior to coming in for your visit so that we can better assess lung function and reversibility. We can also assess your inhaler technique to see that you are using the device properly.

“Without a spacer, 70 to 80 percent of the medicine ends up in the child’s mouth and never gets deep into the lungs where it needs to be,” said Dr. BJ Lanser, pediatrician and asthma specialist at National Jewish Health in Denver, CO.  “If they continue to make those mistakes dose after dose, their symptoms begin to worsen and often those children end up in the hospital.”

Not sure if you’re using your inhaler correctly?

Here are some simple steps:

  1. Shake the inhaler 3 or 4 times before each use
  2. Remove the cap
  3. Breathe out a few times
  4. Place the inhaler in your mouth between your teeth and fully close your mouth
  5. Start to breathe in slowly and while pressing the top of you inhaler once
  6. Keep breathing in slowly until you have taken a full breath
  7. Hold your breath for 5 to 10 seconds, then release it slowly
  8. Finally remove the inhaler from your mouth

Using your inhaler correctly will ensure that the medicine gets where it needs to go, for effective asthma treatment.

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