Using a spacer in public: Question for... - Asthma UK communi...

Asthma UK community forum
15,679 members20,395 posts

Using a spacer in public


Question for people who use a spacer with their inhaler(s) - what do you usually do if you need your inhaler in a busy place, assuming it’s not an emergency? Do you just use it anyway, or try and find somewhere secluded (e.g. a toilet cubicle) where others are unlikely to stare? Or do you use your inhaler without the spacer?

I’m off to the football later, for the first time since I was diagnosed, and I know that the seat I’m in is up a lot of stairs. I’ll be ok, but my breathing isn’t great today, so I’m pretty sure I’ll need my inhaler, possibly even part way up, and it occurred to me that while I’ve seen people using inhalers in public, I’ve never seen anyone using one with a spacer in public before.

16 Replies
EmmaF91Community Ambassador

Take it with you but if you’re already feeling dodgy take your pump now/before you start the climb. I use my pump with spacer in public and no one really notices/cares/comments (have done on a train, bus, when in school during class, in shops/on the street and at dance class to name a few places 😅). The few times I’ve been asked what it is I explain it’s a spacer and makes me better at breathing in the medicine and also gives me less side effects. The only irritation is getting a bag carrying it about (the main reason you probs haven’t seem anyone take it without a spacer in public is cause they don’t have it with them 😅).

Hope that helps and have fun at the footie

I use my reliever with a spacer in public when I need to. Some people look but tend not to stare but I don't care. Being able to breathe easier is more important to me.

Hi Red_Bear

I had this problem with spacers too... but not massively with people staring more with problems at work.

I work in a job where I just couldn’t carry something so big on me at the times I needed to.

I explained this to my asthma guys and after trying a few smaller/more discrete spacers I’ve settled on using a salamol easy breathe inhaler.

It’s great as you don’t need a spacer or the timing you would with an MDI you just open the lid, inhale.. job done! Close the lid and your ready to go again..

It has been great and the lid is fixed to the inhaler so you don’t loose that either!

Hope you get sorted soon.



Oops.. just realised that you were not just talking about ventolin.. sorry!! 😜

but if you have steroid /combined inhaler there should be a little more wiggle room to take it before you go.. as they tend to be a bit longer acting than the vent..

Sorry for mix up!


I use my spacer when and where I need to these days. I was originally worried about using it at work but mostly my colleagues are understanding. Generally if they see me using it they ask if I am OK or if I need help.

My biggest issue is finding a way to carry it round while keeping it clean.

In public spaces people do stare but it's a natural reaction and not necessarily negative. People mostly don't even realise they are doing it.

I have used it with a spacer in public. Truth be told I do feel a bit silly, but I rather take it when needed than not. I am also working on learning to take before I go out when I know I am meeting an obstacle, and when I do it helps.

It is hard a t first, but just sue my spacer wherever, at work, the underground... Wherever. Needs must.

I always use my spacer and wherever I am (tube, plane, ecc) , no one cares at me. And if this should happen, I don't really care as it's important for my health.

As previous comments don't worry if you need to use your inhaler use it wherever you are. I take my inhaler and spacer with me everywhere including football matches and take it if I feel wheezy. If you are worried about climbing stairs take a puff somewhere quiet before you start climbing. When I go to football matches I have to climb three flights of stairs and then go on an escalator. Can get cold so also remember to scarfie. Your health is more important than the worry of the possibility of people staring at you. Don't worry and enjoy the game

Occasionally I have had to do that, although the new puffer I’m on called Trelegy, has been fabulous and vastly reduced my need for rescue inhalers. What I do is get it out of my bag, then just turn to the side like a smoker often does. I think people realise you need that medication.


Maintaining your health is paramount.

I use my spacer like EmmaF91 in public... i do think it is more effective using a spacer and has helped control my asthma better than not using it. I am a secondary school teacher and i use mine in class if necessary and once i explained the pupils just accepted it. I wad nervous at first about using it in public but explain if someone asks and if they stare try not to care as it is there to save you life. I am lucky as my colleagues are so supportive too. Overall, my main advice- be brave and use your spacer- it is a lifesaver!

I use a areochamer plus. Not sure if this is the same as the spacer you mean? Any how I purchased this bag on amazon. Yes it's small but I managed to get areochamber, peak flow and 3 inhalers in. I did have to remove the PF mouth piece. It doesn't take all it shows in the promo photos so be mindful of ordering.

If you need to use your spacer then do so. I would use it before the stair climb though.

I always use my spacer, even if I’m somewhere very busy. I’m not about to end up in the hospital because I didn’t use my meds optimally.

I can remember the first time I needed to use my blue (ventolin) inhaler. I felt so embarrased. But I needed to take it so simply stood to the side, away from the mainstream of people, took it out of my bag and cupped my hand to try to hide it.

Absolutely no-one took any notice at all! What a relief.

I think it is good to educate other people that it is a normal part of many people's lives. There is no shame, no need for anyone to do any thing, you are doing what you need to do to keep it in control.

I recently had to pee in public due to a personal emergency... I'm a lot more relaxed about using my inhaler in pubic 😂😂😂😂😂😂

You may also like...