Why inhaler technique matters for playing sports

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April 14, 2024

Having asthma symptoms like coughing or wheezing can slow you down or stop you when you play sports. Using your controller inhaler correctly every day can help prevent these symptoms, so you can focus on the game, not on your breathing. For the medicine in your inhaler to work, it has to get deep into your lungs. It seems like that should be easy - just take a breath! But there are several important things you have to do to release the medicine and breathe at the right time to get the medicine deep into your lungs. Did you know less than half of inhaler users actually use them the right way? We're here to change that! We want you to nail your inhaler technique, ensuring every puff of medicine reaches deep into your lungs for the full benefit.

Is it possible for people to only get asthma only with exercise?

Some people only notice their asthma when they exercise. The signs (coughing, wheezing, tightness of the chest) usually start 10 to 15 minutes after they begin working out and can take over an hour to go away. Watch the video below to learn about how Angelica's boys improve their asthma technique through the program!

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Tips for lowering your chances of getting a reaction when playing sports

1. Learn how to take your controller inhaler so that the medicine gets to your lungs. Take your controller inhaler every day to keep your asthma symptoms controlled!

2. Think about when and where you exercise – If it's really cold or the air feels dry, your asthma might act up more. Wearing something like a loose scarf over your nose and mouth can help on cold days. Also, try to stay away from dirty air or places with lots of pollen or mold!

3. Warm up first – Doing some warm-up exercises beforehand can help some people avoid asthma symptoms. This doesn't work for everyone, but it's worth a try!

A few mistakes people make when using an inhaler

1. Having most of the medicine end up on your tongue or in your throat. This happens for two different reasons: 1) when the timing of the spray and taking a breath are not coordinated or 2) when the breath is too short. 

2. Not holding your breath after inhaling the medicine. Holding your breath for 5-10 seconds after breathing in medicine from certain inhalers. Not holding your breath lowers the amount of medicine that stays in your lungs.

3. Not taking your controller inhaler as prescribed. Make sure you know how many times a day you are supposed to take your inhaler and how many puffs each time. 

There are several steps for different inhaler types and devices. To check to see if you are using your inhaler correctly, visit this website, click on the type of inhaler you use, and watch the video before your next dose. Watch the video again while you take your medication each day and follow the steps until it's a habit! Want a nurse to check out your inhaler technique and offer tips? We can do that through video messages! Call the Scene care team today to learn more! 

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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