An asthma inhaler is an asthmatic’s best friend. No asthmatic can be without their inhalers. Asthma inhalers work by delivering medication directly to the lungs. This makes it more effective and fast acting. Asthma inhalers have revolutionized asthma treatment. However, an inhaler is only one factor in your asthma treatment that could include other medications and environmental requirements. An asthma inhaler can be classified as either a metered dose inhaler or a dry powder inhaler.
Metered Dose Inhaler
Uses a propellant to force out metered doses of medication out of the inhaler. It contains a pressurized canister containing the medication and a mouthpiece used to administer the medicine. Usually, patients will have to squeeze the canister to release the drug. Metered dose inhalers are portable and convenient to use. Some of them even have counters to let you know how many doses are left. if not, you will have to count your shots to determine when you will need to buy another one. Hand-breath coordination is required in order to get the medication directly to your lungs, if not the medicine could be deposited to your tongue or at the back of your throat. You can use spacers to solve this problem. A spacer is a short tube that attaches to the inhaler
Dry Powder Asthma Inhaler
Does not use propellants to administer doses, instead patients will have to breath in more quickly to activate the inhaler. Dry powder asthma inhalers are also very portable and convenient to use. You have to be careful though not to exhale before activation because you will blow the medication away. Many people prefer this type of inhaler because it does not require hand-breath coordination. The only downside is that it can result to large amounts of medication deposited to the back of you tongue and throat.
Medications Administered Through Inhalers
- Corticosteroids – Used to ease inflammation and prevent attacks
- Long-Acting Broncholidators – Used for long term asthma treatments. Broncholidators opens up the airways by relaxing the muscles around it.
- Nedocromil – Prevents breathing problems caused by asthma
- Short-Acting Broncholidators – Used for immediate relief of asthma, usually a first defense during an attack.
- Corticosteroids plus Long-Acting Broncholidator – A combination of corticosteroids and long-acting broncholidators. This combination is effective in long term prevention of symptoms.
An asthma inhaler will make you lead a near normal and active life. It is important to use the inhaler properly and stick with the amount of dosage prescribed or else it will not be effective. Also, make sure that the medication reaches your lungs. It is advisable to steer clear of your triggers and work religiously to prevent symptoms. In time, you’ll notice that you don’t even need asthma inhalers that frequently.