Do you need an inhaler?
With 1 in 3 people suffering from asthma, there’s a strong chance that you need one to keep yourself from having an attack. It shouldn’t trouble you to get one, they’re available in any drugstore so long as you have a prescription on hand. They are also cheap, meaning you can have a remedy for your asthma attack at the ready.
The only problem is that most people don’t know how to use an inhaler for the first time. While they get a general idea, improper usage means they’re wasting their medication or not getting enough of it.
Read on to learn how an inhaler works and how you should use it. Knowing the proper steps and techniques ensures you get the proper dose of medication.
1. What Is an Inhaler?
Ever wondered what an inhaler is? Even people who used it for the majority of their lives don’t understand how it works.
Inhalers are hand-held plastic devices that release vaporized medicine through your mouth into your lungs. The medicine comes in a vaporized form to make it easier for your body to absorb. Since it’s absorbed by the lungs, it becomes integrated into your body even faster.
An inhaler often carries medicine that helps relieve respiratory-related ailments. Some carry medicine that boosts the immune systems of individuals who need it. They’re also used by others who need their medicine to take effect as fast as possible.
2. Types of Inhalers
Before you get yourself an inhaler, you must know about the different inhalers available in the market. Understanding each type and how it affects your dosage is a good way to optimize your medication.
Metered-dose inhalers are the most common inhalers you will find. These often contain medicine that answer to respiratory problems like asthma. You often use these inhalers once or twice a week to regulate your asthma.
If you need a more frequent dose of medicine, then a control inhaler is for you. These contain medicine that prevents inflammation along your throat. Doing this helps prevent any flares of symptoms if you take a dose every 12 hours.
A rescue inhaler is different in that you only use it when you need to. These are the preferred inhalers for people with respiratory problems that come without warning. Shortness of breath and wheezing are much more complicated for some people and warrant the use of a rescue inhaler.
3. The General Technique
Once you get the right one, it’s time to learn how to use an inhaler for the first time. No matter what inhaler you have, the first step is always to clear your airways. Doing this helps you inhale your medicine without feeling that your lungs have no more room to expand.
Shake your inhaler to ensure nothing settled in the bottom of the canister while you haven’t been using it. Before placing your lips around the mouthpiece, tilt your head back. Doing this creates a direct path for the vapor, making it easier to get it into your lungs.
Press down on the inhaler and breathe in the medicine. Don’t rush as doing so can cause you to cough. You then hold your breath to ensure the medicine goes into your lungs.
Breathe out through a small opening in your mouth after 10 seconds of holding your breath. Once you’re done, repeat the steps as appointed by your doctor. Wait 1 minute before taking the next puff to ensure the first dose gets absorbed by the body.
4. Using a Spacer
As per your doctor’s recommendation, you will need to use a spacer when using your inhaler. This is a device that connects to your inhaler to provide a space for the medicine to go to once puffed. It’s often used when your medicine can irritate your throat in cases of direct exposure.
It also makes the medicine your dosing more effective. This is because you won’t be inhaling much air compared to using an inhaler without a spacer. The space it provides ensures you will inhale more medicine as it disperses into the chamber.
This makes the spacer an essential device if you want to make the most out of each puff. It can be tricky to get a hold of one of these, though. If you can’t find one, some people recommend you make a spacer for yourself.
5. Proper Breathing While Using Inhalers
While using an inhaler, it’s necessary to hold your breath and slow down your breathing. This is to ensure your medicine goes into the lungs without any issues. Most people don’t know, though, is that this is only effective for vapor medicine.
Some inhalers release a dry powder that’s different from vaporized medicine. These are harder to integrate into your body since it needs moisture. If it doesn’t have any moisture, the medicine will stick to your mouth and throat, causing you to cough it out.
If you have a dry-powder inhaler, it’s best to inhale faster than you would with a regular inhaler. This helps the powder into your lungs without sticking to your mouth. It’s also better this way since dry powder will cause you to choke if you don’t inhale it fast enough.
6. Cleaning Your Inhaler
Once you’re done using your inhaler, clean it to prepare it for the next time you use it. Most people use water and soap to clean it. Doing this isn’t recommended, though, since it can affect the plastic and the medicine inside.
Use a clean, damp rag, instead. Run the mouthpiece through warm water for 30 seconds and wipe it down. With a dry piece of cloth, wipe the inside of the mouthpiece to remove any buildup of medicine.
Let the mouthpiece dry before covering it again with the cap. Doing this ensures you don’t have any dry water stains when you use it again.
Learn How to Use an Inhaler for the First Time Today
What are inhalers for if you don’t know how to use them? Learn how to use an inhaler for the first time now! Make the most out of each puff and ensure your medicine doesn’t go to waste today!
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