Inhalation is done with the help of an inhaler that delivers the medicine straight into our lungs. It is quite a challenging task to use an inhaler.
Imagine a scenario where a person is applying eye drops on the top of his eyelids or spraying nasal spray on the top of his nose. This may sound silly, but such mistakes are often made while using an inhaler.
Incorrect use of the inhaler reduces the benefit of the medication, and the symptoms are not adequately treated. Therefore, the most crucial part of this treatment is to first learn the right technique.
What are the right techniques to ensure the correct treatment?
1) Shake the inhaler well before use for about 5 seconds.
2) Remove the protective cap from the inhaler mouthpiece. Ensure the cap is clean.
3) Sit straight for inhalation, and hold the inhaler upright with the index finger on the top of the pressurized canister and your thumb at the bottom.
4) Breathe in and breathe out for a few seconds.
5) Place the inhaler inside the mouth and begin inhaling through mouth. Simultaneously, press the top of the canister with the index finger momentarily, releasing a puff of medication.
6) Once inhaling is done, it is advised to hold the breath for 10 seconds or less.
7) Place the inhaler aside and breathe out slowly.
8) Place the cap back on the inhaler and store it in a safe place. What are the common mistakes made when using an inhaler?
1) Inhaling is perhaps the most important part of the technique. Always press the canister right after inhaling so that the medication is delivered correctly.
2) Clean the inhaler before use to eliminate the risk of infection.
3) Always shake the inhaler before use because if the inhaler is kept unused for a while, the contents of the pressurized container may shift into fractions and the medication may not be released effectively.
4) Sometimes the inhaler is kept without the protective cap put on. Make sure the inhaler is stored in a clean place with the cap on.
5) Never use an inhaler in an awkward position. Always sit/stand straight, and hold the index finger and thumb in the right position.
6) Avoid using the inhaler immediately after performing some sort of physical activity. Allow your breath to get steady and then use it.
7) One of the common mistakes is to place the inhaler mouthpiece in an awkward position. Always place it inside the mouth and do not leave space for outside air to get in so that the aerosol can mix properly and supplied directly to the lungs and airways.
8) Do not exhale too fast after use. It is necessary to hold the breath for about 10 seconds for the medication to get absorbed into the tissues.
By following the above guidelines, it is possible to use the inhaler efficiently and treat the symptoms at the right time.