Asthma inhalers are the main treatment for asthma. Several different types of medicine are taken in the form of inhalers for asthma treatment.
Asthma inhalers deliver variety of asthma medications, some that assist with long term control and others that provide quick relief symptoms.
There are different types of asthma inhalers: metered dose inhaler, dry powder inhaler and nebulizer.
Metered dose inhalers (MDI):
Metered dose asthma inhalers deliver exact dose of medication to the airways when you use it correctly. It is a portable device.
Unfortunately, asthma patients do not use the asthma inhalers correctly and do not receive the correct dosage. If you cannot use the inhaler properly, use a holding chamber.
Using metered dose inhaler:
Remove the cap from the mouthpiece and shake the inhaler. Breathe out to the end of the normal breathe. The mouthpiece end of the inhaler should be positioned 2 to 3 finger widths from your mouth. Open your mouth and tilt your head back slightly.
Start breathing slowly and then depress the container. Breathing should be continued until the lungs are full. Once full breathing is over, hold your breath for ten seconds or as long as you can. If you want to take a second puff, wait for a minute and repeat the steps.
After using the inhaler, wash the mouth piece and keep it clean. Check the expiry date and use it.
Holding chamber for asthma inhalers:
Holding chamber is a device with one-way valve which holds the medication for few seconds after it has been released from the puffer. It is used by the people who have trouble coordinating with hand-breath step and for people who are using high steroids.
By using holding chamber, you can prevent a hoarse voice and sore throat. The holding chamber should be cleaned at least once a week with warm water and dried.
Dry powder asthma inhalers:
In dry powder asthma inhalers, medicine is inhaled when a breath is taken. The device does not contain propellants to help the medication go into the lungs. It is a portable device which comes in different sizes.
Diskhaler is a dry powder inhaler that holds small pouches each containing a dose of medication on a disk. The diskhaler punctures each blister so that its medication can be inhaled.
Using a diskhaler:
Remove the cover and cartridge unit to load the diskhaler. The disk should be placed on the wheel with the numbers facing up. Then slide the unit back into the diskhaler. Push the cartridge smoothly in and out until the number eight appears on the window. Now, the diskhaler is ready for use.
Lift the lid as far as it will go to pierce the blister. Shut the lid and take breaths in and out. The mouthpiece should be placed in between teeth and lips. Make sure you don’t cover the air holes at the sides of the mouthpiece and tilt your head back slightly.
Breathe in deeply and hold your breath for ten seconds or as long as you can. If a second blister is prescribed, the cartridge should be advanced to the next number and repeat the steps. Any remaining powder in the inhaler must be cleaned to ensure proper dosage.
An asthma nebulizer is used for small children and older people. The treatment requires 20 to 30 minutes sitting quietly while the drug is nebulized from a liquid to mist. Nebulizer should be washed with hot water. Rinse well and allow it to dry.
The choice of asthma inhalers is just your preference. If you are unhappy with the asthma inhaler you are using, try different type after taking advice from the doctor.