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Managing Asthma

Understanding Medications

Using an Inhaler with a Spacer - VHL HealthSheet #82455_VA
To control asthma, you need to use your medications the right way. Some medications are inhaled using a device called a metered-dose inhaler (MDI). Metered-dose inhalers use a fine spray to dispense medication. You may be asked to use a spacer (holding tube) with your inhaler. The spacer helps make sure all the medication you need goes into your lungs. Follow these steps.
Using an Inhaler without a Spacer - VHL HealthSheet #82457_VA
An inhaler is a pressurized sprayer that delivers a measured amount of medication. Follow these steps if you're using an inhaler without a spacer.
Caring for Your Inhaler - VHL HealthSheet #82453_VA
Two things to remember if you use an inhaler: keep it clean and keep track of how much medicine is left, so you don't run out.
Using Dry-Powder Inhalers (DPIs) - VHL HealthSheet #86203_VA
Dry-powder inhalers use tiny grains of powder to dispense medication. These inhalers don’t require spacers. They often have counters that track how many doses you use. Keep in mind that dry-powder inhalers don’t all work the same way. So be sure you know how to use yours properly.
Metered-Dose Inhaler - VHL Video
An MDI is the most commonly used inhaler in treating lung diseases such as asthma and COPD. Unfortunately, many people who need an inhaler do not use it correctly, so they don't receive the full benefit of the medication. Watch this video to learn the best way to use your inhaler.
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Did You Know?

Don’t substitute an over-the-counter inhaler (one that does not require a prescription) for your prescribed asthma medication. OTC inhalers may contain ingredients that could interact with other medications you take.

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