As many asthmatics will tell you, an inhaler can be their best friend – its optimal use can help a person live a fuller and better life, and be able to engage in more activities than would otherwise be possible. Since inhalers can deliver medication directly to the lungs, they are very effective to control and manage the condition. There are different kinds of inhalers for asthma according to different individual requirements:
Metered dose inhalers
These are the most common types of asthma inhalers. These devices use a pressurizedcanister to deliver medication.
The medication could be in the form of a suspension or a propellant and is administered to the lungs by using a plastic actuator that is operated by hand and usually made from plastic.
The device is held to the mouth after exhaling breath to the fullest extent and then a fixed dosage of the medication is inhaled in aerosol form. The mechanism of the inhaler is pressed to release the medication.
The correct way to use this inhaler is to first expand the breath from the lungs fully and then inhale into the lungs and hold the breath for a period of 10 seconds – this is to help the medication to settle properly into the constricted airways to help free them. For young children a metered dose inhaler with spacer can be used.
Dry powder inhalers
They administer the medication in a dry powder form, are used not just for asthma but also conditions such as COPD, emphysema and even for helping to treat diabetes. The administering of the dry medication has to be controlled carefully since a bigger dose will cause coughing.
This type of inhaler uses manual loading or capsule form instead of the aerosol. This device may not be suitable for those who are not able to inhale deeply, since it relies on the inhalation force of patient to reach the lungs, and may not be used for younger children.
This inhaler for asthma creates a mist of the medication to enable it to reach the lungs, and could be used in conditions such as COPD, cystic fibrosis as well as other respiratory problems. Nebulizers use vaporized water mixed with the medication to create a mist that reaches the lower, narrower airways of 1-5 micrometers or less. The problem most often noted with nebulizers is that they are sometimes ineffective in delivering medication properly to the lungs.
Analgesic Inhalers or Analgizers
These are disposable inhalers that a patient can use for self administration. The device delivers methoxyflurane to the patient and has been seen to be safe and effective for use in cases even such as childbirth, for those who have suffered fractures and dislocations and for burn patients.
Inhalers for asthma are generally safe to use and cause no side effects so long they are used in accordance with directions, since the drug is in small doses. However some discomfort may arise when using steroid inhalers – sore throat or thrush infection may be noted. Different types of asthma inhalersor devices can be used to figure out what is suitable for a person’s requirements.