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How Does an Asthma Inhaler Work?

May 23, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 186

A person suffering from asthma, will have an attack, when ones immune system reacts to the inhalation of various irritants. These irritants can take the form of dust, smoke, and even cold weather. Stress can also cause an attack of asthma. This irritation activates the immune system and causes inflammation of the nasal pathways. It also causes the muscles at this area to become constricted. This leads to the near closure of the airway and causes wheezing and breathing trouble. The immune system causes mucus to build up in the lungs, and an asthma patient, will experience a coughing fit.

The portable asthma inhaler aids in providing the required drug to alleviate the asthma attack. The asthma inhaler works by reducing the inflammation in the airways. The inhaler delivers the required dosage to the patient. The drug can be delivered by inhaling through the mouth or nasally. The drugs used will depend on the asthma attack faced by the person.

There are various types of inhalers and can be classified as pressurised metered dose inhalers (MDIs), breath-activated inhalers - MDIs and dry powder inhalers, inhalers with spacer devices and nebulizer.

The pressurised metered inhalers use an inactive gas to inject the drug. Pushing down the top of the inhaler, releases the drug and it has to be inhaled. It is also small and easy to carry. Some inhalers have meters which can indicate the number of doses that remain for use. Otherwise, one will have to count the doses to keep track. The drawback is that, it requires coordination, as the person has to press down and inhale at the same time.

The drug is discharged by just breathing on the mouth piece and is easier to operate than the pressurised one. Though, Inhalation has to be done forcefully for the drug to be released.

Inhalers with spacer devices are much easier to operate than the other kinds. Inhaling through the mouth piece causes the spacer to releases the drug. A valve stops the drug from exiting the spacer when one breathes out. In some types of spacers, a face mask can be fitted instead of a mouthpiece.

Nebulizers convert the drug into the form of a mist. This can be breathed in with a face mask or mouth piece. This drug delivery system is used in hospitals where there are severe cases of asthma.

One must consider several issues, before choosing inhaler for use. This is because, some medications can only be used with certain of inhalers. People suffering from asthma should take adequate precautions to avoid being exposed to stressful situations, dirt, dust, smoke, or anything that can trigger an attack. In choosing the right inhaling mechanism, they can overcome an asthma attack.

Source: EzineArticles
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