Asthma patient should perform the correct procedure or correct sequence while using an asthma inhaler. The inhaled asthma medicine should reach the airways to work properly, many people do inhaler mistakes. Below discussed are few mistakes, we generally make, let us examine the details.
Here are 10 common mistakes made when using a metered-dose inhaler and how to correct them
- Sitting down
Many people have a habit of using inhaler by sitting down, this is the most common mistake. Standing allows the lungs to fully inhale and provide more power to exhale.
- Using an empty inhaler
Don’t forget to refill the inhaler, when the inhaler is half full.
- Not shaking or priming the inhaler before use
Shake the inhaler container 10-15 times for the medication to be ready to work. When you are using a new inhaler, prime it by realizing three to four test sprays. Change the inhaler if you are not using the inhaler for several weeks.
- Not using a spacer with an MDI (Medium Dose Inhaler)
A spacer helps to deliver the medicine to the airways instead of the mouth. Always use the insert the inhaler into the spacer. Spray one puff of medicine and inhale slowly, now hold your breath for a count of 10 and exhale slowly.
- Holding the head too far forward or backward
The head needs to be in a normal position, not too far back or too far forward, to help make a direct path for the medicine to reach the airways. Stand straight and inhale properly and deeply.
- Tongue or teeth in the way of space/inhaler opening
Do not block the inhaler opening by covering it with your teeth or tongue. The best position is to put the spacer/inhaler in the mouth above the tongue, under the top teeth.
- Mouth should not be tight enough around spacer/inhaler
Close the lips around the spacer, so that the air will not escape.
- Directing spacer/inhaler at tongue or roof of mouth
Aim the spacer/inhaler at the back of the throat, so the medicine reaches the lungs.
- Spraying several puffs of inhaler into spacer
Before you use the inhaler, first breath out fully and spray one puff at a time into the spacer. Breathe out before inhaling, hold breath for 10 counts then exhale. Repeat for the number of puffs the doctor prescribed.
- Inhale medicine too fast
Try to inhale medicine slowly, rather than inhaling it too fast. A whistle from the spacer means the inhalation is too fast.
How to use an inhaler with a spacer?
- Shake the medicine
- Insert the mouthpiece of the inhaler into the rubber-sealed end of the spacer
- Breathe all the air out of your lungs. Then put the spacer into your mouth between your teeth.
- Make a tight seal around the mouthpiece with your lips.
- Press the inhaler down once to release a spray of medicine. The medicine will be trapped in the spacer breathe in slowly and deeply
- Hold your breath for at least 5-10 seconds. Breathe out slowly.
Tips of Inhaling
- Follow all the instructions for using your inhaler.
- Gargle and spit after inhaling a steroid.
- Show your inhaler technique to your provider
- Clean the inhaler and a spacer according to the instructions
- Keep it clean and neat.
- Over 6.3 million children have asthma problem, this also lead to chronic disease among children.