How To Use A Spacer Device?

What Is A Spacer Device?

It’s a plastic cylinder, specifically designed for people who find difficulty to inhale medication through metered- dose inhaler.

Many people find difficulty in using inhalers correctly. A spacer device can help to take their medication properly.

The spacer device holds the medicine sprayed out of the inhaler, giving the patient more time to inhale the medicine. This helps to get more medicine into your lungs, and leave less residue on the back of the throat.

Types Of Spacers

There are two main kinds of spacer devices.

  • A plain tube placed between your mouth and the inhaler. These are usually just called “spacers.”
  • Valved holding chamber (VHC) – These spacers have a valve that stops you from accidentally breathing out into the chamber. Moreover, there are some “valved holding chamber” spacers that come with masks. The spacers with masks are good for kids and older adults.

Note: Spacer devices are only meant for use with metered dose inhalers (MDIs). They aren’t for use with dry powder inhalers (DPIs).

How To Use A Spacer Device?

Different brands offer different types of spacer devices. So each one has specific instructions to use. Moreover, each brand shares their specific instructions for proper care and cleaning of spacers. Make sure to read “how to use” instructions properly on the spacer package. Moreover, you can ask your prescriber or pharmacist to explain you how to use the spacer device. No matter what kind of spacer device you use, consider these general rules for using your inhaler. These include rinsing your mouth after using your steroid inhaler, waiting between puffs, using your bronchodilator before your steroid, and more.

The basic steps for using a spacer device are:

  • Sit upright or stand.
  • Get your inhaler ready to use by removing the mouth piece cover on inhaler.
  • Shake your inhaler properly before using your inhaler.
  • Insert inhaler upright into spacer.
  • Put mouthpiece of the spacer between teeth and close lips to form good seal.
  • Don’t block the mouthpiece with your tongue or teeth.
  • Keep spacer in horizontal position and press down on the inhaler canister.
  • Breathe in and out for 3-4 breathes, slowly and deeply.
  • Remove spacer from your mouth.
  • Breathe out gently.
  • Remove inhaler from spacer and see if you need more dose, repeat the process.

It’s really important to look after your spacer device.

  • Make sure to clean your space with warm soapy water at least once a month.
  • Once you wash the spacer with warm washed, let it dry naturally.

The devices vary in price as well. Your prescriber or pharmacist can help you decide which type of spacer is best for you.

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