Inhalers are a blessing. They enable medicine to go straight to your lungs, and they allow for lower doses, which means fewer side effects. Unfortunately, 84% of people suffering from asthma misuse their inhalers.
As advocates of prevention, our staff at First Care Medical Clinic wants to share how you can develop good inhaler habits.
Hold your breath
Right after you’ve used your inhaler, holding your breath may increase the effectiveness of the medicine.
The logic behind this is simple: When there’s no oxygen moving through your lungs, the medicine has more time to settle and get absorbed by your lung tissues.
For best results, you may have to hold your breath for 5-10 seconds.
Rinse your mouth
Some inhalers deliver medicine via dry powder, while others use a fine spray. Regardless of what inhaler you use, side effects are rare. However, you may experience side effects if you don’t rinse the medication from your mouth.
Shake your inhaler
Shake aerosol inhalers before using them. Otherwise, the propellant won’t deliver enough medicine to your lungs.
When using a new inhaler, shake it ten times and perform two or three test sprays to check the spray’s consistency.
Keep your back in a normal position while inhaling
Far too many people tilt their heads backward when using an inhaler. However, bending your head backward or forward may block the path to the airways for the spray, so keep your head in a normal position.
Direct the inhaler at the back of the throat
If you don’t aim the inhaler at the back of your throat and keep your mouth tight, the medicine won’t reach your lungs.
The teeth and the tongue often stand in the way of the spray. To make sure the medicine reaches the lungs, keep your tongue down, wrap the lips tightly around the mouthpiece, and aim the inhaler at your throat’s back. Lifting your chin may also help direct the medicine into your lungs.
Clean your inhaler
Residue can block the medicine flow, or collect germs that go straight to your lungs each time you inhale.
You can clean some inhalers by taking them out of the canister, whereas you can only clean other inhalers by removing the mouthpiece. Read the instructions of the manufacturer to determine how to clean and maintain your inhaler.
Contact our asthma specialist
Asthma triggers such as air pollutants, allergens, stress, and certain medications can swell your lungs, affecting your breathing. If you want to find out what treatments are available for your breathing issues and how you can avoid asthma triggers, contact us to schedule an appointment.