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British Lung Foundation
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Aero Chamber Plus Spacer

Having recently purchased one of these to use with my Ventolin inhaler, I today read online that these spacers are no longer being recommended by the NHS. Has anyone else heard this? Can anyone recommend another brand? Also there seems to be conflicting instructions on how to wash this spacer, the manufacturers state once a month and I have read other reviews which vary from every use to that time stated. Am really confused and don't know what to do for the best!!!

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Hi

Just looked at NHS website no references to not using spacer. Still showing Aero Chamber video on how to use.

Aero chamber should be cleaned as instructions, and allow to air dry.

There was no need to purchase your own you can get a prescription from your GP. May be good point to ask what device is recommended by your GP.

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Sorry Stone, my reply to you seems to have disapppeared! Didn't want you to think I was being rude in not answering - managed to navigate the NHS site after your comment and could see that was the one I have got. I think Shadow has got it right. Thanks for your input as I hadn't thought of looking on the NHS site.

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I recently was given a cheaper one on prescription I coudnt use it so I ask for aero chamber like I normally have ,Perhaps they are changing to a cheaper option has many people do get their spacer on the NHS x

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Thanks Shadow, I think you may be right! On reflection it was a review that I was reading and it seemed the person that was writing it had been prescribed a spacer. It would seem that many GPs are using any excuse to lower their costs. I remember many years ago now my father was taken off his blood pressure tablets that had been working forever for him but our GP was honest and said it was because of the expense - she put him on something else that made him very ill - he resorted to paying for his own medication to be able to go back to his original state of health and he was retired. It does go to prove though that this is not a new thing with the NHS and has been building up for many, many years. I tend to pay out for the sake of expediency a lot of the time, but recognise that a lot of people are not fortunate enough to be able to do that.

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I had been using a Volumatic spacer for donkey's years when I saw a friend using a AeroChamber Plus which was a lot smaller. I asked my doctor if I could have one but he advised me to stick with larger one because it was a lot more effective. A new respiratory nurse was appoint a few months ago and gave me a couple of AeroChamber to use because they would take less room (she knew I had a campervan). She also changed my Ipratroium inhaler to a 30 Seebri Breezhaler which together with the recent hot spell very nearly finished me off. I've now lost all confidence in my GP's surgery, who can't be bothered to see me until next month. I reckon that if I hadn't have learnt a few tricks of the trade from the folk on this group, I would have been gone by now.

Oh well, he was nearly 86 you know. :-o

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I don't have a great deal of confidence in my surgery either, Don. Fortunately I have enjoyed excellent health until now and had no need to go to the docs for twenty-seven years since my youngest was born. There was no-one there on the staff that I knew and it had changed from a 'two-women band' to about 10 gp's but still didn't really want to give you the time of day. I Am in the process of changing to my husband's practice, albeit a big one, he has had excellent care from them in the last couple of years, one of which was a skin cancer scare which turned out to be benign but the treatment was great and they wasted no time in sorting it out. This forum seems to be a great wealth of information and friendly too.

Hope you're feeling better after that hot spell, didn't do me a lot of good either!

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I think NHS health care has gone backwards because of cuts we are being put at risk to save a penny I wish I was rich lol . I dont even bother with the GP now because of the long wait to see my doctor and if I had a emergency I would be seen by nurse or paramedic who just brushed me off I know its wrong but if I get really ill again I will go to AE xx

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I don't think it's wrong to try and get some attention if you are really ill and if that means A & E. then so be it, that's what it is there for - emergencies whether the powers at be like it or not! We had our A&E changed to a minor injuries unit a few years ago, nearest A&E is about 13 miles away through the most horrendous traffic unless taken ill in the middle of the night so ambulance would be the only way if you wanted to get there alive! My husband worked for the ambulance service until retirement a couple of years ago and it was nothing unusual for people to actually come to the door day or night asking for help from a paramedic because they couldn't get appointments at the GPs. This is not a recent thing as this was going on a long time before the NHS was constantly in the news over lack of services. Steady spiral downwards.

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Hello there Annie, just seen my local lung nurse yesterday, who congratulated me using the small spacer but informed me the technique I was using was out dated, apparently we need to put it into our mouths press our inhaler once or twice depending on the dose we normally have and then breath in then out 5 times while keeping the spacer mouthpiece in our mouths, I thought at first it was a bit excessive but found I did seem to get a better relief from my ventolin, but you will need to check if this technique is suitable for the preventer or your drug regime. All the best.

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Hi Alaura - I actually, again!, read something along those lines a few days ago but can't remember where, maybe asthma site? This was press the inhaler once, breathe in and hold for 10 seconds but if this was uncomfortable, to then breathe in and out 5 times whilst keeping the mouthpiece in the mouth. I thought perhaps you would lose some oomph! or some would escape but the article claimed it was just as effective. I haven't actually tried that yet! This then went on to say for a repeat puff do it the way it has always been advocated. Maybe they have found many people are having difficulty holding their breath for 10 seconds - I know I get a bit panicky sometimes depending on how I feel.

How often do you wash your aerochamber?

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Hi

Your are referring to using the inhaler on its own, press your inhaler at the same time as taking a breath.hold for ten seconds, then repeat.

Few people have good hand to breath co-ordination, hence the use of a spacer.

There are two acceptable methods for use.

Fit inhaler to spacer, release medication take one slow steady inhalation, keeping below the sound of the whistle.

Repeat for second dose.

Second method release medication and use normal tidal breathing, four slow steady breaths will empty the chamber.

Repeat for second dose.

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Sorry, did not make myself clear, I was referring to using the inhaler with the spacer, not the inhaler on its own.

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Hello there Annie, my nurse told me yesterday that I obviously have not had a review for ages as I used the old press pump, breath deeply and slowly for ten seconds then repeat method, she instructed me to press my inhaler twice into the chamber at the same time starting to breath in then out a total of five times keeping it in my mouth, I had another appointment today and a different nurse got me to use the same technique, I do have to say I was a wee bit sceptical but did find more relief, I think maybe the principle behind it is that you only actually get about 10 to 20% of the medication making it to your lungs so increasing the amount of breaths you take will increase the amount getting in? though I do not know for sure, they are discovering new things all the time, as for how often do I wash my spacer in all honesty about once every week or so, before bed and leave to drain over night. All the best.

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Does that mean we have one double dose rather than two separate x

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I think that is what is meant! Please anyone correct us if that is wrong!

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I'm going to try it!

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On my PR course, the nurses told us that using the 4/5 slow, steady breaths means more of the medication is inhaled. They even said it doesn't matter if there's a slight delay between pressing the inhaler and commencing breathing.

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Do not breathe INTO the aerochamber, so as not to iintroduce germs into it.

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I did wonder about this myself and I have actually seen two different versions on you-tube. One was a boy tidal-breathing with his mouth constantly around the mouthpiece and the other woman breathing out taking the mouthpiece out of her mouth, then going back to the spacer and taking more breaths followed by breathing out again away from the spacer - surely you are breathing the stuff back out again straightaway so I couldn't see the sense in that.

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That is what I remember from the instructions that came with the Aero chamber.

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I think the breathing in and out five times method is designed for people who can't get the timing right when pressing the inhaler. Not everyone can press and start inhaling at exactly the right spilt second followed by a 10 second wait..

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Again, another reply disappeared! So, absolutely Don! My coordination is not as it was and getting anxious about the timing made it worse hence the spacer!

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If Aero Chamber Plus Spacer became unavailable on prescription, I would buy it myself. I like the compact size. Only con of it is that it takes AGES to dry.

I use it with the one deep breath BUT convert to tidal breathing if a cough or similar interupts it.

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I'm not 'au fait' yet with the jargon so is tidal breathing - in and out through the mouth? First time I've heard this expression.

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yes

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Well if I can't get a spacer I can't take my inhalers A because I get really sore throats and B because I can't co- ordinate it properly . I got a new one a couple of months ago , I wash my every couple of weeks xx

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I don't think you will have a problem having one prescribed unless your GP is trying to cut costs. I would like to think that won't happen too often for folk, as surely it would be wasted resources if people can't get the proper benefit of their medication and would therefore be using more and so costing the GPs budget more in the long term - seems a bit shortsighted to me.

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I have both but prefer smaller one as I can pipit in my bag . I agree it would be so foolish of them to do that' as people having to have extra care and asthma is something not to be messed with , you can die . I'm so hot I need to get in front of my fan and get cool xx

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There are 2 different sizes of Aero Chamber Plus. One being a good bit smaller than the other.

I remember going to the respiratory clinic years ago and the nurses laughed at my aero chamber but did not give any explanation.

I have to use a face mask with mine and with the larger of the two there is no option to use without.

The smaller one fits my bag better but is not as good in my opinion. Neither is any use for carrying in a pocket though.

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Is the smaller one originally meant for children? Mine just fits into a pencil case.

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I'm not sure, I don't think so from what I've read. I think it was invented so that it would be more transportable and convenient. I keep mine in a smallish material-lined makeup bag but it's still too big for my handbag - looks like I will be looking for a bigger bag!

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It is about 6 inches without the mask so would not fit a pencil case.

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Just measured mine and it is just over 5 1/2 inches.

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There does seem to be some conflicting opinions on the efficacy of the smaller version that I have. Maybe it's just a case of what you are used to it or that which you can handle better - for me I haven't had another one to compare with. I agree that it would be too bulky for a pocket thereby being more awkward for a gent to carry unless they have a man-bag of course!! It wouldn't be any good for a small woman's bag either.

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I had to have 1 doctor prescribed 1 because the nurse at my yearly check up said i had to use spacer as i was finding the powder inhalers seems to stick in my throat so have spacer with new liquid inhalers. I wash mine weekly as it seems to become so cloudy inside by then was a pain to soak & still it was cloudy so now bought a toothbrush which i keep for the job & genty scrub the film inside of spacer off.

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I do the inside of mine with a piece of J Cloth wrapped around a knife. Gets rid of the residue quite easily.

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Thanks for you input!

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Thanks for your input!

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We were told at rehab dont rinse the soap of the spacer has it will help stop the build up of residue x

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Shadow - !'ve since watched a you-tube demonstration of cleaning this spacer and it was how you were informed at rehab, wash gently or soak for 15 minutes and then simply leave to air dry and leave the soap on the inside, not to wipe it out or rinse.

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Oh, I'm sure it said in the cleaning instructions to rinse under warm tap.

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Hi Moogie, no as shadow has said, I remember that from the you-tube demo, but please check if you're not happy with that

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Just looked up the current patient leaflet and it doesn't say to rinse it anymore. Well thanks to health unlocked I know not to rinse next time but it will feel odd leaving out that step

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Moogle - I had to ask and check on you-tube because I threw out the instructions with the bag by accident!! I've only had it a week!

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I got mine last September. At first I tried without one and I was rubbish. I could start inhaling at right time but the shock of it entering my mouth messed everything up lol

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I completely panicked as I got anxious about trying to do it right!! Then couldn't hold my breath for the 10 seconds!

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Thanks so much for everyone's input - I didn't expect this much help at all and it has certainly answered a lot of my queries and concerns. I am going to get another one because have taken note of the drying time after washing - just to be on the safe side as I can't get on with the inhaler without using the spacer! You are a great bunch of people!

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This is an add-on to my comment above! I have since come to the conclusion that I am going to experiment on how to use and wash this equipment and do what seems to be working for me. I have watched so many videos on how to use and wash both the inhaler and aerochamber and the variation in instructions from bona-fide organisations, agencies and the instructions you good people have been given, is incredible. The disparity is unsettling to me given this is supposed to be a medical aid. I want to know I am using and cleaning it correctly to derive the greatest benefit as I assume we all do so why isn't there one set of rules - I appreciate there there is progress and updates but it would make sense if all the professionals and organisations/agencies were working from the same hymn-sheet!

Thanks again to all for your help.

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Now that's not one I've heard or seen on my sojourns trawling through the internet!! Lol! Something else to confuse the issue!

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oh, it makes you wonder if they are testing different methods and then changing advice

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It certainly does, but it's not very helpful is it!

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Received a new aerochamber yesterday and the instructions were to clean the whole apparatus in warm soapy water for 15 minutes, drain without rinsing and leave to air dry....... I just don't know what to make of it all!

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Just follow directions.

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Will do, but a bit of a joke though!

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