Over 25 million Americans currently suffer from asthma. Over 300 million people have asthma worldwide, and the numbers increase 50% every decade. Asthma and other respiratory conditions usually require the use of inhalers.
Do you suffer from a respiratory condition? Do you know how to use an inhaler the correct way? Different types of inhalers tend to have different methods of use, but the basics remain the same.
This guide will explain inhalers for beginners. Read on to discover different inhaler uses and how to start using an inhaler properly for maximum results.
How Do Inhalers Work?
Inhalers allow users to breathe in respiratory medication through the mouth and into their lungs. These medications commonly relieve symptoms of asthma, and medicines like Trelegy Ellipta relieve symptoms of COPD.
They include a canister that lists the medication, doses, the propellant, expiration date, special warnings, and storage instructions. Inhalers usually require room temperature storage and replacement after expiration.
The actuator is the plastic casing that holds the inhaler’s canister. It includes a valve to spray and dispense your medication. Some actuators have counters that track doses. It’s recommended to clean actuators weekly.
The mouthpiece that delivers the medication is located at the bottom of the actuator. Always check the mouthpiece before each use and clean out any debris that might block its opening.
A cap is located at the end of the inhaler’s mouthpiece. Always remember to put the cap back on after use to maintain the cleanliness and functionality of your inhaler.
Priming Your Inhaler
Priming prepares your inhaler for use. Do this with new inhalers before their initial use or if an inhaler has gone a long period of time without use.
First, remove the cap from your inhaler’s mouthpiece. Shake the inhaler for 3-5 seconds to mix the propellant and medication together.
Next, spray the inhaler away from you and repeat the process 2 more times. Most inhalers include extra doses for priming. The counter should read 200 after priming. Always read the inhaler’s specific priming instructions.
How To Use an Inhaler
Remove the cap from your inhaler and shake it for 3-5 seconds as you did to prime it.
Sit or stand up tall and allow your lungs to fully expand. Slightly tilt your head back and open your airway. Then, fully exhale to empty your lungs.
Next, place your mouth around the inhaler’s mouthpiece. Press the inhaler and begin to breathe in slowly for 3 to 5 seconds. Hold your breath for 10 seconds to allow the medication into your lungs, and then slowly exhale. Simply repeat the steps if you need a second puff. Always wait for 30 to 60 seconds between puffs. It allows the first dose to fully take effect and open your airways. Then the second dose travels deeper into your lungs.
Ready To Use Your Inhaler?
Now you know how to use an inhaler properly. Remember to prime your inhaler and always keep it clean. Following the steps mentioned in this guide will ensure that your inhaler is used to its full potential.
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