How to use inhaler for asthma patient

Before we read about how to use inhaler for asthma patient, let’s read about what is inhaler for asthma.

What is a metered-dose inhaler?

A metered-dose inhaler is a device that helps deliver a specific amount of medication to your lungs. It is commonly used to treat asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other respiratory problems.

Each inhaler consists of a pressurized canister of medication and a mouthpiece. Pressing down on the inhaler releases a mist of medicine that you breathe into your lungs. So that your airways receive the right amount of medicine, it is important to use your inhaler correctly.


Asthma inhalers can deliver drugs in a variety of ways. They include:

Metered dose inhalers (MDIs): A metered dose inhaler (MDI) delivers asthma medication through a small, handheld aerosol canister. The metered dose inhaler has a chemical propellant that pushes the medicine into your mouth when you press down on the inhaler, and you breathe the medicine in. A spacer can be used to help you use an MDI more easily.

Dry powder inhalers (DPIs): Dry powder asthma inhalers require you to breathe in quickly and deeply to use properly. These asthma inhalers may be difficult to use during an asthma attack when you cannot fully catch a deep breath. Read the instructions carefully for each dry powder inhaler because they vary considerably. The technique you learned for one type of inhaler often does not apply to others.

Nebulizers: Nebulizers are devices that deliver medication through mouthpiece or mask. They are easier to use because you can breathe normally, and are more often used for young children or people with severe asthma attacks who may not be able to use an MDI or DPI properly. (WebMd )

How to use inhaler asthma properly

1. Remove the cap and hold the inhaler upright.
2. Shake the inhaler.
3. Tilt your head back slightly and breathe out.
4. Hold the inhaler as in one of the pictures to the right. A or B are the most effective, but C is okay for people who are unable to use A or B.
Spacers are useful for all patients, especially young children and older adults (see picture B).
5. Press down on the inhaler to release the medicine as you start to breathe in slowly.
6. Breathe in slowly for 3 to 5 seconds.
7. Hold your breath for 10 seconds to allow medicine to go deeply into your lungs.
8. Repeat puffs as directed. Wait 1 minute between puffs to allow the second puff to get into the lungs better. (Familydoctor)

Errors in the use of inhalers

1. Do not hold your breath after inhaling medication.
2. Not breathing out before inhaling.
3. Do not press the canister down once when inhaling.

Hope this guideliness could help asthma patient use inhaler wisely.

1 Comment

  1. I felt embarrassed when i was given my asthma inhaler because i didn’t know how to use one. I was too embarrassed so tell my doctor so i zoned out when she quickly said her basic explanation. The step by step on how to properly use the inhaler was a real help, thank you so much. I also didn’t even know there were different types and medications as well, I thought all inhalers were the same. Thank you for the information.

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