Dr.Kamini Silvarajan MD/AAAM

Editorial Board: Dr.Kamini Silvarajan MD/AAAM

Asthma Sufferers Inhalers

Asthma inhalers have become a genuine life savers for many sufferers. It is a part of the management process and sufferers always have them on hand in case an attack is imminent. To asthmatics, inhalers are like what anti-venom is to snake bites.

The best known inhaler is a canister, that delivers a metered dose. Worldwide this provides a welcome safety net for millions, young and old sufferers s worldwide. Other types include a device which emits a powder when inhaled while asthma medication, a nebulizer is distributed as a mist

How Do Inhalers Work?

The history of the asthma inhaler back dates to well over one hundred years. It has undergone a lot of improvements during that time but the basic principle has remained the same. It is only been recently that the compound used in these inhalers, CFC, is being switched over to halo carbons which in some variety of inhalers is said to deliver a greater rate of absorption and potency.

During an asthma attack, the constriction of the muscles in the bronchial tubes makes it difficult to breathe. The action of a bronchodilator helps relax the muscles, opening up the airways thus enabling the sufferer to breathe better and easier. In many cases, athletes who suffer from asthma will use their inhalers before and during sport. 

It was only recently during an Aussie Rules play-off game that one of the games star players was seen using his inhaler. The fact that he was playing sport at the elite level again emphasized the fact that asthma does not have to control your quality of life.

Doctors will also encourage sufferers to use their inhalers before going to bed at night and early in the morning, preferably when they wake up.

While bronchodilators are appropriate for short term relief, corticosteroids provide relief long term. They act by preventing the bronchial tubes from reconstructing and is generally metered out in a powder form. For best results, the use of both is usually recommended by medical practitioners.

Using Inhalers Correctly Is Critical

Careful attention must be taken for first time user of Asthma inhalers. Though the inhaler may look simple to use, timing is very important. During an attack, a sufferer do not have time to think about the situation and will react instinctively when reaching for his/her inhaler.

The mouthpiece is simply placed in the mouth but as the button or tube is being pressed, the user is required to breathe in strongly in unison with the press down motion. 

This enables the medicine to reach the lungs and following its release from the inhaler, the user will usually exhale just as strongly. Again, timing is critical during the exhale motion because if it happens too early then valuable medicine is lost in the process.

The aim of the inhaler is to get the sufferer to breath normal again as quickly as possible. So describing how to use an inhaler properly may seem a little trivial to some but to an asthma sufferer it’s critical.

At most times people forget that asthma is a killer and the trusty inhaler has been responsible for saving more than one life during its inception.