If you’re one of the many Americans living with asthma or COPD, you are quite familiar with inhalers. However, did you know that a large percentage of patients, even if they’re amazingly motivated, are not using their inhaler properly?
You may be thinking, “Come on. I’ve been inhaling my whole life. How could I not be doing it right?” Well guys, there are multiple steps to using an inhaler and we seem to be failing primarily in three of them: Shaking the inhaler for five seconds before use, exhaling completely away form the inhaler, and holding our breath for ten seconds, or as long as comfortable. (See end of the article for step by step instructions.)
Asthma and COPD can be challenging enough. Improving your delivery can improve your life. Let’s breathe better!
- Remove the cap
- Shake the inhaler well for five seconds
- Hold the inhaler firmly by placing your index finger on top of the canister, thumb on the bottom of the mouthpiece
- Stand up
- Tilt your head back slightly
- Exhale completely away form the inhaler
- Hold inhaler one inch away from opened mouth (or use the spacer)
- Press the inhaler and breathe in steadily and deeply
- Hold your breath for ten seconds or as long as comfortable
- Exhale slowly
- Replace cap on the inhaler.