Using Your Inhalers

Asthma Inhalers

Asthma inhalers are devices that help adults and children control their asthma symptoms. These small hand-held devices deliver medication to your lungs.
 
 
How to Use Inhalers
(1) Select Language
(2) Select Type of Inhaler
 
Inhalers — Woman using inhaler in Bakersfield, CA
 
 

Metered Dose Inhaler

1. Remove cap from inhaler
2. Shake the inhaler for a few seconds
3. Place your index finger on the top of the canister and thumb on the bottom of the mouthpiece
4. Tilt your head back slightly and breathe out
5. Put your lips around the mouth of inhaler and seal your lips
6. Breathe in and out slowly through your mouth one time
 
Asthma Inhalers — Blue Inhaler in Bakersfield, CA
 
7. Press down on the inhaler as you breathe in slowly and deeply- about 3 to 5 seconds, and remove inhaler from mouth
8. Hold your breath for at least 10 seconds then slowly exhale
9. If instructed by doctor, wait 1 minute and repeat steps 2 through 8
10. Replace the cap on the inhaler
11. Rinse mouth, gargle, and spit with water (for corticosteroid inhalers)
 

Metered Dose Inhaler with Spacer

1. Remove the cap from the inhaler
2. Shake the inhaler for a few seconds
3. Put inhaler into the open end of the spacer
4. Breathe out completely
5. Put your lips around the mouth of spacer and seal your lips
6. Press the canister one time
 
Metered Dose Inhaler — Old Man using inhaler in Bakersfield, CA
 
7. Breathe in slowly through your mouth for 3-5 seconds and remove the spacer from mouth
8. Hold your breath for at least 10 seconds then slowly breathe out
9. If you need 2 puffs, wait 1 minute and repeat steps 3-8
10. Remove the inhaler from the spacer and replace the caps on the inhaler and spacer
 

How to Care for the Inhaler and Spacer

  1. Use a dry cloth to wipe away powder or residue from inhaler
  2. Clean once a week or more if needed
  3. Remove the soft ring at the end of the spacer
  4. Rinse the ring and spacer in warm water
  5. Let the ring and spacer air dry
  6. Do not store your inhaler near heat or an open flame
 
Inhaler with Spacer — Purple Inhaler in Bakersfield, CA
 

How to Care for the Inhaler and Spacer

  • Slide the lever away from you until you hear a click
  • Keep the diskus flat
  • Turn your head and blow out as much air as you can
  • Put the inhaler up to your mouth, your lips around the opening
  • Using your mouth, breathe in once, very deep and fast
  • Take your mouth off the inhaler and hold your breath for at least 10 seconds. Slowly breathe out
  • Repeat steps 2-7 if you need to take 2 puffs
  • Close the diskus
  • Rinse mouth with water and spit