Doctor shares inhaler using tips for treating asthma, other respiratory problems
Did you know it is very important to follow the right inhaler technique so that the medicine reaches out to the lungs? Since proper inhaler technique is crucial for effective management of asthma and other respiratory problems, here are some health tips given by doctor to use inhalers the right way
A major noncommunicable disease (NCD), affecting both children and adults, asthma is caused due to inflammation and narrowing of the small airways in the lungs and its symptoms could range from cough to wheeze, shortness of breath and chest tightness. According to the World Health Organization, inhaled medication can control asthma symptoms and allow people with asthma to lead a normal, active life.
According to the WHO, it was estimated that more than 339 million people had asthma globally and there were 417,918 deaths at the global level in 2016 while according to Global Asthma Report, 2018, in India’s 1.31 billion people, about 6% of children and 2% of adults had asthma. With an estimated 1.5-2 crore asthma patients across the globe, at least one in every 10 asthma patients globally lives in India and its prevalence in children is far more disappointing.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Rajendra Suagat, TB, Asthma and Chest Specialist Assistance Professor at Bikaner's PBM Hospital, shared, “It is very important for an asthmatic patient to use their inhalers regularly. The regular use of inhalers not only minimises the risk of asthma attacks but also keeps other problems linked to poorly controlled asthma in check. However, effective use of inhalers requires proper inhalation techniques.”
He added, “There is a prevalence of inhaler mishandling in a large population which keeps them at risk of respiratory problems. One should follow their doctor’s advice to use their inhalers properly and regularly as prescribed. It is very important to follow the right inhaler technique so that the medicine reaches out to the lungs. Proper inhaler technique is crucial for effective management of asthma and other respiratory problems.”
“Most doctors often recommend using inhalers which can help control the condition and prevent it from aggravating to more severe stages that can be fatal. It is also essential to keep in mind some expert suggestions if you are an asthmatic patient who uses inhalers regularly.”
He listed these expert tips on using the right type of inhaler in the right technique:
1. Control inhaler: used on a day-to-day basis
These inhalers are primarily used to prevent any flare-ups and avoid symptoms from getting worse. Your doctor may advise you to use them once or twice a day, depending on the severity of your condition. It takes about 2 to 4 weeks for the drug to cause any positive impact.
2. Rescue inhaler: used for quick relief
If you are experiencing any sudden asthma symptoms, a rescue inhaler will help you relive them and help you breathe normally. One should not use rescue inhalers daily but only for emergencies that cause asthmatic triggers.
3. Indulging in intensive activities
If you are involved in activities like exercising, swimming, singing, or cycling, which needs a tremendous intake of oxygen, try and use our rescue inhaler 15 to 30 minutes before the activity. Always carry your inhaler wherever you go and, more importantly, exercise regularly to boost your immunity and lung capacity. Be aware of following a protocol as advised by your doctor.
4. Using the right technique
To effectively treat your asthma, it is essential to follow the right technique of using inhalers. Various inhalers such as Metered-dose inhalers (MDIs), Dry powder Inhalers (DPIs), and nebulizers have various ways in which one should take the inhaled medication. Ask your doctor for a demonstration or any medical expert who can guide you.
5. Cleaning your inhaler
After each use, wash the mouthpiece with warm water and let it dry completely before attaching back the canister. Be sure to remove any remaining water present before using it.
6. Expiry of inhalers
Most inhalers have an expiry date of up to 1 year but be sure to check the same on the box. Expired inhalers are safe to use, but it is best to replace them since they might be ineffective after exposure to humidity, extreme weather conditions, etc.