Asthma UK community forum
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Inhaler technique

Hi everyone

I've had asthma for a year not (I'm 64) and when I was diagnosed at the hospital I was told to use a spacer with ventolin as well as steroid inhaler. So I carry a spacer as well as ventolin all the time. I'm fed up with this! The problem is that I'm useless without the spacer. However I position the inhaler it just hits my tongue. I saw the practice nurse yesterday who gave me a practice inhaler (apparently just has air in). It still hits either my tongue or the roof of my mouth. What I want to know is does it always do this to some extent or should I not feel/taste it at all? And, if it does hit either is it useless or will it work eventually through my system?

4 Replies

I am totally rubbish at taking ventolin without a spacer! I don't think it should taste when you take it, presumaby it doesn't taste with the spacer?? If the drug ends up in your mouth it won't do so much good as it would in your lungs and you might get more side effects as well.

If you are fed up with carrying a spacer, (they are hardly small and discrete), you could ask to try different types of inhalers. I think they probably start you off with ventolin MDIs as they are really cheap. There are different types of inhalers which are much easier to take, like turbohalers.



I use a dry powder turboinhaler as my preventer (symbicort) and dry powder accuhaler ventolin inhaler - both are breath activated so you just breathe in, no need to co-ordinate breathing and pushing down on the MDI's - much easier and less chance of hitting one's tongue or roof of mouth :o)



I too use turbo inhalers, they are much easier to administer.


Mardi, have you tried an Able Spacer - it's a small volume spacer that opens up to store an inhaler so might be easier to carry around.

(see photo in link - the spacer is available on prescription)

I find the Aerochamber more effective though if using a spacer as it's slightly larger, but a smaller spacer might be better than using the inhaler on it's own.

Using the inhaler on its own, try to start breathing in just before pressing down the canister, and perhaps tilting your head back slightly might help too. I usually feel the spray in a soft sort of way rather than as a cold blast (which happens when mistimed) and don't usually taste anything.

Hope that helps.


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