June 03, 2021 How-To

How To Use Your Asthma Inhaler

An estimated 1.5 million adults and 400,000 children in New York State have asthma. But asthma can be controlled by managing your medications and knowing your triggers.

You can use an inhaler with or without a spacer. Spacers help the medication get straight to where it’s needed in your lungs, with less medication ending up in your mouth and throat where it can lead to irritation or mild infections. A spacer can also make it easier to coordinate breathing in and pressing your puffer. Ask your doctor if a spacer is right for you.

The CDC offers the tools needed to properly use your inhaler.

Here are the steps on how to use an inhaler by itself with modifications for using an inhaler with a spacer.

  1. Take the cap off the inhaler and inspect it to make sure the mouthpiece is clean.
  2. Shake the inhaler 10-15 times. If you’re using a spacer, attach the inhaler mouthpiece to the end of the spacer now.
  3. Without the inhaler, take a deep breath and breathe out all of the way.
  4. Hold the inhaler upright and place the inhaler in your mouth, above your tongue, and between your teeth. Seal your lips around the inhaler.
  5. Breathe in deep as you press down on the top of the inhaler one time to release one dose of medicine. Keep breathing in all the air your lungs can hold. Make sure to tilt your chin upward slightly while doing this step if you are using a spacer.
  6. Hold your breath for 5-10 seconds, or as long as you can.
  7. Open your mouth and breathe out slowly.

You can also watch these techniques in video tutorials by the CDC.

It is crucial to familiarize yourself with how to use your inhaler to get the most benefit. CDPHP® offers resources to help you and your family control your asthma and live your healthiest lives.

Elise Shaver
About the Author

Elise Shaver joined CDPHP® in February 2021 as a marketing communications coordinator and currently serves as communications specialist. A native of the Capital Region, Elise earned her bachelor’s degree in marketing from Siena College. She brings several years of experience in both the marketing and not-for-profit industry. Elise enjoys the outdoors, gardening, and spending time with her family.

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