Common Mistakes with Asthma Inhalers and How to Fix Them

Inhaled asthma medicine is an amazing treatment for controlling asthma. It leads to better asthma control, less flare-ups and it reduces hospital visits.

But that’s only if the inhaled asthma medicine is used correctly.

Studies have shown that improper asthma inhaler techniques are associated with poor asthma control and can lead to more frequent visits to the emergency room.
To work effectively, inhaled asthma medicine must reach the airways. Here are some of the mistakes that you or your child may be making with inhaled asthma medicine and how to fix those mistakes.


1. Passing on the Spacer

A lot of patients forgo the spacer assuming it doesn’t make much of a difference but it does. An asthma spacer improves the delivery of the medication to the airways so that it isn’t only reaching the mouth. Preventing this mistake is easy, use a spacer.


2. Slouching

Slouching while using an inhaler makes it harder for the inhaled medicine to reach airways. Instead, stand up or sit-up straight so that you can inhale fully. This also provides additional power to exhale.


3. Blocking the Pathway

Having your tongue or teeth in the way of the inhaler or spacer can block the opening. When using, put the inhaler/spacer under your teeth and above the tongue.


4. Empty Inhaler

Very often people use asthma inhalers that are empty and we all know that an empty inhaler can’t do much for you. Request a new inhaler before the current one runs out.


5. Positioning

The head shouldn’t be too far forward or too far backward. Your head should be in a normal position to have a direct path for the medicine to reach the airways.


6. Inhaling

A common mistake is inhaling too fast. Inhale slowly. While using the spacer, if you hear a whistle, it means it’s too fast.


7. Air escaping

Air will escape if the lips aren’t clasped tight enough around the inhaler/spacer. Close lips on the mouthpiece so air will not escape.


8. Shake Before Using

Shake the canister 10 – 15 times before use. With a new inhaler or an inhaler not used for a long period, prime it by conducting 3-4 test sprays.


Asthma is a very serious respiratory condition and it can be fatal; that’s why it’s so important to ensure that you or your child manage it correctly. If you need assistance in managing your asthma, contact our office to schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified allergists.

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