Asthma is the disease affecting the airways. This condition is known to be caused by hyper-reactivity of the airways and it is characterized by inflammation and narrowing of the airways. Most doctors advise their patients to use inhaler devices to manage their asthma. Inhalers produce aerosol of the drug and delivers the medication exactly on the spot where it is needed – the airways. This way, there are significantly less adverse effects than using some oral drugs. Also, it takes less time for the drug to act when needed than to wait for the pills to get into the stomach, get metabolized and then work on asthma.
How to Choose Asthma Inhaler?
Patients have various combination of devices and drugs available. Most of them choose inhalers in the clinic, while consulting their doctor. This way, patient will learn how to properly use inhaler. Every time the patient checks up at his or her doctor’s he should demonstrate the use of inhaler device. In some cases, improper usage of inadequate training of the patient may cause lack of drug efficiency or even complete failure of prescribed treatment. Doctors should keep in mind education, physical ability and experiences of each particular patient and try to teach them how to use inhaler device efficiently.
Also, doctors should always choose simple language and make sure the patient understood what they were explaining. These instructions should be repeated every time the patient comes in for consult and everyone in the doctor’s office should be giving the same advice.
The dose of the inhaled steroid medication (corticosteroid) should be the lowest possible which still have therapeutic effects on specific patient’s asthma.
Inhaler Types and Colors
There are 3 different types of inhalers, including metered dose inhalers or MDI, dry powder inhalers and nebulisers. MDI devices can be either spaces or breath actuated, while dry powder inhalers can be single or multi-dose devices. Nebulisers are usually reserved for the treatment of elderly patients or for severe cases of asthma and these can be ultrasonic or compressor driven.
According to the class of drug present in the device, inhalers can be blue, purple/red, white, green, brown, orange or burgundy. Blue inhalers contain short acting beta agonist medication, while white and purple/red inhalers contain combination of long acting beta agonist and some corticosteroid. Green inhalers contain only long acting beta agonist. If the inhaler is brown, burgundy or orange, it means that this device contains corticosteroid drug.