12:00 AM, May 15, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 15, 2010

How to use an inhaler

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Star Health Desk

Using an inhaler correctly is an important aspect in the treatment of asthma. However, many people in Bangladesh do not know how to use an inhaler properly and do not respond well to treatment. Not using an inhaler correctly results in untreated asthma, with potentially serious complications. Here are certain steps to guide you on the proper use of an inhaler:
1. Take the cap off the mouthpiece of the inhaler. Shake the inhaler well before each spray.
2. Hold the inhaler with the mouthpiece down. Breathe out through your mouth and push as much air from your lungs as you can. Put the mouthpiece in your mouth and close your lips around it.
3. Push the top of the canister all the way down while you breathe in deeply and slowly through your mouth. Right after the spray comes out, take your finger off the canister. After you have breathed in all the way, take the inhaler out of your mouth and close your mouth.
4. Hold your breath as long as you can, up to 10 seconds, then breathe normally.
5. If the doctor has prescribed more sprays, wait 1 minute and shake the inhaler again. Repeat steps.
6. Rinse your mouth through gurgling after using a steroid inhaler. Put the cap back on the mouthpiece after every time you use the inhaler, and make sure it snaps firmly into place.
7. If you cannot take inhaler properly or find it difficult, there is an easier way to take inhaler with a device called spacer. Spacer is used with a inhaler to make easier for medication to reach the lungs, and also mean less medication gets deposited in the mouth and throat, where it can lead to irritation and mild infections. To use a spacer, first put the inhaler into the one end of the spacer and insert other end into the mouth. Then repeat the same procedure as inhaler.

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