asthma inhalers

The Complete Guide to Asthma Inhalers

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Asthma is one of the most commonly suffered health conditions in the UK, with around 5.4 million people receiving inhaler treatments to relieve Asthma symptoms.

As a condition that's triggered by lots of our everyday encounters, such as dust, allergens or exercise, it's important that those suffering receive effective treatment with an Asthma inhaler.

Asthma comes with some pretty unpleasant symptoms, causing breathlessness, wheezing, chest tightness and coughing and Asthma attacks. Asthmatics may also have trouble sleeping at night because they wake up with breathing problems.

To help combat your Asthma symptoms in the best way possible, here's everything you need to know about Asthma inhalers.

What is an Asthma inhaler?

Asthma inhalers are the most popular form of treatment offered to Asthmatics. They help to open up blocked or narrowed passages within the lung so that more oxygen can be absorbed by the body. Asthma inhalers come as a small compact aerosol device consisting of three parts: a canister, a metering valve and a mouthpiece.

The canister contains medication for Asthma treatment. When you inhale through the mouthpiece, it releases Asthma medicines into your airways. This helps relieve and prevent symptoms such as coughing or wheezing.

Types of Asthma inhalers

As a respiratory condition that can range from mild to severe, people with Asthma are prescribed different types of inhalers depending on the severity of their symptoms and Asthma triggers. 

Whilst there is no cure for Asthma, there are many different Asthma treatments available to help manage symptoms. The two most common types include reliever and preventer inhalers:

Reliever inhalers

Reliever Asthma inhalers are used to treat symptoms, or an impending Asthma attack, as they occur. All Asthma sufferers require a reliever inhaler, enabling quick relief of symptoms when they occur.

This is a fast-acting, effective medication for when sudden Asthma symptoms occur, making reliever Asthma inhalers a frequent lifesaver. One of the most popular inhalers includes the Salbutamol receiver inhaler.

What drugs do reliever inhalers contain?

Reliever Asthma inhalers contain bronchodilator medicines, which when inhaled, relax the airway muscles and reduce any airway inflammation. This opens up the air passages to allow for easier breathing.

Reliever inhaler side effects

As with any medication, Asthma inhalers can result in possible side effects. Common side effects of reliever Asthma inhalers may include headaches, muscle pain, a hoarse voice 

Preventer inhalers

Preventer Asthma inhalers work similarly to reliever inhalers, except they are taken on a regular basis every day to help prevent the possibility of an Asthma attack and other symptoms of Asthma. Taking a preventative Asthma inhaler therefore makes it less likely to experience mild and even severe symptoms.

One of the more commonly taken preventer inhalers includes the Clenil Modulate inhaler.

What drugs do preventative inhalers contain?

Preventative Asthma inhalers contain small doses of steroid medicine, helping to reduce inflammation in the airways. Often referred to as steroid inhalers, the inhaled corticosteroids are used to treat mild-to-moderate persistent Asthma, effectively reducing the chances of Asthma attacks and other unpleasant symptoms occurring.

Preventer inhaler side effects

Preventative Asthma inhalers are generally very safe to use. There are some possible risks of side effects to consider before taking. Common side effects include a sore throat, hoarse voice, a cough, nosebleeds and oral thrush. 


Which Asthma inhaler is right for me?

Finding the right Asthma inhaler can ensure you receive the best possible relief from Asthma symptoms. Your prescription may depend on whether you suffer from mild or severe Asthma, and on the type of symptoms you experience. 

Short-acting reliever inhalers are the best choice for quick relief during sudden onsets of Asthma symptoms and Asthma attacks. Whereas preventative inhalers are best for treating Asthma that occurs frequently and more severely. It is very common for Asthma sufferers to take a combination of preventer and reliever inhalers to help minimise symptoms.

If you are unsure of which type of inhaler is best for you, a member of our team can help answer any questions you might have. Speak to our team.

Buy Asthma inhalers online

You can find a range of Asthma inhaler devices here at Pharmacy Online, where our online doctor can prescribe you with the correct treatment to relieve your Asthma symptoms. We prescribe both preventer and reliever inhalers, including Ventolin, Clenil Modulite, Salbutamol and Fostair inhalers

Why are Asthma inhalers different colours?

Whether you are Asthmatic or not, you may have noticed that Asthma inhalers come in a range of different colours. And no, this isn't just to look pretty. The colours actually distinguish the common types of inhaler, acting as a safety mechanism to ensure the correct form of medication is taken.

The colour coding allows patients and medical professionals to identify each type, with reliever Asthma inhalers being blue, and preventative Asthma inhalers being brown.

As many people take multiple forms of Asthma inhaler, it's important to be able to distinguish them. It's especially important as reliever inhalers are required as immediate forms of medical attention.

Is there enough medicine in my inhaler?

It is important to ensure your inhaler contains enough medicine for effective relief of your Asthma symptoms. Most modern Asthma inhalers include a dose counter that will show how much medication is left in the device. For inhalers without a dose counter, these will usually make a 'puff' sound once the medication is gone. 

If your inhaler is empty, or almost empty, you should immediately seek more medicine. Your inhaler box or canister will usually contain information about the total number of doses. Keeping track of the number of doses used is a good way to ensure there is enough medicine in your inhaler. 

Breathing exercises

Asthma inhalers are usually a very effective way to relieve or prevent Asthma symptoms. But to help improve their effectiveness, breathing exercises can help to calm shortness of breath and other symptoms. 

Breathing in slowly through your nose and out through your mouth, following a slow and gentle breathing pattern can help to calm your breathing pattern as you treat your symptoms with an Asthma inhaler. 

Have a question about your Asthma?

Get in touch with a member of our team, who will be able to advise on the management of your Asthma and prescribe the most appropriate treatment for your symptoms. Explore Pharmacy Online’s range of Asthma inhalers for more information.