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design and improvements of asthma inhalers - advice appreciated


Sorry to interfere in your asthma community forum. I must say I personally don't suffer from Asthma myself but have family close by who suffer - so asthma is not unfamiliar to me.

I'm an Industrial Designer with an educational background from St. Martins in London and the owner of Lylover design. Currently I'm working on improving the design and concepts of asthma inhalers - more specific turbohalers and for this I would appreciate any feedback or experience you would like to share about suffering from asthma and using turbohalers.

During my research I have so far identified several concerning topics:

- Medical / uncool look of turbohalers minimise peoples interest in using them in public

- Unconvenient size of turbohalers - size too big to carry ie in a pair of jeans or in your pocket.

- Insecurity by being afraid of asthma attacks or forgetting your medicine.

Comments for above topics would be highly appreciated. Have you had any personal experience or recollect the topics?

What are the most annoying issue regarding Turbohalers? The daily use? Remembering useing the inhalers? Design and size of the turbohalers?

Where do yo normally keep your inhalers in order to remember bring it with you?

In your words - what is the most beautiful products you own? And what would your ideal turbohaler be like?

I'm very interested in hearing any feedback, ideas and experiences - getting inspiration from you as daily users gives me the best ever option to develop the best useable and best looking produkt.

I hope you can find time to help with research for my product development. I plan to feature the design development on my website: lylover.com in a special project log-in section.

Please have a look at my web-site and send me a personal e-mail if you would like to get more involved in this development and get acces to the project page.

Thanks in advance

Kenneth Lylover

Industrial Designer ma(csm) mdd

14 Replies

hi ,

in my experience , my turbohaler is rather anoying as its difficult to store whilst im out and about.

unlike other inhalers , there is not a puffa pouch made to fit the inhaler which would be so much easier.

i face the situation that next week i go on holiday to the new forest with my family , in which we all intend to do a lot of cycling , which i do enjoy but can find diffficult because of my asthma . so i idealy would like to be able to put my turbohaler round my neck so that it is easier to acess wen i need it . unfortunatly there is no possible way the turbohaler can be around my neck which would be so much more convienient.

however the reason i changed from a meterd dose inhaler to the turbohaler was again for ease , metered dose inhalers were not as fast reacting as my current turbohalers in which have saved me from some close aatacks because i have been able to take my inhaler quicker .

i feel that in my sistuation my turbohaler is great for ease of getting the medication but the good old metered dose inhaler works out to be better for storage.

a rather long post sorry! but to conclude i feel a way of storage that is easily accesible , like the puffa pouch, would be a great idea for turbohaler users like myself.


tinks x


I have recently changed over to turbohaler for reliever but have been using torbos for long-acting and steroids for a long time. It is much easier just being able to shake the inhaler, twist and click then use it rather than having to use a spacer as with my old inhalers. i also like it having a the marker on it to shoe when it is nearly empty rather than the old ones which still sounded as if something was in it even when there wasn't. I find bricanyl is more effective than the salbutamol and don't need so many puffs in an emergency. It is bulky though and doesn't fit in a pocket so easily so I always need to carry a bag. My old ventolin used to fit nicely in the mobile phone pocket so was always easily accessible but the turbo is too big for that which means it sometimes ends up at the bottom of my bag and harder to grab quickly. It is also very bulky in my work uniform when I have to fit so much else into just 1 pocket too, including keys.


A suitable carrier for a turbohaler would be a mini baby sock on a lanyard or one of those mobile phone socks.

The turbohaler does look a bit like something you could buy in a certain shop selling lingerie among other things...........................


:-o Kate!


I feel embarrassed about using my DPI turbo inhalers – bricanyl and symbicort - in public, for the aforementioned (LOL Kate) ‘suggested’ reason(!) – far more so than when I was able to use MDI and differently shaped inhalers, although I still felt embarrassed but not for the same reason!

So my advice is to make the shape of DPI turbohalers less suggestive!

From a shy and retiring sort of Mia


A different design or carry case would be great! I take my morning medicine dose at work and find it difficult to fit in my handbag and I also find it embarassing to take due to the design!

I remember saying to my chest consultant when he first suggested it, that I was reluctant to start using it to due to how it looked and his reply was

""yes, it does look rather like a pritstick doesn't it?!""

not quite what I had in mind, lol!


*Has never seen Symbicort for sale in Ann Summers :-S*

Not that I've ever been in Ann Summers! Advertisements!


No it would have been in the 'private shop' you wanted a job in in Nottingham instead surely Vicky?


*takes cover*


Hi Lylover,

As a professional involved with children and young people, I would agree with what the others have said & do know of adolescent girls particularly who won't use it because of the comments then made by others who see them using it.

From my point of view, the turbo haler takes the most inspirational effort to get the optimum dose out of the device i.e. around 60 litres where as others hand held breath activated devices only need about 30. So you can see when you are having an attack they are not the easiest to get relief from. The same goes for just using MDI - puffers straight into the mouth even the best technique can give you as little as 4%. There are some great devices out there but not always with drugs used in asthma. What is needed is something that is easy to get a good amount of the dose, easy to carry, has some form of counter device on it, not complicated to use in a panic and does not need a spacer as well. Also some people dont like powder type whilst others dont like aerosol so to add to the wish list, the choice of either. Oh dont forget cost as the PCT etc wont buy anthing costly when they would feel there are others out there cheaper regardless of the efficacy of them.

I would be very interested to see how you get on.



Hi guys,

I'd like to thank you all for your valuable feedbacks - it's very appreciated. I will look through them all carefully and use your ideas and feedback in planning my design of inhalers.

I promise I will keep you updated when I get further with the project anf I have something interesting to show - please do expect some delays since a design project in this scale is rather time consuming. Please feel free to send me a reminder, or get in contact if you come up with more valuable feedback at info(at)lylover.com - You can also check-out my company website at lylover.com.

Once again - thank you all for your help.



Regarding carying pouches for Turbohalers, in the latest edition of Asthma Magazine, there is an interview with Bill Bailey, comedian & Musician where he says 'trying to design a pouch for it so its not rattling around in my pocket - perhaps a holster..'

I still think a turbo- sock is a good design concept!



If ever there was an oxymoron worthy of the name of ‘turbo-sock’ then this is the one! Great idea Kate.

Love the name, the idea, and perhaps a logo?



Thanks Mia!

I will see if I can get my paws on a Turbohaler or one of the demo models and make a 'Turbo-Sock'! Now all I need to find is a cheap source of small baby tube socks.... what this space!


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