How to use a metered dose inhaler

Inhalers play a crucial role in managing respiratory conditions like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), offering a direct and efficient way to deliver medication to the lungs. Among the various types of inhalers, the metered dose inhaler (MDI) is a widely used device known for its convenience and effectiveness. Learning the proper technique for using a metered dose inhaler is essential to ensure that the medication reaches the lungs optimally. 

Start by removing the cap from the inhaler and checking the mouthpiece for any dust or debris. If it’s the first time you’re using the inhaler or if it hasn’t been used for a while, a quick shake is recommended to ensure that the medication is well-mixed. 

Stand or sit in an upright position, ensuring that you are comfortable and can breathe easily. If your healthcare provider has prescribed a spacer device, attach it to the inhaler according to the instructions provided. 

Before using the inhaler, it’s important to exhale fully to empty your lungs. This ensures that there is enough space for the medication to reach your airways effectively. 

Now, place the mouthpiece of the inhaler between your teeth, ensuring a tight seal with your lips. If you are using a spacer, put the mouthpiece of the spacer in your mouth. 

Press down on the canister to release the medication while simultaneously inhaling slowly and deeply through your mouth. It’s crucial to coordinate the act of pressing the canister with the start of your inhalation to ensure that the medication is carried deep into your lungs. 

After inhaling the medication, hold your breath for about 10 seconds. This allows the medication to settle in your airways before exhaling slowly. 

If your healthcare provider has prescribed multiple puffs, wait for the recommended interval before taking another puff. If a second puff is needed, repeat the process. 

After using the inhaler, replace the cap to protect the mouthpiece from dust and debris. If you’re using a spacer, detach it and rinse it as per the instructions to keep it clean. It’s crucial to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions regarding the frequency and dosage of your inhaler use. If you have any concerns or questions about using your metered dose inhaler, don’t hesitate to consult with your healthcare professional for personalized guidance. Mastering the proper technique ensures that you receive the full benefits of your medication, promoting optimal respiratory health and symptom management.