Asthma is one of the most common lifelong chronic diseases. To give you a better idea, it affects more than 339 million people worldwide.
Left untreated, it can interfere with sleep, work, and other activities. Not only that, but it can put you at a higher risk of other respiratory infections such as pneumonia.
Fortunately, it’s highly treatable. That is, there are various inhalers that you can use that’ll help treat and prevent symptoms.
Were you recently prescribed one by your doctor? Want to know how to use an inhaler? If so, you’re at the right place—keep reading to learn more!
Different Types of Inhalers For Asthma
There are two main types of asthma inhalers—quick-relief inhalers and long-term control inhalers.
Quick-relief Inhalers: These medications are used in the event of an asthma attack. Also known as rescue inhalers, they will relieve your symptoms quickly.
Long-term Control Inhalers: Taken daily, these medications will help keep your asthma under control. That way, you’ll be less likely to have an attack.
A Short Guide On How to Use an Inhaler
It would help if you used your inhaler properly—that way, the medication will be able to get to your lungs. Here’s a step-by-step guide.
- Getting Ready
Take the cap off and make sure that there’s nothing inside the mouthpiece. Shake the inhaler for 5-10 seconds. Hold the inhaler away from your face and breathe out all the way.
Note: You may have to prime the inhaler if you haven’t used it in a while or if it’s your first time using it.
- Breathe In Slowly
Place your lips around the mouthpiece—you want to create a tight seal. Make sure that your tongue isn’t blocking the opening. Press the top down and take a deep breath in through your mouth.
- Hold Your Breath
Try to hold your breath for 10 seconds as that’ll allow the medicine to reach deep into your lungs. Breathe out slowly afterward through your mouth.
If you’re taking a quick-relief medicine, wait one minute before taking your next puff.
Note: Rinse your mouth with water afterward if you’re using a corticosteroid inhaler—that will help prevent side effects.
Clean your inhaler if you see powder in or around the hole. For example, you can rinse the mouthpiece and cap in warm water. Use a soft cloth to remove any buildup.
Shake off the water and let the pieces air-dry for several hours before putting them back on the inhaler. Never wash with soap.
Using Your Inhaler Properly
And there we have it—a short guide on how to use an inhaler. When in doubt, you can always bring it with you to your appointment so that your provider can make sure that you’re using it the right way!
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