Spacers and You
spacers can be a great help to get your medication to your lungs effectively, but you need to take care of them. You also need to know that your technique is correct. If you have any questions about your usage of the spacer, check your technique with your doctor, practice nurse or your local pharmacist.
If a spacer isn't working for you, there are now other inhaler devices on the market, including Autohalers, Accuhalers and Diskhalers. Some of these devices have also been designed to deliver more than one medication at a time, which can be a real advantage when managing allergy-related asthma. When in doubt, talk to your doctor, practice nurse or pharmacist.
Your spacer should be cleaned once a week in warm soapy water to prevent build up of medicine residue on the inside. After cleaning, leave it to drip dry rather than drying it with a cloth. Drying with a cloth can cause static to build up on the inside of the spacer, which can impair its performance. Why? The static electricity can attract the medication to the sides of the unit, delivering a smaller dose.
Using a mask and spacer with a baby can sometimes be tricky. Reassure the baby by cradling them in your arms or on your knee. Gently stroke the baby's face with the mask, so he or she can get used to it. Talk to the baby and smile - the baby will sense if you are anxious. You can hold the mask over the baby's nose and mouth to give them a dose while they are sleeping. Babies will also breathe in the medicine while they are crying.
If you have difficulty pressing the inhaler canister down due to arthritis or other condition that impairs your hand strength, you can get a device called a Haleraid. A Haleraid makes the inhaler easier to use.
There are several brands of spacer devices available. They are all different! Each spacer device fits specific inhalers, so it is important to get the right spacer to fit your inhaler.
If you forget to take a dose of your inhaler, take the dose as soon as you remember and then go on as before.
Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you accidentally take more than you were supposed to.