Health Tip: Use Your Inhaler Correctly

-- People with asthma are often prescribed a metered-dose inhaler. It is important to know how to use an inhaler correctly to ensure that you get the proper amount of medicine to help you breathe.

Here are some guidelines from the American Academy of Family Physicians:

  • Remove the cap and shake the canister, holding it upright.
  • Slightly tilt your head backward, and exhale.
  • Hold the inhaler an inch or so from your mouth, in your mouth with a spacer, or place the inhaler directly in your mouth.
  • As you slowly inhale for three to five seconds, press down on the top of the inhaler.
  • Hold your breath for about 10 seconds to allow the medicine to fill your lungs.
  • Repeat these steps if directed by your doctor.

Posted: July 2007


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