According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 25 million Americans live with asthma. Many of these people rely on an inhaler to provide immediate relief during an asthma attack. However, if you were recently diagnosed with asthma, you might not be using your inhaler correctly and, therefore, not enjoying the medication's full effect.
Here are a few inhaler mistakes asthma patients must be aware of and avoid.
Not Understanding the Different Types of Inhalers
There are two basic types of inhalers doctors will prescribe to asthma patients: MDI or DPI inhalers. MDI refers to a metered dose inhaler and requires the user to breathe slowly while inhaling the medication. The product from a DPI, or dry powder inhaler, must be inhaled more quickly. Your doctor can help you determine which inhaler is best for you and teach you how to use the inhaler properly.
Failing to Properly Prime the Inhaler
If you have an MDI inhaler, the inhaler must be primed properly. Typically, this requires the user to shake the inhaler well for a few seconds before removing the cover and slowly inhaling the product. You typically need to shake a new inhaler for a few seconds and spray the inhaler a couple of times to ensure it is working properly.
If you have a DPI inhaler, it typically does not need to be shaken at all before use.
Lying Down While Using the Inhaler
No matter if you have a DPI or MDI inhaler, it is important to have the correct posture to ensure the product enters the lungs properly. Do not lie down or slouch your shoulders; instead, sit up straight. This will create a clear path to the lungs. Remain sitting up straight throughout the entire process to ensure you obtain the greatest benefit from the inhaler.
Not Keeping Extra Inhalers on Hand
Finally, if you are prone to asthma attacks, it is important to always have your inhaler nearby. Unfortunately, if you only have one inhaler and it is kept in your purse, backpack, or a particular area of the house, it can be difficult to access the inhaler in an emergency. Instead, store a couple of inhalers throughout your home to ensure that if you require the inhaler in an emergency, you have one close by.
If you have asthma and require an inhaler, it is important to avoid all of these mistakes. Contact your doctor if you have more questions about proper inhaler usage or other asthma treatment options.
My name is Shawna Banks and this is a blog that focuses on health issues that affect women. I became interested in women's health when my sister began having medical problems. After her condition worsened, she went to see a doctor. After her diagnosis and successful treatment, I helped her research the different kinds of health conditions that are common in women. By becoming knowledgeable about these types of problems, we can keep ourselves healthier. I hope that when you read this blog, it will help you to identify symptoms that shouldn't be ignored. If necessary, you can schedule an appointment with your physician as soon as possible.