Techniques

It’s important to use your inhalers and other devices correctly to ensure you are getting the right dose of your medicine. These videos and tips demonstrate the right technique to use a spacer as well as a range of inhalers.

How to use a spacer

There are two techniques for using a spacer and both work well.

One (deep) breath technique – most common for adults in daily use

Four breath technique – used by children or anyone when breathless

No matter what technique you are using, make sure you only put one puff of medicine into your spacer at a time. If you put more than one puff in, the medicine sticks together and then drops to the bottom of the spacer before you have time to breathe it in.

How to use a Spacer with a facemask

How to use your inhaler

Medicine for asthma is most commonly taken through an inhaler, which gets the medicine straight into your lungs where it is needed. There are lots of different inhalers and it is very important that you know how to use yours properly. Up to 90 per cent of people are thought to use their inhalers incorrectly, which means the dose of medicine isn’t getting into the lungs.

Check the videos and tips below for the best way to use your type of inhaler.

Puffer

A puffer, or ‘metered dose inhaler’, is the most common type of inhaler. Puffers can also be used with a spacer to get more of the medicine into the lungs. See tips above for how to use a spacer.

Autohaler

An autohaler is an L-shaped inhaler that works automatically when you start to breathe in. This means you don’t need to squeeze the device and worry about getting the timing right like you do with a puffer.

Accuhaler

An accuhaler is a circular plastic inhaler that is available with a number of different medicines. It has a counter to show how many doses are left. You need to be able to breathe in strongly so it’s not suitable for young children.

Turbuhaler

A turbuhaler is a rocket-shaped inhaler that is available with a number of different medicines. It has a counter to show how many doses are left. You need to be able to breathe in strongly so it’s not suitable for young children.

Ellipta

An Ellipta is a box-shaped inhaler with a counter on the front. When you open the cap a dose is loaded ready for you to breathe in.

Respimat

Respimat is the device that delivers spiriva. It also has a dose counter. The device works by pressing the dose button at the same time as taking a slow inhalation.

Spiromax

Something else?

If your medicine isn’t listed here, it might be that it’s not commonly prescribed for asthma. Call or email 1800 ASTHMA to get more information on the less common medicines from an Asthma Educator, or you can also ask your doctor to explain more about your medicine.