Asthma is a chronic condition that blocks the airways of the lungs, causing difficulty in breathing. When we breathe normally, air flows through our nose or mouth into the throat and airways. After this, in the last, it enters the lungs. There are many small passages in our lungs, which help oxygen get from the bloodstream.
It is a sign of asthma when swelling in the airways or muscles around it start coming. After this, the mucus fills the airways, which causes a decrease in air penetration to the lungs. This condition can cause an asthma attack. In the case of asthma, breathing is difficult and there is also the sound of wheezing along with the breath. In such a situation the patient has to resort to asthma inhalers. Asthma inhalers are of many different types, which are prescribed to the patient according to their discomfort. But before knowing about this, let us know about other symptoms of asthma.
Symptoms of Asthma
Wheezing while breathing can be the main symptom of asthma, but apart from this, there are many symptoms of asthma, including –
- Cough at night and morning
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness
- Sleepiness due to cough and stiffness
After seeing these symptoms, you are instructed to take asthma inhalers, which bring relief to your discomfort. Now let us know some special things about asthma inhalers. Because when and how Asthma inhalers are used, any asthma patient needs to know.
Asthma inhalers: learn their types and uses
Asthma inhalers are like portable handheld devices that deliver the medicine to your lungs through the mouth. The medicine used to control the symptoms of asthma is taken through these inhalers, but you should be aware of its proper use and the medicines it takes. Due to which you do not have to face trouble in the event of an asthma attack.
To find an asthma inhaler you need to find the balance between the right medicine and an asthma inhaler, which is compatible with your ability to use as per your need. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to control your asthma then you should take the right dose at the right time, given by the doctor so that your condition does not worsen and does not turn into an asthma attack.
Therefore, to use the asthma inhaler you have purchased, you may first need to seek medical advice and training, so that you can use an asthma inhaler if needed. Now let us know how many types of asthma inhalers are available in the market and how they are used.
Dose-based asthma inhaler
This inhaler is boot-shaped i.e. shoe shaped, with one part as a pressurized container. It is filled with asthma medicine. In the second part, the place of inhaling is made. In particular, this type of asthma inhaler is taken with a push in the mouth.
Some of these metered-dose inhalers are made, which release the medicine as you breathe and the medicine reaches your lungs. Some inhalers have dose counters so that you can know how many doses of the medicine you have taken. Currently, the latest inhalers are wireless and you can also connect them with dose informing apps. If your inhaler does not have this dose counter, then you will need to take care according to the dosage taken and also change the container after emptying.
Some of these come with an asthma inhaler spacer and a valve holding chamber, which are specially made for children and adults. With the help of a spacer, the medicine slowly reaches your lungs and with this, you can easily take the medicine through the inhaler from the asthma inhaler. You may need a prescription to purchase a spacer or valved holding chamber.
Dry powder inhaler
In this asthma inhaler, instead of pushing the medicine through your mouth, you take a long breath and pull it to the lungs. For this, you have to exhale long deep breaths and then the medicine given in powder form is to be inhaled through the mouth and passed to the lungs. There are many types of devices available in the market, in which people are usually given single dose devices. In these asthma inhalers, take the medicine with the help of capsules every time they are needed.
Soft mist inhaler
These soft mist inhalers are slightly larger than the metered-dose inhaler. These low velocities create aerosol mist, which is slowly taken for a long time through breath. These are designed to provide longer and comfortable breathing than powder inhalers and metered inhalers. A soft mist inhaler is used especially for children.
Equipment other than Asthma inhalers
Metered-dose inhalers with face masks
Some people may not use standard metered dose inhalers or dry powder inhalers. Many other tools for taking asthma medicines are used for them. The first of these devices is the Metered Dose Inhaler with Face Mask. It is usually used for infants or young children. It is a kind of standard metered dose inhaler, which comes with a spacer. Its face mask, which is attached to the spacer, fits easily on the nose and mouth and ensures that the correct dose of the drug reaches the lungs.
This device delivers asthma medication to the lungs through breath through a mouthpiece or mask worn on the nose and mouth. A nebulizer is used for people who cannot use an inhaler. Especially infants and young children who are very ill or who need large doses are given nebulizer.
How to use an asthma inhaler?
Before using an asthma inhaler, you should know about the design of the inhaler. Asthma inhaler has three parts –
Mouthpiece – With the help of which we claim
Cap – which is used to cover the mouthpiece
Container – Contains asthma medicine
Now comes the use of an asthma inhaler. It also has three stages.
First Stage – Prepare
- Remove the cap from the inhaler and spacer.
- Shake the inhaler 15 to 20 times before each use.
- Add a spacer to the inhaler.
- Breathe slowly to empty your lungs. Try to drive out as sufficient air as you can.
Second Stage – Breathe in slowly
- Place the spacer between your teeth and cover it with your lips.
- Keep your chin up
- Start breathing slowly through your mouth.
- Spray a puff into the spacer by pressing under the inhaler.
- Keep breathing slowly. Take as deep a breath as you can.
The third stage – hold your breath
- Take out the spacer from your mouth.
- If you can then hold your breath for 10 seconds, this can cause the medicine to reach deep into your lungs.
- Now breathe slowly through the mouth.
How to maintain an asthma inhaler?
Keep the inhaler clean
Look at the hole where the medicine comes out of your inhaler. If you notice particles in or around the corner, clean your inhaler. First, remove the canister from the L-shaped plastic mouthpiece. Wash the mouthpiece and cap with warm water. Let air-dry overnight. Store your inhaler at room temperature. The medicine in the canister is stored under pressure, so make sure not to keep it in very hot temperatures.
Keep in mind that all these devices should be used according to your convenience and need, including knowing the correct dosage of the medicine and the correct use of the inhaler. So do not choose an inhaler or medicine without talking to your doctor. These asthma inhalers need to be changed from time to time, so get information from your doctor about their expiry date and their maintenance as well. This is why you are advised to consult a doctor before using an asthma inhaler.