6 Top Tips to Improve Your Inhaler Technique

6 Top Tips to Improve Your Inhaler Technique

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.

A good inhaler technique can help you to better manage your asthma symptoms. Find out if you are using the correct technique & get 6 tips to improve your own in this article.

Being diagnosed with asthma doesn’t have to be as daunting as it first seems. It’s quite possible to keep on top of your symptoms and lead the same or similar lifestyle to what you lived prior to your diagnosis. 

The important thing when it comes to managing your asthma is not to focus solely on the medication you need but the tools that you need to use to administer it. For any medication to have a positive impact on your body, it must be taken correctly.

Understanding the best way to use your asthma inhaler is equally as important as the medicine being prescribed. 

According to a recent study, more than nine-in-ten asthma sufferers have issues with their inhaler technique. With just 7% of people seemingly administering their medication correctly.

That represents hugely inefficient adherence, costing healthcare systems precious money and leaving many asthma sufferers with heightened symptoms.

How a good inhaler technique can manage your asthma symptoms better

Using your asthma inhaler correctly gives your lungs the best possible chance of receiving the right amount of medicine to ease inflammation and keep your airways free. Those who use their preventer asthma inhalers as prescribed should be able to steer clear of potential attacks and exacerbations and enjoy the following lifestyle benefits:

  • Minimize the feeling of breathlessness

By controlling your asthma symptoms with properly administered medication, you’ll no longer have to endure that feeling of breathlessness each time you walk upstairs. It’ll give you a sense of wellbeing again and help you to gain confidence from being more active.

  • Fend off asthma attack triggers easier

Effective asthma inhaler technique can help your lungs to feel more robust and capable of staving off potential triggers of attacks.

  • Enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep

Inhaler medication can help to ease any inflammation, making it easier to breathe and enjoy a good night’s sleep.

  • Minimize your time off work or school

The last thing you want is for your asthma to consume you. Effective inhaler technique will help you to fire on all cylinders and avoid time off work or poor school attendance.

  • Increase your involvement in sports or outdoor activities

If you enjoyed a relatively active lifestyle prior to your asthma diagnosis, teaching yourself effective inhaler technique can keep symptoms at bay and allow you to keep doing what you love, whether it’s sport or other physical outdoor activities.

What is the correct inhaler technique?

Without a solid inhaler technique, it is not possible to consume the full dose of medication or get any benefit from it. Asthma medication is designed to reach inside your lungs and if your medication is actually only hitting the back of your throat or, worse still, staying on your tongue, you’re not giving it enough of a chance of doing its thing.

We recommend booking an appointment with your GP or asthma nurse to discover whether your inhaler technique is up to scratch. There are many different types of inhalers designed to suit varying conditions of asthma, so if you are prescribed a new form of inhaler, make sure you are happy with how to use it.

Unfortunately, some asthma sufferers only get the chance to catch up with their asthma nurse for an annual review. This isn’t acceptable as it leaves those with asthma potentially battling on with symptoms that could be kept at bay easier for months on end.

At Safey, we’ve designed our smart inhaler technology to enable clinicians and asthma nurses to stay informed on the day-to-day medication adherence of their asthma patients. Adherence with prescribed treatment programs has long been recognised as a primary cause of unsuccessful rehabilitation. 

However, we believe the digital healthcare revolution can be a crucial turning point for asthma sufferers across the UK. Our smart hardware helps to track poor inhaler technique and offer gamify inhaler training to help patients correct it.

6 key inhaler technique mistakes to avoid

  • Failing to breathe out first

By breathing out before taking your asthma inhaler you can maximise the space inside your lungs for your next breath in. This ensures you can inhale deeper and for longer when taking your asthma medication, giving it the best possible chance of travelling through your airways and into your lungs.

  • Not holding your breath after taking your inhaler

It’s essential to hold your breath after administering your asthma medication. By holding your breath, you are keeping your airways still, giving the medication more time for it to reach the lungs. As a general rule, we’d recommend holding your breath for a minimum of ten seconds.

  • Not shaking your MDI inhaler in between puffs

For those with ‘press-and-breathe’ MDI asthma inhalers, it’s important to shake up the canister before use. If you don’t do so, the medication and the propellant within the canister will not form together, resulting in too much or too little of your medication being emitted.

  • Breathing in too early before consuming your medication

Don’t breathe in until you start releasing the medicine from the inhaler’s canister. If you start breathing in too early you won’t have enough puff to consume the right level of medicine as your lungs will already be half full of air.

  • Breathing in too late after pushing down the canister

It’s also important not to breathe in too late either. According to Asthma UK, it takes less than half a second from the time you press your canister for the full dose of medication to be released. If you don’t start breathing in until after the medicine is released, some of it will remain in your mouth and won’t travel down your throat and into your lungs.

  • Failing to wait at least 30-60 seconds between doses

If you require multiple doses of your asthma medication, be sure to give it enough time between doses. Shake your inhaler’s canister and wait for up to 60 seconds, ensuring the medication and propellant have sufficient time to blend again and administer the correct amount.

Don’t forget to store and clean your inhalers properly

  • By storing and cleaning your inhalers adequately you can guard against the threat of oral thrush or sore throats. Always put the cap on your inhaler when it’s not in use and store it at the specified temperature on the inhaler’s label.

    If you use a press-and-breath metered dose inhaler, only wash the plastic parts, never the metal canister. Rinse the plastic casing inside and out with warm running water.

    If you use a dry powder inhaler, use a dry cloth to wipe the inhaler’s mouthpiece on a weekly basis. Under no circumstances should you use water to clean the dry powder inhaler as this tool is highly sensitive to moisture.