World Asthma Day is reminder to check inhaler technique

World Asthma Day (May 7) is a good reminder for health professionals to check patients’ inhaler techniques urges the National Asthma Council. The Council have also released two new instructional videos for adults with asthma and also parent of children with asthma.

Associate Professor Debbie Rigby, Clinical Executive Lead, National Asthma Council Australia said many patients don’t realise they are using their inhaler incorrectly.

“Up to 94% of patients do not use their inhaler device correctly, which could mean they don’t get the full dose of their asthma medicine and the medicine isn’t getting where it needs to.

“World Asthma Day is a great opportunity for health professionals to remind patients that they should be using a spacer with their metered dose inhaler, whether they are an adult or a child,” she said.

Associate Professor Rigby said that for adult patients, poor inhaler use can be affected by older age, cognitive impairment, multiple devices and lack of training. For children with asthma aged under four years, it is especially important that a small volume spacer as well as a tightly fitting face mask is used.

“It is important to reinforce that incorrect inhaler technique can increase the risk of severe flare-ups and hospitalisation for people with asthma and incorrect use of inhaled corticosteroids can also increase the risk of side-effects like a hoarse, raspy throat or oral thrush.

“It is easier for patients to learn how to take their medication and stick with their treatment when someone shows you how and the new videos have an instructor explain and demonstrate the correct device technique for the patient first, followed by the patient repeating the same steps as instructed.

“We encourage patients to view the new videos and also access the National Asthma Council’s comprehensive how-to video library with popular asthma, COPD and allergy medication device technique videos that have been viewed over 300,000 times,” she said.


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