Ways & How

how to use an inhaler for asthma

how to use an inhaler for asthma

Every living organism on this planet needs oxygen. In particular, the human body cannot survive if it lacks oxygen. According to nlm.nih.gov, asthma is a long-lasting disorder that affects the airways. When asthma attacks, the airways become swollen and the oxygen passage is blocked. Inhalers are then used in order to restore the airways to their normal condition. Therefore, asthmatic individuals should know how to use an inhaler for asthma correctly. Asthma attacks can occur anytime of the day or night, and an inhaler is the first line of defense that can provide immediate relief against the blocked airways. The drug takes effect quickly, and the patient can regain normal breathing right away. Even after an asthma attack, it is best to go to a health care provider for proper medication. The following ways on how to use an inhaler may look simple, but strict compliance of the steps is necessary for proper administration of the asthma drug.

  1. Stand up straight or sit erect in a chair. The administration of an asthma drug through an inhaler must be done in a way that the medicine can go straight into the lungs.

    Thus, standing up straight or sitting down properly are the best positions. The puffed medicine can proceed to the lungs unhampered.

  2. Shake the inhaler properly. In order to mix the drug inside the inhaler, the inhaler must be shaken for a number of times. Shaking must be done quickly since relief for asthma is supposed to be given immediately before, during or shortly after the attack. Once the medicine is properly mixed, puff it right away while observing the directions in the previous step.

  3. Have a test puff into the air. This is only necessary when the inhaler has not been used for several days. By performing a test puff in the air, you will know if the inhaler is still working or still contains a dose of the asthma drug.

  4. Remove the cap and install the spacers. Quickly remove the cap and install the spacers before you position it in your mouth to puff doses of asthma medication. There are inhalers that do not have spacers. Such inhalers are only good for adults, not for children.

  5. Properly position the inhaler into your mouth. Take a few deep breaths first before puffing your dose. Make sure that the tip of the inhaler’s spacer is properly placed in your mouth where the vapors of the medicine cannot escape. Inhale slowly as you prepare to puff your asthma shot.

  6. Press the release button. As you slowly breathe in, press the release button to have a puff. One puff is equivalent to one shot, especially in a metered-dose-inhaler. Continue to breathe in deeply so that the drug gets straight into the lungs. Hold your breath for about 10 seconds before you breathe out.

  7. Wait 30 before having another puff.  The puffs are done in intervals. After having your first puff, the second puff should follow in the next 30 seconds, following the same procedure detailed in the previous steps.

The signs and symptoms of asthma can cause much discomfort and inconvenience. That is why time is always of the essence -- from the moment symptoms are experienced until the complete administration of the medicine through the inhaler. In some cases, it can be a matter of life and death. Thus, sufficient knowledge on how to use an inhaler for asthma is very important. If the asthmatic patient is a child, everyone in the family should familiarize themselves on the proper usage of an inhaler. In case of emergency, anyone left at home can help the patient.


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