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How Do You Know if You’re Using Your Inhaler Correctly?


People suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or any other respiratory problem usually make use of a device called Metered Dose Inhaler or Dry Powder Inhaler. They take their medications through these devices.

What is a Metered Dose Inhaler?
This is a handheld device that delivers medication in specific amount in the form of aerosol instead of pill or capsule. It is composed of a pressurized canister housed in a plastic case with an attached mouthpiece. It makes use of a chemical propellant to push the medication out of the device. Pressing the device while inhaling through the mouthpiece delivers the medication directly to the lungs.

What is a Dry Powder Inhaler?
For some medications that can be taken in the form of dry powder instead of aerosol are used through a dry powder inhaler, also a handheld device. This delivers the medication to the lungs but there are no propellants.

How do I Use these Inhalers Correctly?

Here you’ll find the general steps to follow when you’re using a metered dose inhaler:

Suggested Treatment/Relief:


1. Remove the cap from the inhaler.

2. Shake the inhaler device for a few seconds.

3. Hold the inhaler with your index finger on the top part of the canister, with the thumb on the bottom of the mouthpiece.

4. Tilt your back a little and exhale.

5. Bring the inhaler to your mouth, placing the mouthpiece between your teeth. Close your mouth around it.

6. Start to breathe in slowly while pressing the top of the inhaler once. Continue breathing in slowly until you’ve taken one full breath.

7. Remove the inhaler from your mouth. Hold your breath for a few seconds before breathing out.

Now for the dry powder inhaler, here are the steps to follow:

1. Remove the cap from the inhaler.

2. Load a dose of medicine. The dosage should be prescribed by the doctor.

3. Turn your head and breathe out. Try to empty your lungs.

4. Place the inhaler in your mouth. Close your mouth around it so no medicine can escape through gaps.

5. Breathe in once with just your mouth. It should be one deep and fast breath.

6. Remove the inhaler from your mouth. Hold your breath for 10 seconds before slowly releasing your breath.

Important Reminders

• Keep your inhalers in a place where you can easily get it, but not somewhere where kids can reach it.

• Show your doctor how you’re using your inhaler to find out if you’re doing it right.

• Store the inhaler in room temperature.

• Never break or puncture the canister.

• Write the start date on the canister of the metered dose inhaler.

• Always check the expiry date on the metered dose inhaler before using it.

• Do not use a spacer for dry powder inhaler. It’s only designed for metered dose inhaler.

• Never blow air into your inhaler.

Using the inhaler correctly is important to ensure that you’re getting the right dosage you need for the treatment of your condition.


How Do You Know if You’re Using Your Inhaler Correctly?

Suggested Treatment/Relief:





Relevant Topix: 
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease  COPD  Lungs  Respiratory  





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