Ways & How

how to use a metered dose inhaler

how to use a metered dose inhaler

Asthma is a kind of respiratory problem characterized by difficulty in breathing due to the momentary narrowing of the bronchi. The bronchi are the airways separating the trachea and the lungs. When asthma attacks happen and the patient is not given immediate medical attention, death can likely happen. Thus, knowing how to use a metered dose inhaler is very important so that the patient can be given instant relief. If you are asthmatic, you must know when your asthma will attack. The symptoms are: difficulty in breathing, a feeling of tightness in the chest, coughing, and wheezing. If you feel any or all of these symptoms, then you are in the state of an asthma attack. With the appropriate administration of injectable drugs, oral medication, or the use of the proper inhaler, an asthma attack can be avoided all at once. One medium of immediate relief is the use of a good, metered dose inhaler. From the name itself, it implies the delivery of specific dose of medicine to the distressed lungs when an asthma attack happens. The dose of medication in the form of air and a liquid mixture is released from a canister by just a single press of its button.

The following steps will guide you on how to use your metered dose inhaler correctly.

  1. Shake it well first. Just like any other liquefied medicine, your metered dose inhaler must be shaken well before you use it. Shaking it will allow the substance inside to mix properly.

  2. Remove or lift the cap. After removing the cap, hold your metered dose inhaler upright pointing straight into the air. As a reminder, if for some time you have not used your puffer or inhaler, try to spray it in the air first to see if it is still functional.

  3. Sit down or stand upright. While sitting down or standing, raise or elevate your chin a little higher to allow your airways to open so that as soon as you will puff your inhaler for a dose of your medication, the medicine will go straight into your lungs.

  4. Inhale and exhale for a few times. Exhale slowly and then place the pufferÂ’s opening into your mouth. Completely seal the mouthpiece of the puffer with your lips so as not to allow the medicine to escape as you release puffs.

    The use of a spacer provided in the inhaler is very helpful both to young children and old people to facilitate better the administration of their asthma medication. You can use your spacer too should you prefer.

  5. Breathe in slowly and carefully press down the valve of the inhaler. As you press the valve, you are actually releasing a specific dose of your medication. Breathe in for five seconds. After administering your desired dose, remove the puffer or inhaler from your mouth.

  6. Hold your breath for a while. After you have removed the inhaler, hold your breath for another five to ten seconds to allow the medicine to settle deep down into your lungs.

  7. Breathe out slowly. Your breathing this time should be normal already more or less. If ever you will have to puff again for another dose, wait for about half an hour and then repeat steps No. 1 to No. 7.

  8. Replace the cap. Finally, put on the cap again over the mouthpiece of your metered dose inhaler and keep it in a safe and dry place away from the direct heat of sunlight.

Learn further that asthma is caused by allergic reactions to antigens. The antigens can be found in the surrounding environment such as grass, tree pollens, animal dander, fungi, mold spores, chemical irritants, and in certain foods. Asthma attacks can occur when there is hyperactivity of the bronchial muscles. Some studies suggest that the hyperactivity of the bronchial muscles is caused by an enzyme in the lungs that releases a blood protein peptide, a very potent constrictor of the bronchial muscles that triggers difficulty in breathing. When you feel any of the symptoms identified above, do not wait so that you will be taken to the hospital. Use your inhaler right away. In other words, always bring your puffer and, as the need arises, calmly do the steps on how to use a metered dose inhaler we have just discussed.


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