Using an inhaler is the most common way of taking asthma medicines. It is also a very effective way because inhaling the medicine takes it straight into your lungs.
It is important that you use your inhaler properly. Your doctor or asthma nurse should explain how to use your inhaler so that every dose you take gives you the most benefit. It's very common to experience problems using inhalers. Talk to your doctor, asthma nurse or pharmacist and they will be able to check your inhaler technique or may give you a different inhaler. You can also see how to use your inhaler in our inhaler technique films below.
If you have arthritis in your hand, or have difficulty holding the inhaler, a device like the Haleraid or Turboaid might be useful. The Haleraid fits onto some spray-type inhalers. It allows you to release medicines by applying pressure with the palm of your hand. This can be easier than pressing the canister down. Your doctor or asthma nurse will be able to advise you. The Haleraid is not available on prescription, but your pharmacist can order it direct from the manufacturers, Allen & Hanburys. Your pharmacist can also order the Turboaid from the manufacturers, Astra Zeneca.
Spacers make aerosol inhalers easier to use and more effective. They trap the medicine inside the spacer, so you don't have to worry about pressing the inhaler and breathing in at exactly the same time. There are two types of spacer, a large and small volume. Spacers are available on prescription, so ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist for details.
For more information on how to use your inhalers, please see our video selection below:
- Have a look at our 'how to use your spacer' films below.
- Read more about spacers