Asthma is a chronic inflammation of the lungs. It can make it difficult to breathe, wheeze, and cause chest tightness. The best way to control asthma is to have a good plan that includes taking medication as prescribed by your doctor. A rescue inhaler is one of the medications used in an asthma management plan.
Rescue inhalers are usually used only when needed, when asthma symptoms flare up. They are fast-acting and can help to quickly prevent an asthma attack. It is important to know how to correctly use a rescue inhaler so that you get the maximum benefit from it.
What is an inhaler?
An inhaler is a device that delivers medication directly into your lungs. It works by releasing medicine in the form of a mist or aerosol so that it can quickly be absorbed into your lungs. The medicine helps to open up the airways, allowing you to breathe more easily.
When should I use my rescue inhaler?
Your doctor will tell you when it is appropriate to use your rescue inhaler. Generally, it should be used when asthma symptoms such as wheezing, chest tightness, or shortness of breath occur. It can also be used before exercising if your doctor has prescribed it for this purpose.
How to use your rescue inhaler
Using an inhaler the wrong way can reduce its effectiveness. Follow these steps to make sure you are using your inhaler correctly:
- Take off the inhaler cap and make sure the mouthpiece and spray hole are clean.
- Shake the inhaler 10 to 15 times.
- Without the inhaler, take a deep breath and breathe out all the way.
- Hold the inhaler upright with the spray hole about 1-2 inches away from your mouth.
- Begin to breathe in slowly.
- Press down on the inhaler one time and keep breathing in.
- Hold your breath for 5-10 seconds.
- Open your mouth and breathe out slowly.
Make sure you understand how to use your rescue inhaler correctly, and take your preventative medications as prescribed to reduce the frequency of exacerbations. Talk with one of our medical experts if you have any questions or concerns regarding how to use your rescue inhaler correctly.