Decrease (-) Restore Default Increase (+)
Bookmark and Share

Related Information

    COPD inhaler
   
If you do not see our video content, you need to install an updated Flash Player.
The latest Flash Player 9,0,115,0
is available for download @ adobe.com.

Inhalers of one kind or another are often the mainstay of asthma therapy. I'm Dr. Alan Greene and let's talk about how to actually use an inhaler. When someone is first handed an inhaler, their first instinct is often to put their mouth around the opening and to squeeze. But it turns out when you do it that way, you'll often end up with a lot of the medicine inside your mouth, on your tongue, on the roof of your mouth, inside the cheeks. You get less medicine down into the lungs where it is needed. It tastes bad. And if it happens to be one of the preventative kinds of medications, it could actually lead to thrush or yeast in the mouth.

Something else that's worth noting. An even better way to use an inhaler is with a spacer. We especially recommend this for kids, but it's better for adults, too. And the way the spacer works, you don't have to be coordinated. You don't have to time it perfectly. You can put the spacer into your mouth and you squirt the medicine into the spacer and just breathe in and out normally for a while so the medicine keeps coming in.

Now what ever you use, whether it's a straight inhaler or the spacer, there's a recent change that's worth being aware of. For a long time, asthma inhalers were propelled by CFCs (chloral floral carbons) that caused some problems with global warming and ozone depletion. Those have now been replaced or are being replaced with something called HFA instead. And that's great for the environment, but it is a little bit clumpier. So it's important the little place where the medicine comes out of, you may need to clean off on an albuterol kind of inhaler, whether you are using a spacer or using directly into your mouth.


Review Date: 9/18/2011
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
adam.com

Medical Care

Cancer
Pregnancy & Prenatal Classes
Weight Loss
Orthopedics
Heart Disease
Neurology
Women's Health
More Medical Care

Locations

Hospitals
Immediate Care
Health Centers
Emergency Room
Doctors Offices
Specialists
Affiliate Hospitals

Patients and Visitors

MyChart
Pay Your Bill
Request an Appointment
Get Healthy
Support Groups
Fitness Groups
Mobile Applications
Clinical Trials
Online Nursery
Classes and Events
Send an eCard
Patient Stories
Places to Stay
Say Thanks

About Us

Quality Report 
Careers
Ways to Help
Community Outreach
Contact Us
(502) 629-1234

Connect with us

© 2014 Norton Healthcare
Serving Kentucky and Southern Indiana