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Monday, July 16, 2012

Breathing in slow vs fast

This is my little friend, it goes on every trip with me. And I use it EVERY morning before breakfast. It's my daily, maintenance medication (so called because it maintains my lungs and prevents swelling in them).

But it's a little different than rescue inhalers.  Click here for a link to the American Academy of Asthma Allergy and Immunology's website that shows different rescue inhalers. The most common are Albuterol, and the brands are Pro-Air, Proventil, or Ventolin. Xopenex is another rescue inhaler, but it's a different medication.

Rescue inhalers are used during an asthma attack, but as Asthma Doc so often tells me, they are just a "bandaid" approach until you can get the swelling down in your lungs.

So, I take Advair every day to keep the swelling down in my lungs. But it has to be taken very differently than a rescue inhaler. Click here for a Youtube link from the American College of Physicians Foundation. Since it's a dry powder medication, you have to inhale deep and fast. Unlike rescue inhalers, Advair doesn't have a propellant. So you have to breath deep and fast to avoid having the powder stick to your tongue or throat. You want it to go down into your lungs. Click here for another Youtube video from a pediatrician's office that explains how to use Advair. She says "speed" is important when using your Advair disc. She also plugs her nose when she inhales, but I don't do that.

Remember to rinse your mouth out and spit it out. Otherwise, you can get thrush (an infection that turns your tongue white and causes lesions.) It can be really painful!

Check with your doctor or pharmacist and make sure you are using Advair correctly. Otherwise you are wasting time and money. And you need to keep the swelling down in your lungs, otherwise your next asthma attack could be worse. And who wants to spend the night in the emergency room? Or worse, have to be admitted. I can think of better places to spend my time...

So, I'll keep taking my Advair every day, and making sure I have my rescue inhaler with me too, just in case. With asthma, you never know when an attack can come. And it's always at the worse time!

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