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What would you tell someone about using their inhaler for the first time?

  1. It's hard to synchronize with your breathing at first. Try starting to inhale first before activating the inhaler. A spacer can help a lot but no one ever tells you how to use the spacer at first. Best thing to know is that you can take that deep breath when you're ready to. Watch the counter. So many times, I've checked to see that I'm a puff away from being out -- or worse, out and didn't realize I was using an empty inhaler. Try to have at least two inhalers in the house.

    1. Excellent explanation, Caroly - thanks so much for posting it. I'm certain others will read your post and gain some insight into utilizing inhalers, whether they're first-timers or not.
      Leon (site moderator)

    2. Well said, caroly. I have lots of patients with inhalers and no spacer. So, it does seem that many doctors forget to prescribe those. It's good to be an advocate for yourself and ask for one. Like you, I'm guilty of my inhaler running out. I'm guilty of this even with inhalers with a counter. Sometimes (oftentimes) the best advice comes from personal experience. In such cases, it's always good to have a spare (and hopefully it's not hidden in the couch). John. Site Moderator.

  2. Thanks Caroly!
    I'll just add that there are multiple types of inhalers out there with different ways to use.
    YouTube offers videos that instruct about using specific inhalers. I'd also advise the new patient to ask their doctor/RT to demonstrate after they buy the inhaler.

    Also, MDIs have to be shaken before use.

    1. Thanks for your post, WheezyMe and for adding the extra information about 'using inhalers for the first time'. You contribution is welcome and spot on as well. All the best,
      Leon (site moderator)

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