Spacers

SpacersA spacer is a cylinder shaped tube that hooks onto a metered dose inhaler. Unless you use your inhaler in exactly the right way, much of the medication may end up on your tongue, at the back of your throat, or in the air. Use of an or holding chamber (or spacer device) can help this problem.The inhaler "puff" consists of particles made up of medication and propellant. These particles are relatively large at first and are readily deposited on the tongue and back of the throat. The Spacer Device allows the propellant to evaporate, leaving smaller particles of medication behind. When you breath in through the Spacer, these smaller particles stay suspended in the air longer. This allows more of these particles to travel deeply into the smallest airways. These smaller particles are also less irritating to already-sensitive airways. In the case of steroids, this also decreases the incidence of "Thrush", an oral fungal infection.

There are many models of spacers that you can purchase through your pharmacist or a medical supply company. Ask your physician about which of the different types of inhalers is best for you.

How To Use a Spacer:

1. Attach the inhaler to the spacer as explained by your physician or by using the directions that come with the product.

2. Shake well.

3. Press the button on the inhaler. This will put one puff of the medication in the holding chamber.

4. Place the mouthpiece of the spacer in your mouth and inhale slowly. (A face mask may be helpful for a young child. Remember to wipe your child’s face with a washcloth to remove any traces of medication deposited there after each use.)

5. Hold your breath for a few seconds and then exhale.

Repeat steps 4 and 5 two more times. If your physician has prescribed two puffs, wait between puffs for 10 seconds and repeat steps 2 through 5 as much as prescribed. Be sure to clean the spacer as directed. Cleaning of the Spacer Device is crucial. A small amount of medication will be deposited on the walls of the Spacer. Along with moisture from your breath, an environment is created favorable to the growth of bacteria and mold. The Spacer should be disassembled and cleaned with mild dishwashing detergent daily. Young children may need to use a different technique; have your physician show you and your child the correct method. Demonstrate for your doctor how you use the spacer to make sure you are using it correctly.

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