When you have asthma, your inhaler really could save your life. But it's important to make sure you're using it in a way that provides you with the maximum effect. If you feel that your inhaler is not delivering as much relief as it should, try following these tips for success.
Remember to shake before every puff.
If you do not shake the inhaler, you may just get a lot of air -- and not the right dose of medication. If you need multiple puffs, make sure you shake the inhaler prior to each puff, rather than only before the first one.
Make sure your chin is pointed forward.
Don't look down or to the side when using your inhaler. Sit with your face pointed forward and your chin up. This way, the path from your mouth to your airways will be more clear, allowing the medication to travel more freely as you inhale.
Don't press your tongue against the mouthpiece.
Your tongue should be pressed firmly against the bottom of your mouth, rather than placed against the mouthpiece. If your tongue is against the inhaler, it may stop some or all of the medication from making its way into your airways -- and you'll get a foul taste on your tongue.
Clear your inhaler with a few puffs if you haven't used it in a while.
If it has been more than a few days since you last used your inhaler, release a puff or two into the air before using it. This will clear out any blockages in the inhaler so you're sure to get the entire intended dose of the medication.
Keep inhaling after the puff.
Don't stop inhaling as soon as you press the inhaler button. Keep inhaling until you can't fit anymore air in your lungs. This way, you know you've inhaled the entirety of the medication. If you stop inhaling too soon, some of the medication may settle too far up in your airways (or mouth) to have an effect.
Hold your breath after inhaling.
Do not breathe out immediately after inhaling the puff -- you'll just breathe the medication right out again. Hold your breath for a couple of seconds, and then breathe out slowly and steadily.
Rinse your mouth afterwards.
The medication in your inhaler is not meant to linger in your mouth and may cause soreness and a hoarse voice if you don't rinse your mouth out.
To learn more, contact a company like Aerospan RX.