General Articles



How do inhalers work? — Inhalers work by spraying medicine that a person then breathes into his or her lungs. But metered dose inhalers and dry powder inhalers spray medicine in different ways.

Most metered dose inhalers spray medicine when a person presses down on the top of the canister.

Dry powder inhalers spray medicine when a person takes a deep breath in from the inhaler. (One metered dose inhaler works the same way as dry powder inhalers.)

How do I use an inhaler? — The directions for using metered dose inhalers and dry powder inhalers are different. Your doctor or nurse will show you how to use your inhaler.

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It’s important to follow all your doctor’s directions when you use your inhaler, so that the medicine gets into your lungs.

When should I use my inhaler? — Your doctor or nurse will make a treatment plan that tells you when to use your inhaler. Some inhalers are used right away when symptoms start, to treat those symptoms. Other inhalers are used every day, to help control symptoms long-term and prevent future symptoms.

If you have any questions about when or how to use your inhaler, talk with your doctor or nurse.

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