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There is no shame in using spacers to help take your asthma medication

Consulting with a doctor is advised if your asthma medication does not appear to be working.

As May – and Asthma Awareness Month – winds down, I thought it would be appropriate to discuss some of the common problems asthma sufferers have when it comes to taking their medications.

Believe it or not, improper inhaler use is quite common, as many asthma sufferers unknowingly worsen their symptoms in the process. Most of these errors are related to the techniques individuals use to dispense medication, whether they do not shake the inhaler, fail to sit upright or do not time the delivery of the drugs correctly.

As common as these mistakes are, though, they can just as easily be corrected. If you think your inhaler is not fighting your symptoms properly, you should talk to your doctor to make sure you are using the device correctly. He or she may even suggest that you use a spacer device, which are commonly used by those who are not comfortable using an inhaler.

"It is actually very difficult to use an inhaler properly," Dr. Summit Shah, an Ohio doctor, told the blog Everyday Health. "Even educated adults like doctors, lawyers, and nurses often use inhalers incorrectly. Therefore, it is often recommended to use an inhaler with a spacer [device]."

Spacers are generally used by asthma sufferers who might have trouble using their inhalers correctly. When using an inhaler, some struggle to time the process correctly, as they medication becomes trapped in the throat instead of traveling further down the bronchial tubes, where it is most effective. Spacers are tube-like devices that trap aerosol medications, allowing patients to slowly breathe in the required dosage over a longer period of time.

In addition to these devices, asthma sufferers can use HEPA air purifiers to create a living or working environment that is largely free of the harmful airborne irritants that might trigger an asthma attack.

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