Why this portable device is something no asthma sufferer should be without?
Metered-dose inhalers (MDIs) are small hand-operated devices that can send out an aerosol with a precise amount of medication into a small chamber. The user then breathes in the drugs through the mouthpiece, and the medication goes directly to the airways and lungs.
The inhaler, or puffer, consists of a plastic body and a pressurised canister that contains the medication and apropellant vapour. Large plastic, valved holding chambers, or spacers, can be fitted to the mouthpiece of the inhaler, if desired, so that the user has more time to inhale the aerosol.
For the treatment of asthma, the user usually has two colour-coded inhalers. One is a ‘preventer’ inhaler which contains medication that has to beusedona regular basis, and the other is a ‘reliever’; the latter is used in the event of breathlessness or a sudden asthma attack.
Top 5 respiratory treatment
1. Breathe easy – Ancient cultures in India, Greece and Egypt discovered that inhaling the smoke or vapours from medicinal leaves and herbs helped relieve a number of respiratory problems.
2. Incense – Ancient civilizations also found that the smoke produced by burning incense (a mix of medicinal plants, minerals and gum resins) eased tension. It became common practice to use it to purify the air and during religious ceremonies.
3. Pressurised inhalers – These were invented by Riker Laboratories in 1956, after the daughter of the company’s president asked why she could not use her asthma medication in the same way as her hairspray can worked.
4. Chlorofluorocarbons – In 2009, the US banned the use of CFCs as propellants in inhalers as they could be harmful to the ozone layer. Since then less harmful hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) have been used instead.
5. Statistics – Over 5 million people in the UK suffer from asthma, and there are over 1,100 asthma-related deaths per year; 90 per cent of these are preventable with the correct use of an inhaler.