Metered Dose Inhalers (MDIs) are sometimes called aerosol inhalers.
When the inhaler is pressed, a measured dose of medicine is released through the mouthpiece.
It is recommended that MDIs are used with a spacer no matter what your age.
Using your MDI
Ask your doctor, nurse or asthma educator to check your inhaler technique regularly, even if you have been using your inhaler for a long time.
You should always try to use a spacer with your inhaler to receive maximum benefit from the medicine, especially if using MDI preventer medication.
However, if you need to use your inhaler without a spacer follow these steps:
- Take off the cap and hold the inhaler upright
- Shake the inhaler to mix the medication with the propellant
- Sit upright, tilt head back slightly (as if you are sniffing – ‘sniff position’) and breathe out gently
- Hold the device upright, insert the mouthpiece into your mouth ensuring that your lips firmly seal the mouthpiece
- At the beginning of a slow deep breath, breathe in through the inhaler and activate the aerosol once
- Breathe in fully, remove the MDI from the mouth and hold your breath for ten seconds or as long is comfortable
- Breathe out gently through your nose
- Rinse your mouth and spit out or clean your teeth after using a corticosteroid preventer to reduce side effects.
Cleaning your inhaler
Clean your MDIs weekly to ensure they do not block (twice weekly if you use Tilade or Vicrom.)
- REMOVE the plastic mouthpiece cap
- REMOVE the metal canister (don’t put it in water)
- RINSE the mouthpiece and cap under warm water for at least 30 seconds
- SHAKE off any excess water and leave the mouthpiece and cap to dry overnight.
- Put the metal canister back in, and replace the cap.
If you need to use your inhaler before it is dry:
- Shake off any excess water from the plastic casing and put the metal canister back inside
- Test spray the inhaler by firing two puffs into the air.