If you are a sufferer of asthma, you will appreciate how it feels to have tightness in the chest or to grasp for air. With the help of the right asthma medication it is possible to prevent these symptoms, which is available in either long-term or quick-relief controlled medications. Most of the medications that come in inhaled form are meant to be used on a daily basis to assist in keeping the airways clear and healthy at all times. Even if no symptoms exist it is still recommended to take a daily dose of medication. Due to the nature of the inhaled medication, it is directed straight to the area it is most needed, the bronchial tubes, which is what is needed to open the airways. Also, a further benefit to the asthma suffer is that a standard asthma inhaler comes with less side-effects than alternative medication take by injection or by mouth.
Let's look at the three most common inhalation devices for the asthma sufferer -
Metered-dose Inhaler (MDI) - the most commonly used of the three basic types of asthma inhalation devices is the metered-dose inhaler which relies on a chemical propellant to drive a short-burst of medication out of the inhaler, which is then inhaled by the patient.
Dry Powder Inhaler (DPI) - these inhalers draw-in a dose of medication by using the patients own breath, which needs to be a strong and fast inhalation. A downside to this type of inhaler is the cost, often more expensive than the MDIs and can also these devices are always practical if a patients lung function is compromised, for instance if suffering an asthma attack, a patient might find it difficult to generate sufficient airflow to inhale the medication.
Nebulizer - a nebulizer is a breathing machine used to administer a fine liquid mist into a patient's lungs. A patient uses a facemask or mouthpiece to help deliver the medication which is drawn into the lungs using oxygen or air under pressure. Nebulizer's in battery or electric form are the most expensive of the three inhalation devices and come in several different sizes and shapes.
Irrespective of which device is used, it is important to use the inhaler in the correct manner to ensure the ideal dosage of medication reaches the lungs. Improper usage can have the result of a less medication getting into the lungs than required. For all medical devices it is vital to educate yourself with the right usage techniques, which can be learnt by reading the instructions that come with the inhaler or discussing the mater with your doctor.