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Inhalers and It’s use in Lung Patients

Updated: Feb 27

WHAT IS AN INHALER USED FOR?

  • Inhalers are a common method of delivering inhaled medication.If you have a lung condition, as part of your treatment you may inhale medications to clear your airways, relieve your symptoms and prevent flare-ups.

  • Inhalers are used for treating many lung diseases like COPD, cystic fibrosis, and more.

  • Inhalers can deliver medication in an aerosol or dry powder form which can be orally inhaled.

  • There is a wide range of medication that is available as inhalers which may differ depending on the condition or the disease type.



WHY ARE INHALERS PRESCRIBED?

  • Inhalers are used for treating and managing symptoms of both acute and chronic diseases which includes asthma, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease), emphysema, bronchitis, etc

  • With inhalers, the medicine goes directly to the airways and the lungs.

  • Because of this, a less dosage of medicine is required as compared to pills, leading to fewer side effects.


TYPES OF INHALERS


There are mainly three types of inhalers that are classified based on the way that they work

1. Pressurized Metered-Dose Inhalers (pMDIs)

This is the most commonly used inhaler which consists of a pressurized canister that contains medication mixed with aerosol propellants that are released as a spray with the press of a button.

Metered-dose inhalers are also commonly referred to as an inhaler pump or asthma pumps since they act just like a pump.

  • MIDs must be properly used with good co-ordination with hand and inhalation, else the medicine does not reach the lungs and settles in the mouth no throat, giving rise to chances of fungal infections

  • A spacer, which is a tube-like device that is attached to the inhaler where medication can be sprayed into.

  • Spacers are generally recommended to make the use of metered-dose inhalers easier and more effective to use so the medication can be inhaled properly without much of the dose going to waste.


2. Dry Powder Inhalers (DPIs)

  • Dry powder inhalers are quite different from metered-dose inhalers in the way they deliver the medication.

  • Instead of the medication being an aerosol, these inhalers contain the medicine in a dry powder form which can be inhaled.


3. Breath-Actuated Inhalers (BAIs)

  • Breath-actuated inhaler refers to inhalers that can release the medication when you breathe in.

  • Breath-actuated metered-dose inhalers combine the benefits of MDIs like the compactness, portability, and the abilityto have multiple doses while overcoming the major disadvantage of pMDIs, the need for coordination.


HOW TO USE AN MDI INHALER WITH A SPACER?

  • Shake it for 5 seconds

  • Put the inhaler into the spacer

  • Hold the inhaler up with your index finger on top and your thumb underneath to support it.

  • Breathe out.

  • Put the mouthpiece between your teeth, and close your lips tightly around the spacer. (Make sure your tongue doesn’t block the opening.)

  • Press the top down and breathe in until your lungs fill completely about 3-5 seconds.

  • Hold the medicine in your lungs as long as you can (5-10 seconds is good), then breathe out.

  • If you don’t get enough air in the first breath, wait 15-30 seconds and try again. Shake the inhaler again before the second puff.

  • Recap the mouthpiece.

  • If your medicine has a steroid in it, rinse your mouth and gargle with water after you use the inhaler. Spit out the water.

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