5​ ​Things​ ​People​ ​Do​ ​Wrong​ ​With​ ​Inhalers

5​ ​Things​ ​People​ ​Do​ ​Wrong​ ​With​ ​Inhalers

The below content is derived from research done using sources available on the internet. Safey Medical Devices Inc and its subsidiaries do not take any responsibility for the accuracy of the content. No medical decision should be taken on the basis of below content without consulting with your Medical Practitioner.

Here are five things people do wrong with their inhalers including common mistakes and how you can avoid them & improve your technique. 

There are 5.4 million people in the UK who suffer from asthma, which leaves a lot of room for inconsistencies when it comes to people’s inhaler technique. People tend to make similar mistakes when it comes to using inhalers, and occasionally, these mistakes can have serious consequences. 

Research by BioMed Central was carried out in order to evaluate the inhaler technique among asthmatic patients and how this relates to number of emergency department visits. They found that ‘improper inhaler technique is associated with poor asthma control and frequent emergency department visits.’

If you suffer from asthma you should be really focused on perfecting your inhaler technique and making sure you’re taking your medicine as prescribed. Not doing so can be detrimental to your health, make your asthma worse or not treat it effectively. 

Here are five things people do wrong with inhalers.

1. Using them too often

Scientists claim that using your inhaler too much can actually make your asthma worse. So reaching for another dose might not be the right thing to do. The best thing to do if you feel you need to increase your dosage is to consult with your doctor as they might need to reconsider your treatment plan.

 Prof Bradding, of Leicester University, said: “Sufferers should still use their inhalers when needed but there is evidence they can make symptoms worse if used too often. When we exposed cells in the lab to the inhaler drugs over a period of time they increased the release of lung chemicals that bring on attacks.”

Have a chat with your doctor about what to do if you feel you need to use your inhaler more than you’ve been prescribed. It’s so important to get the dosage right and tailor your treatment plan to your individual needs.

2. Not breathing out before taking your inhaler

The main reason why you should be breathing out before taking your inhaler is it clears your lungs. It basically empties your lungs, therefore making more room for when you breathe in. On top of this, breathing out also enables you to breathe in for longer.

This then gives the medicine a chance to get to the small airways which are located deeper within your lungs. So do get into the habit of taking a good strong deep breath before taking your inhaler. 

The last thing you should do when taking your asthma inhaler is sit down and hunch up your body. You should stand upright so that your lungs can fill up more easily. Also, slouching whilst taking your inhaler will make it tougher for the medicine to reach your airways.

3. Not shaking the inhaler properly (or at all)

When you see people taking their inhalers you will often notice them shaking their inhaler before they use it. This is good practice. Why? Because not shaking in between doses means that the medicine may not mix together enough. So you could end up either taking a dose that’s far too high, or not enough – and neither produce a favourable situation. You also need to wait between 30 and 60 seconds between doses. 

4. Not use the correct/prescribed technique

Using your inhaler correctly can help give you some control back over your asthma, but you have to learn to use it properly in order to maintain this control. It’s surprising just ho0w many people don’t use the correct technique, even after being shown by medical professionals. 

A survey by Asthma.co.uk found that up to a third of people with asthma aren’t using their inhaler in the right way. 

The main problem with improper use is that the patient may not be getting the full dose of medicine that they need. And occasionally, the medication doesn’t reach the lungs, rendering ineffective. It’s no good if the medicine only hits the back of your throat or remains in your mouth, it needs to get down to where it can be of use.  

And another reason why it’s so important to use your inhaler correctly is because it can cause additional problems. Patients can experience irritating side effects from improper use such as making your throat sore.

If you’re unsure whether you are taking your inhaler properly, get your doctor, pharmacist or a medical professional to walk you through how to take it efficiently. And you might want to bring someone with you to your appointment, such as a family member or friend. Two minds are better than one, because they can help you to remember what to do. 

If you can’t get to your doctor right away, you can always call the Asthma UK Helpline. These handy videos can also help you to check whether you’re using your inhaler right.

5. Not storing them safely

Your inhaler is extremely important. The last thing you want to do is lose it or damage it in some way. Whilst a bit of wear and tear is inevitable, there are things you can do to prevent your inhaler from getting damaged. Store it away from pets, children and other family members in a place where you always know it will be, so you’re less likely to misplace it. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that your inhaler has an inhaler cap for a reason. To prevent germs getting on the mouthpiece and also to stop anything making its way inside your inhaler. If you leave it in a bag where it’s moving around a lot for example, something loose could get stuck inside. This may mean your inhaler might not work, or you could use it and end up breathing in an object which is a serious choking hazard. 

Whenever you get a new inhaler, check the instructions on the label to find out about how it should be stored. Generally, inhalers shouldn’t be kept in extreme heats, so either very hot or very cold. Remember to keep storage in mind if you’re planning on travelling or going to very hot or cold destinations.

Parents of kids with asthma

If you’ve got a child who has asthma, making sure they are taking their inhaler properly is a top priority. But you can’t always be with your child, and at a certain age, they need to take more responsibility and learn how to take their medication solo. However, you can keep an eye on when and how effectively they are taking their inhaler thanks to the Safey Smart Inhaler. It flags if medication has been missed and  measures quality of dose, sending data to an app that parents can access. Have you got yours yet? Find out more here. 

Please note  – you should consult your doctor if you have any problem. Always seek professional medical advice and follow your doctor’s instructions when it comes to inhaler technique.