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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Are you using your inhaler correctly?

I must say that I was a little smug when I heard about a telehealth that the Utah Deparment of Health's Asthma Program offers. They have different professionals that present lectures once a quarter.

This one was on inhaler technique. The pharmacist had statistics from several studies that show anywhere from 50-90% of patients, doctors and even pharmacists don't know how to use an inhaler properly. I hate to admit it, but I think I was one of them!

They list several common mistakes, the one I make is that I don't breathe in slightly BEFORE I depress the inhaler. The propellant comes out at 50 miles per hour, so if you don't start breathing in, the medicine can go to the back of your throat.

The other mistake many people make is to breathe in quickly since the medicine comes out quickly. You need to breath in SLOWLY, usually 3 to 5 seconds.

The pharmacist said both of these go against your normal instinct, so you need to "fight your instinct" when you use your inhaler. There are a lot of other very useful things, he shows different types of inhalers, spacers and even peak flow meters.

Here's the link if you are interested, just click on the telehealth from May 3rd that says "In the World of Asthma, Device matters."

Enjoy! And pass the popcorn!


  1. I agree, it's a really informative webinar and Dr. Young does a great job explaining proper inhaler technique. Great resource!

  2. It just goes to show that you can always learn something new when it comes to asthma!