How to Use an HFA Inhaler

  use inhaler

Children should use an inhaler with a SPACER. When an inhaler is used alone, medicine will end up in the mouth, throat, stomach and lungs.


Asthma > Triggers

Asthma episodes are triggered when a sensitized individual is exposed to certain substances (gases and/or particles) or individual, health-related conditions. Identifying and avoiding exposure to triggers is the 2nd component of the 3-Part Plan.

Substances and Conditions
Not all people with asthma react to all triggers. Some individuals may be affected by
only one substance; others, by several or a combination of two or more. Trigger response can be allergic or irritant in nature.

  • Allergens, such as cockroach droppings, pollen, dust, animal dander, and mold set off the body’s immune system.
  • Irritants, such as air pollution, perfume, paint smells, formaldehyde, smoke, and chemical fumes irritate hypersensitive airways but do not cause an allergic reaction.

Extrinsic (outside the body) triggers are found indoors and outdoors. Indoor triggers tend to be more easily managed by individuals. Outdoor sources of asthma-triggering pollution often require the muscle of a group effort.

  • Indoor triggers include cigarette smoke, dust, dust mites, pollen, straw, feathers, hair, fibers, formaldehyde, sprays, pesticides, deodorizers, mold, fungus, pets, cockroaches, gas from stoves, garbage, and more than 250 known causative agents responsible for occupational asthma.

  • Outdoor triggers include diesel emissions, dust, dirt, smoke, air-borne particulates, garbage storage, garbage disposal, pollen, smog, ozone, heat, cold, factory smelter emissions, volatile organic compounds, many gases including sulfur dioxide and the nitrogen oxides.
tailpipe fumes

Asthma and Exercise
Exercise improves the body’s ability to fight infection, which is a risk factor for asthma flare-ups. People with asthma are often discouraged from exercising because of the possibility of an asthma attack. To the contrary, exercise is critical to their ability to lead a normal life. (Coincidentally, obesity worsens asthma because the extra weight makes breathing more difficult.) Warm-ups and use of quick-relief inhalers used 10 minutes prior to exercise can control and/or prevent exercise-induced asthma symptoms

Everyone should know the steps to take for an asthma attack.





Medication with
an HFA Inhaler

inhaler use

1. Shake the canister.

2. Remove the cap.

3. Prime the canister by spraying into the air to release a puff of medication.

Repeat shaking and priming 3 or 4 times, as required.

Attach SPACER to inhaler.

4. Breathe out. Placespacer mouthpiece in the mouth between the teeth.

5. Close mouth. Press down once.

6. Breathe in and hold breath for 6-10 seconds, then breathe out. Check the time.

Repeat after five minutes, if required.

Spacers come in many sizes. Some whistle to alert that breath has been let out too quickly. Clean after each use according to the instructions on the package.