Mr Angad Chauhan, aged 45 was travelling offshore to crack a business deal. He was an asthma patient and unfortunately, he got an asthma attack during his flight due to a low oxygen level mid-air. Being a wise and educated man, he always carried an inhaler in his pocket to deal with an emergency asthma attack. Mr Chauhan immediately drew the inhaler from his pocket and got relieved from the symptoms of an asthma attack with a puff of that inhaler.
Just imagine, what could have happened, if Mr. Chauhan had forgotten to carry his inhaler during the flight? In that case, Mr. Chauhan wouldn’t have been able to attend the business meeting but would have landed in a hospital’s ICU ward. Inhalers are life-saver devices invented by some geniuses to give instant relief to those suffering from respiratory diseases like asthma and COPD.
Let’s dig deeper to first understand why to use inhalers and then analyze the different types of inhalers available in the market. We will also discuss if metered-dose inhaler types are good for asthmatic people or not?
Why Use Different Types of Inhaler Devices?
The purpose of using an inhaler is to get rid of allergic rhinitis, nasal, and lung congestion. The moment you take a puff from an inhaler, the medicine is quickly released to reach out to your lungs through the mouth to open your airways. Different types of inhalers for asthma are used in different ways but at the core lies the same purpose of releasing Short-Acting Beta Agonists or (SABAs) medicines to the lungs with a puff.
Types of Inhaler Devices
Let us now check out the main types of inhalers available in the pharmaceutical stores:
1. Pressurized Metered Dose Inhalers or (pMDIs): The pressurized metered-dose inhaler types, also referred to as the pump inhalers are the most widely used. They are designed to deliver only a fixed amount of medicine to the lungs every time. They are the easiest to use, and all they need is perfect coordination between your inhalation and the release of the canister button.
Following are the different Metered Dose Inhaler types and spacers:
Synchrobreathe pMDIs: These are the most suitable types of inhalers for asthma patients, especially children. It is because they come with a sensor that automatically detects the patient’s inhalation and releases the medicine accordingly.
Minizerostat Spacer: Make the most of your pMDI by using this kind of spacer device, that allows the convenience of inhaling the medicine from the inhaler without any haste.
Zerostate VT Spacer: This is another spacer device that covers up if you fail to coordinate your inhalation with the press of the pMDI’s canister. This spacer is capable of withholding the medicine released by the inhaler for some time so that it doesn’t go wasted and you inhale it in your next breath.
Huf Puf Kit: This is a superb combination of a baby mask and a spacer that comes in a preassembled form. It is apt to save time in an emergency. Perhaps, this is the reason that many consider it to be one of the best types of inhalers for asthma patients.
2. Dry Powder Inhalers or (DPIs): As the name suggests, these are those types of inhalers that use medicine in a dry form. These are actuated devices that are much easier to use because they are not dependent on the coordination between your breathing and pressing of the propellant. Most of the DPIs available in the market are single-dose inhalers, but there are also ones that offer multiple doses.
To help you buy a DPI or Dry Powder Inhaler, we will reveal its different types:
Rotahaler: This is a transparent dry powder inhaler ideally used with rotacap medicine capsules. The benefit of its transparency is to ensure that you have inhaled the entire amount of medicine used in it.
Revolizer: Featuring a highly-efficient dispersal, this is a very easy-to-use DPI that allows to access an accurate dose of medicine. The medicine used in this type of inhaler is also a rotacap capsule.
Breath Actuated Inhalers or (BAIs): Next type of inhaler we will be discussing is a perfect amalgamation of the earlier two types of inhalers. A BAI is an inhaler that makes use of the pros of both types of inhalers and senses your inhalation with the help of an actuator and then automatically releases the medicine.
3. Soft Mist Inhaler or (SMI): As the name suggests, these devices release medicine in slow motion in the form of a mist. SMIs usually have a small indicator at the side to reveal the number of doses left. The best benefit of using an SMI is that although slow in releasing the medicine, the impact is much more than a pMDI or a DPI device. However, one of the main cons of this inhaler is that it is a troublesome task to load the medicine dose into it.
4. Nebulizers: Lastly, we have the commonly used nebulizers, that also to an extent solve the purpose of relieving the lungs from congestion. Unlike the other forms of inhalers, nebulizers deliver the medicine in the form of mist to the lungs. Children, the elderly, as well as infants can easily use nebulizers during an asthma attack.
How to Find the Best Types of Inhalers for Asthma?
Any inhaler would be considered the best type of inhaler for asthma if it solves its purpose. The purpose is to relieve your chest congestion by providing the medicine directly to your lungs. If you feel that you might have a problem coordinating your inhalation with the canister pressing of a pMDI, better don’t go for it. In that case, dry powder inhalers would be the best type of inhalers for asthma, because they are much easier to use and don’t require any coordination. However, if you want to be double-assured that the medicine used in the inhaler shouldn’t go to waste, then better use a BAI or Breath Actuated Inhaler with a built-in sensor that senses your inhalation and releases the medicine accordingly.
More than the type of inhaler, first focus on how to use an inhaler to get the best benefits in case you are suffering from asthma or any other respiratory issue. Once you know how to use an inhaler, just make sure to keep it handy, so that it is within your easy reach in case of an emergency. Inhalers are indeed life-savers whenever a person gets an asthma attack, so do get one after thorough research on the different types of inhaler devices.