Category: Patient Education > Asthma
How to use an Asthma Inhaler
Inhaler technique has a big influence on the dose of medication delivered to the lungs. This will be reviewed with you often. Please pay close attention when we give you your breathing test since this is when we typically go over inhaler technique.
- Remove the cap and holder inhaler upright.
- Shake the inhaler.
- Tilt your head back slightly and breathe out slowly.
- Position the inhaler in one of the following ways (A or B is optimal, but C is acceptable for those who have difficulty with A or B. C is required for breath-activated inhalers):
- Press down on the inhaler to release medication as you start to breathe in slowly.
- Breathe in slowly (3 to 5 seconds).
- Hold your breath for 10 seconds to allow the medicine to reach deeply into your lungs.
- Repeat puff as directed. Waiting 1 minute between puffs may permit second puff to penetrate your lungs better.
- Spacers/holding chambers are useful for all patients. They are particularly recommended for young children and older adults and for use with inhaled corticosteroids.
Avoid common inhaler mistakes. Follow these inhaler tips:
- Breathe out before pressing your inhaler.
- Inhale slowly.
- Breathe in through your mouth, not your nose.
- Press down on your inhaler at the start of inhalation (or within the first second of inhalation).
- Keep inhaling as you press down on inhaler.
- Press your inhaler only once while you are inhaling (one breath for each puff).
- Make sure you breathe in evenly and deeply.