Asthma sufferers put at risk by poor inhaler useRuth Mabhiza
Asthma sufferers put at risk by poor inhaler use.
MORE than a million Britons risk having a potentially deadly asthma attack because of poor inhaler technique, a charity has warned.
“With so many different types of inhaler which are all used in different ways, it can be difficult for patients and healthcare professionals to know the correct way to use them.”
He added: It’s also easy for patients to get into bad habits or simply forget the best technique, especially if they have a new type of inhaler.”
If the inhaler is not positioned correctly, the medicine may stay in a person’s mouth or throat, meaning the full dose does not reach the lungs.
This can lead to side effects such as oral thrush and a sore throat.
Other mistakes include breathing too forcefully or not forcefully enough, not breathing in deeply, or not preparing the inhaler properly, such as shaking it before use.
National guidelines say patients should get their inhaler technique checked during a yearly review with either their GP or an asthma nurse.
Dr Whittamore said: “Even a small tweak to how someone uses their inhaler can make a huge difference and could prevent them having a life-threatening asthma attack.
“We’re urging people with asthma and healthcare professionals to watch the videos so they feel confident in how people can use their inhalers to stay well.”
Father-of-three Paul Wilson missed sessions on good inhaler technique – and ended up in hospital 48 times and had to be resuscitated on 25 occasions.
The youth worker, 44, from Beith, near Glasgow, said: “Looking back, I was just taking a puff and hoping for the best.”
Paul finally discovered that only 10-20 per cent of the medicine was reaching his lungs.
He said: “They showed me the correct inhaler technique and gave me a spacer to use, and the difference it has made to my asthma is incredible. I even ran the London Marathon for Asthma UK last year.
“I never thought that something so simple could completely turn my life around.”
Misuse can lead to side effects such as oral thrush and a sore throat
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