Asthma how-to: How to use an inhaler with a spacer and mouthpiece

There are many asthma treatment options depending on your child’s age and preference.

Metered dose inhalers, which are commonly called puffers or inhalers, spray the medicine out so that you can breathe it deep into the lungs. Inhalers deliver medicine very quickly.

Inhalers are compact and light so they can be easily taken with you wherever you go. It’s very important to use your inhaler the correct way to make sure the medicine gets deposited into the lungs, where it works the best. Incorrect technique can leave some of the particles from the medicine on your tongue or throat, where it won’t help at all.

A spacer, or holding chamber, is an attachment that should always be used with your inhaler. The spacer holds the medicine in place so you can breathe it in easier.

First, remove the cap from the bottom of your inhaler. When you get your new inhaler from the pharmacy, you need to “prime” or “waste” it by spraying the medicine into the air four times.

Now, fit your inhaler into the opening at the end of the spacer. Shake the inhaler well for ten seconds. Turn your head to the side and breathe out. Close your mouth around the mouthpiece of the spacer.

Push down on the inhaler once. Now the medicine is inside the spacer. Right away, take a slow, deep breath. The goal is to not hear a whistling sound. If you do, this means that you’re breathing in too fast.

Hold your breath for a count of 10. Now, slowly breathe out. Rinse your mouth out with water or brush teeth after using controller medicines such as inhaled steroids.

Many times, the correct dose of your medicine will be to inhale two puffs. If this is what is prescribed for you, then wait one minute after the first puff, and then follow all of the steps again.

Remember if you have questions, call your doctor’s office, asthma care team or pharmacy.

To learn more about the asthma team and treatment options here at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, visit:

26 Replies to “Asthma how-to: How to use an inhaler with a spacer and mouthpiece”

  1. hi ,its a really stupid question,but does anyone get diarrhoea after using inhaler?

  2. thank you so much! i just got diagnosed with asthma and do not know how to use this inhaler. this helped! -annie

  3. My Asthma disease is gone totally, Big thanks to Dr IGUDIA on YouTube who cured my Asthma disease with his natural herbs medication which I bought from him.

  4. I'm really new to using a spacer for asthma , I just started yesterday. at first my spacer made a whistling noise when I breathed into it too fast I didn't really know why at first but learned why and how to breathe correcly the first and the second time it made a noise when I was breathing to fast but then it just stopped making a noise and it doesn't matter if I breathe in it too slow or too fast or too hard … it just doesn't make noise … does it mean it's defective ? should I get a new one even if the product is new and just started using it ? since i'm new in using an inhaler …. or should I just keep it ?

  5. My mom has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or copd she uses those inhaler and spacer too

  6. Thanks, sir for sharing this . i am a asthma patient and i am 21 years old. after taking many treatments i cant stable myself then i started to take Ayurveda medicines from planet Ayurveda nd now i am fit as fiddle . thanks to the team.

  7. It feels like most of the medicine stays in my mouth and my throat. I need one of these!

  8. For 7 years have been ASTHMATIC patient, one day I saw a comment how a great herbalist call doctor oje, cure a patient through his herbal remedies I contacted him on doctor oje on YouTube channel, today I am a living testimony indeed you are a blessing to the world.,

  9. Just to clarify you are suppose to hear the whistle. I just double checked with my friend who is a Respiratory Therapist and she said it is important you hear the whistle this is how you know you are doing it properly

  10. To cure asthma naturally with acupressure:
    1) Press lip with a finger and carefully note how inhaling through your nose is facilitated,
    2) Make a habit of breathing in with lip pressure to stop asthma.
    A Google search for asthma pressure points shows points on lips.
    Asthma causes airway remodeling but this is cured in time by correct breathing. That is my experience. Medical treatment is unscientific because of the asthma paradox meaning that more drug treatment means more asthma and turning a blind eye to acupressure.

  11. I have wheezing but scared to use my inhaler its albuterol it says can make heart race and make u shaky or dizzy I dont wanna pass out or have hard time breathing what do u think

  12. My brother has one of these and when I was younger I used to live the smell

  13. Thank you im new to this whole inhaler thing and the intructions the paper had for be cofused me i feel so much better now!!!

  14. Thank you for this video! I’ve always had trouble using this inhaler with the medicine going into the air. I bought a chamber & followed the directions and it was so helpful! 😊

  15. I am dealing with the coronavirus and stuck in quarantine and I have an inhaler with the spacer. It helps with my coughing a lot so I wouldn’t be short of breath

  16. How many of u have trembling with rapid heartbeat after using inhaler. Actually im new on inhaler and a bit worried about these feelings

  17. Thank you for this. I have a non profit organization and we would like to use this your video to do a quick first aid training.
    Can we please be permitted?

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