Are you using your inhaler correctly?

Written By

February 7, 2024

Many of us are actually making some pretty common mistakes without even realizing it! If you need help with inhaler technique you can connect with the care team by self enrolling, calling us at (410) 348-1905 or sending us an email. Whether you're a pro at using your inhaler or just starting out, this post is packed with helpful tips to ensure you're getting the most out of your inhaler. So, take a deep breath (the right way, of course!) and let's tackle these mistakes together!

Scene nurse Liz shares her tips on how to take your inhaler correctly below!

Based on the study "Inhalation Technique Errors with Metered-Dose Inhalers Among Patients with Obstructive Lung Diseases: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of U.S. Studies" there are a few common errors made by members using inhalers. The top technique errors found in the study include:

1. Not breathing out all the way before using the inhaler (65.5%)

About 66 out of 100 people didn't breathe out fully before using their inhaler.

2. Not holding breath for 5-10 seconds after inhaling (41.9%)

About 42 out of 100 people didn't hold their breath for 5 to 10 seconds after using the inhaler.

3. Not breathing in slowly and deeply (39.4%)

About 39 out of 100 people didn't take slow, deep breaths when using their inhaler.

4. Not breathing out after using the inhaler (35.9%)

About 36 out of 100 people forgot to breathe out after taking their inhaler.

5. Not shaking the inhaler before use (34.2%)

About 34 out of 100 people didn’t shake their inhaler before using it.

6. Not repeating the steps for a second puff (43.2%)

About 43 out of 100 people didn’t do the steps again for a second puff from their inhaler.

7. Incorrect timing when pressing the inhaler

A few people didn't press the inhaler at the right time while breathing in.

8. Taking the inhaler or spacer out of the mouth too quickly

Some people took the inhaler or spacer out of their mouth too soon after using it.

What can we learn from this?

Using an inhaler right is very important for it to work well. Most people need to remember to breathe out all the way before using their inhaler, and then breathe in slowly and deeply. It's also important to hold your breath for a little bit, like 5 to 10 seconds, after using the inhaler.

Before you even start, make sure to shake the inhaler and attach a spacer if you need one. Doing all these steps the right way helps the medicine work the best for you! Want to learn if your asthma is under control? Take lung.orgs assessment today!

Need help?

Do you need more support in creating and following an asthma action plan? Our care team is here to help. Have you downloaded the app? Send us a message through the Spotlight app for iOS or Spotlight app for Android. If not, call us at (410) 348-1905 or send us an email.

The content on this site is not and should not be considered medical advice or a substitute for individual medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should always talk to your health care provider(s) for diagnosis and treatment, including information regarding which drugs, therapy, or other treatment may be appropriate for you. Learn more here.

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