Sign in

Rescue Inhaler Revolution: Redefining Emergency Asthma Care

Rescue Inhaler Revolution: Redefining Emergency Asthma Care

Rescue inhaler, also known as a reliever inhaler, is a handheld medical device that delivers medication rapidly to open up airways during an asthma attack or flare-up. These inhalers contain short-acting bronchodilators that relax and widen the muscles around the lungs' airways within a few minutes of use. The medication allows easier breathing by reducing swelling and tightness in the airways caused by asthma.

Common Types of Inhalers

The two most common types of inhalers contain albuterol or levalbuterol. Both are forms of bronchodilators classified as short-acting beta2-agonists (SABAs). Albuterol is the generic name for the drug available over-the-counter, while levalbuterol is a purified form available by prescription. Other less common inhalers may contain medications like pirbuterol. The action of relieving bronchospasms during an asthma exacerbation is essentially the same across these different SABA medications in a inhaler.

How to Use a Inhaler

Proper use of a inhaler is important to ensure the medication effectively reaches the airways. Here are the basic steps:

1. Remove the inhaler cap and shake well before each puff. This ensures an even dose of medication.

2. Stand or sit up straight and breathe all the way out.

3. Place the mouthpiece between your lips and inhale deeply through pursed lips. Do not inhale through your nose.

4. Hold your breath for 10 seconds to allow medication time to reach airways. Then breathe out slowly.

5. If additional puffs are needed, wait 1 minute between puffs. Do not exceed recommendations on product label.

6. Rinse your mouth after use to reduce side effects like sore throat.

7. Record use details like date and time in an asthma action plan or diary.

When to Use a Inhaler

A inhaler should be used on an as-needed basis when symptoms of an asthma exacerbation occur like coughing, wheezing, chest tightness or shortness of breath. It provides quick relief but does not prevent or control underlying asthma. Using it more than 2 times a week may indicate inadequate maintenance medication or uncontrolled asthma requiring treatment adjustments.

Signs of an upcoming or ongoing asthma attack that warrant using a inhaler include:

- Increased use of shoulder or chest muscles while breathing.

- Talking in short phrases or difficulty speaking full sentences.

- Rapid or heavy breathing.

- Wheezing sounds when exhaling.

Inhalers are meant for short-term symptom relief, not long-term daily use. Patients should work with their doctor to establish an asthma action plan delineating appropriate usage of both reliever and controller medications.

Potential Side Effects

While inhalers provide needed relief for asthma symptoms, overuse can lead to side effects:

- Shakiness or nervousness from the stimulating effects of the bronchodilator medication.

- Dry mouth or throat irritation from the local effects of inhaled medication on tissues.

- Infrequent headaches from vasodilation effects reducing blood pressure.

- Rarely, tremors or palpitations in sensitive individuals.

These side effects are temporary and typically resolve once the medication wears off. More serious reactions like fast heart rate or dizziness may indicate overuse requiring medical attention. Proper administration technique and adherence to usage guidelines in an asthma action plan can help minimize side effects.

Caring for Your Inhaler

To ensure inhalers remain effective for acute symptoms, they need proper storage and care:

- Store upright in a dry, room temperature place away from direct heat or sunlight. High temperatures can degrade the medication.

- Check the expiration date regularly and replace inhalers before this date. Medication breaks down over time.

- Clean the mouthpiece monthly with warm water and allow to air dry completely before replacing cap.

- Never submerge the entire inhaler in water which can damage internal components.

- Take inhalers on trips or outings in case of an asthma episode away from home.

- Tell your doctor if inhaler doesn't seem to be helping or if you use it more than 2 times per week on average. You may need a prescription adjustment.

With correct technique and responsible self-management, a inhaler is an invaluable tool for controlling asthma symptoms and improving quality of life. Working closely with your healthcare provider ensures safe and effective usage.

In Summary, rescue inhalers play a crucial role in managing acute respiratory symptoms and preventing life-threatening asthma attacks. These compact devices deliver fast-acting medication directly to the airways, providing rapid relief from bronchoconstriction and improving airflow. With their convenient design and quick onset of action, inhalers offer reassurance and empowerment to individuals with respiratory conditions, allowing them to navigate daily challenges with greater confidence and peace of mind.

Zupyak is the world’s largest content marketing community, with over 400 000 members and 3 million articles. Explore and get your content discovered.
Read more