Help with Asthma: How Asthma inhalers work

Shortness of breath, coughing and tightness are typical symptoms of an Asthma disease. Sprays are intended to counteract these symptoms. FOCUS Online explains the various forms of asthma sprays on how to correctly apply and what are the side effects there are.

  • Physicians distinguish between long – term and emergency Sprays.
  • Usually they contain a combination of active ingredients, corticosteroids and beta-mimetics.
  • Patients should pay attention to a correct application of the Sprays.

Asthma inhalers relieve the symptoms

In Germany, around ten percent of children and five percent of the adults of Bronchial Asthma are affected. This is a chronic disease of the respiratory tract. It causes attacks of shortness of breath because the Airways are narrowed. Typical complaints whistle are also at the end of breathing, cough, chest tightness and shortness of breath. Often they occur at night and in the early hours of the morning.

Generally speaking, Asthma is considered not curable. However, the symptoms can go partially back on its own or after taking medications. Long-standing inflammation in the bronchi can lead to chronic Bronchitis, or a lung empyhsem. This is why early therapy of asthma with Sprays is important. Anti-inflammatory drugs to alleviate the symptoms. Often the therapy Sprays combined with tablets.

Drug Cortisone

Asthma sprays contain different active ingredients. There are Sprays that expand the Airways, and Sprays that inhibit the inflammation. Some should take the Patient regularly, others are only for acute use.

Sprays which contain the active ingredient cortisone, are designed for long-term therapy. They are designed to alleviate the chronic inflammation of the bronchi. In the case of acute respiratory distress they don’t work. The fear of cortisone is for the most unfounded because cortisone is a natural substance of the body (a hormone) that is produced in the adrenal cortex. Cortisone has proven effective in Asthma therapy for decades. Since the active ingredient acts directly in the lungs, usually occur no dangerous side effects. If you have used a cortisone Spray, you should rinse the mouth thoroughly with water to avoid fungal infections.

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Active Ingredient Beta-Mimetics

Emergency Sprays (also on-demand Sprays or Reliever) medications that can be applied to the Patient in acute respiratory distress. They mostly contain so-called Beta-2-sympathomimetics (beta-mimetics). Salbutamol, Fenoterol, Formoterol or Terbutaline are the typical active ingredients. They dilate the bronchi and smaller Airways and make Breathing easier. The effect of this Reliever stops but not for long.

Usually the doctor prescribes both Spray shapes: one for the permanent treatment and for acute Asthma attacks.

Metered dose inhalers and dry powder inhalers

The emergency Spray is, however, intended really only for emergency use. If you need it more often than two Times a week, this is a sign that your Asthma is not properly treated. In addition, the body can get used to the effect of the beta-mimetics. The emergency Spray may not work in case of acute shortness of breath correctly.

It is important that a doctor regularly checks the lung function of the patient, to determine whether the Asthma is well under control, or whether he must adjust the dosage of Sprays.

There are different forms of asthma sprays. Doctors prescribe mainly two, namely, metered dose inhalers and dry powder inhalers. In the case of a metered aerosol of the medication by using a propellant will be set free. In a powder inhaler, it is contained as a fine powder.

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Asthma inhalers: the correct application

In the case of the application of the asthma sprays, the active ingredients go directly in the bronchi and lungs. In order to arrive in the small bronchi, it is necessary to observe the Patient on a proper technique in the application of the Sprays. The effect may not occur if he sprayed at the same time and breathes. Then the active ingredient remains in the upper lung sections to hang. In addition, patients must be careful after spray in short the air to stop, otherwise you breathe in the drug.

The correct use of metered dose inhalers (Evohaler):

  • Shake can
  • Aerosol upright and keep breathing in and out
  • The mouth piece of scheduling
  • Tilt your head to the rear
  • slow and deep inhalation, simultaneously the spray button press
  • then for five to ten seconds, hold your breath

Anyone who has problems during Inhalation with MDIs, there are tools, such as, for example, air chambers made of plastic (so-called Spacer). They facilitate the coordination between puff and Inhalation.

Dry powder inhalers (Accuhaler) can patients just like MDIs to apply, but you will not be shaken. The powder inhaler, the Patient should not exhale into the mouthpiece, otherwise the powder clumped in the device. Unlike in the case of dosing aerosols, he has to inhale quickly and sharply, to transport the active substance from the inhaler into the bronchi. Besides, he doesn’t have to stop then the air.

For both Sprays, the following applies: Inhale at the earliest after one Minute.

The device also extensively discussed with the doctor or pharmacist to explain and make a test-spray. In the case of some inhalers, a Click will sound when the process is functioning properly.

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The correct cleaning of the asthma sprays

For all Sprays, the following applies: at Least Once a week to clean. In the mouthpiece can be deposited active Substance and clog it up. If you use a metered dose inhaler, remove the mouthpiece and rinse with water. Dry powder inhalers are allowed to clean only with a dry cloth.

The side effects of Asthma inhalers

The side effects depend on the individual therapy and the active ingredients used.

A possible side effect of the Reliever with beta-mimetics, for example, is that they can cause heart palpitations, because they have a similar effect to adrenaline. You can’t expand, so only the bronchi, but put the whole body in alert. In addition, it can be applied in all Spray-forms in single cases allergic reactions to any of the ingredients. For this reason, a doctor should rule out allergies before the treatment.