What is Open Airways? Here's a quote from American Lung Association's website:
The American Lung Association's Open Airways For Schools program educates and empowers children through a fun and interactive approach to asthma self-management. It teaches children with asthma ages 8-11 how to detect the warning signs of asthma, avoid their triggers and make decisions about their health.
The session I taught was last year, but one of the students remembered me when he saw me at a county fair. He said, "Do you remember me from the Open Airways class?" Yes, I did! He said that he didn't have an inhaler when the Open Airways course started, but talked to his mom about getting one so he could use it at school if he had an asthma attack there.
He got one, but he was having a hard time using it, because every time he tried to take a puff from his inhaler, the spray of medicine would land on his tongue. Well, one of the things we teach the students about is the importance of using a spacer. It's a tube that fits on the inhaler and it gets the medicine down into your lungs. Without a spacer, you have to try to time it just right so you know when to breathe in, and when to press on your inhaler. With a spacer, you just press the inhaler which sends a puff of medicine into the spacer, then you can easily breathe it in.
The medicine in an inhaler comes out at 50 miles per hour. So, if you don't time it just right, the medicine will land on your tongue or the back of your throat. When you use the spacer, you breathe in deeper, drawing the medicine down into your lungs.
Spacers are pretty cheap, mine was $20. It makes a BIG difference in making sure the medicine gets to my lungs and not the back of my throat.
If you don't have one, talk to your doctor about getting one. You will feel the difference in how your medicine works. And that's important when you are having an asthma attack. You want the medicine in the right spot, otherwise you are just wasting your inhaler.
The spacer is a little bulky, so I use a big purse to carry everything. But I am so glad I have it when I need it!!