Diabetics Trust
How Do Inhalers Work?

How Do Inhalers Work?

You might be wondering how do inhalers work. Inhalers are medical devices used to deliver medication directly into the lungs. They commonly treat respiratory conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and bronchitis. Inhalers come in various forms and can be used to deliver different types of medication.

The purpose of inhalers is to deliver the medication quickly to the lungs, where it can be quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and provide fast-acting relief of symptoms. Inhalers are also useful for preventing symptoms before they start, such as with a preventer inhaler for asthma.

Types of Inhalers

Several types of inhalers are available, each with its unique mechanism of action.

1. Metered Dose Inhalers (MDIs)

The most common type of inhaler uses a pressurized canister to deliver a measured dose of medication in the form of a spray or mist. The canister is activated by pressing down a lever, releasing the medication into the mouthpiece. MDIs are typically used to deliver bronchodilators, medications that relax the muscles in the airways, making breathing easier.

2. Dry Powder Inhalers (DPIs)

They deliver medication in the form of a powder. The powder is inhaled through the mouthpiece, which is absorbed into the lungs. DPIs are activated by inhaling deeply and forcefully, drawing the powder into the lungs. They are commonly used to deliver corticosteroids, medications that reduce inflammation in the airways.

3. Soft Mist Inhalers (SMIs)

SMIs are a newer type of inhaler that delivers medication in the form of a fine mist. The mist is created by ultrasonic vibration and is inhaled through the mouthpiece. SMIs are activated by inhaling deeply and forcefully. They are typically used to deliver bronchodilators and corticosteroids.

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Types of Inhalers

How Do Inhalers Work

Inhalers deliver medication directly to the lungs, where it can be quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. When medication is inhaled, it travels down the trachea and into the lungs, where it is absorbed by the tiny air sacs called alveoli. Then medication enters the bloodstream and travels to the rest of the body.

Steps To Use Metered Dose Inhalers

  • Shake the inhaler well before each use.
  • Remove the cap from the mouthpiece of the inhaler.
  • Hold the inhaler upright and away from your face.
  • Take a deep breath in and exhale completely.
  • Place the inhaler’s mouthpiece in your mouth, between your teeth and tongue, and seal your lips around it.
  • Press down on the canister with your thumb to release the medication while inhaling deeply and steadily.
  • Hold your breath for a few seconds after inhaling the medication to allow it to reach deep into your lungs.
  • Repeat steps 3-7 if you need to take another dose.

Replace the cap on the mouthpiece of the inhaler after each use

Keep in mind: MDIs require coordination between pressing down on the lever and inhaling.

Regularly clean the mouthpiece of your inhaler to prevent blockages. You can also refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for proper use, cleaning, and storage of the inhaler.

Steps To Use Dry Powder Inhalers

The steps for using a dry powder inhaler (DPI) are as follows:

  • Remove the cover from the mouthpiece of the inhaler.
  • Keep the inhaler upright at a distance from your face.
  • Inhale deeply, then exhale completely.
  • Place the inhaler’s mouthpiece and seal your lips around it.
  • Inhale deeply and forcefully through the mouthpiece.
  • Hold your breath for a few seconds to allow it to reach deep into the lungs.
  • Repeat steps 3-6 for another dose.
  • Replace the cover on the mouthpiece of the inhaler after each use.

Make sure: Check the inhaler’s expiration date and replace it if it is expired.

Also, remember that different types of dry powder inhalers may have different instructions, so it’s important to read the instructions provided with your specific inhaler.

Steps To Use Soft Mist Inhalers

  • Remove the inhaler from the packaging and ensure the battery is inserted or charged.
  • Take the cap off the mouthpiece.
  • Shake the inhaler well before each use.
  • Hold the inhaler upright, with the mouthpiece pointing towards your mouth.
  • Take a deep breath in and exhale completely.
  • Place the mouthpiece of the inhaler in your mouth, between your teeth and your tongue, and seal your lips around it.
  • Press the button on the inhaler to release the medication while inhaling deeply and steadily.
  • Hold your breath for a few seconds after inhaling the medication to allow it to reach deep into your lungs.
  • Repeat steps 3-8 if you require the next dose.
  • Replace the cap on the inhaler’s mouthpiece after each use and store it in a clean and dry place.

SMIs don’t need coordination between pressing down on the lever and inhaling, making them more convenient to use than other inhalers.

How Do Inhalers Work

Advantages of Inhalers

1. Inhalers deliver medication directly to the lungs, where it can be quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. It allows fast-acting relief of symptoms, such as difficulty breathing or wheezing.

2. Many inhalers are designed to be easy to use and require minimal coordination. It makes them convenient for people of all ages, including children and older adults.

3. You can use inhalers with other medications, such as oral bronchodilators or corticosteroids. It helps a multi-faceted approach to treating respiratory conditions.

4. Inhalers deliver medication directly to the lungs, reducing the amount of medication absorbed into the bloodstream and thus reducing the potential for side effects.

Disadvantages of Inhalers

1. Some inhalers, such as metered-dose inhalers, require coordination between pressing down on the lever and inhaling. It can be difficult for some people, particularly older adults or children.

2. Inhalers can be costly, particularly if not covered by insurance.

3. Inhalers are small and easily misplaced or damaged. It is important to keep them in a safe and secure place.

4. Some inhalers may need to be replaced frequently, such as when the canister is empty, or the device is no longer functioning properly.

Last Words

Several types of inhalers are available, each with its unique mechanism of action. It is important to consult a healthcare provider for proper inhaler technique and selection.

Proper use and maintenance of inhalers are crucial to ensure they work properly and last longer.

If you have unused inhalers, you can make a positive impact by selling them to Diabetic Trust; we will sell them to patients at an affordable price. It’s a win-win situation that allows you to make a difference and make the most of your investment.

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