Other devices

Some people are unable to use a standard metered dose inhaler or dry powder inhaler and need another device to get asthma medication. These include:

  • Metered dose inhaler with a face mask. A face mask is generally needed for infants or small children. It uses a standard metered dose inhaler with a spacer. The face mask attaches to the spacer and is sized to fit tightly over the nose and mouth to make sure the right dose of medication reaches the lungs.
  • Nebulizer. A nebulizer is a device that turns asthma medication into a fine mist that's breathed in through a mouthpiece or mask worn over the nose and mouth. A nebulizer is generally reserved for people who can't use an inhaler, such as infants, young children, people who are very ill or people who need large doses of medication.

Work with your doctor to determine which type of inhaler will work best for you. Have your doctor, pharmacist or other health provider show you how to use it. Regardless of the type you have, using your inhaler correctly is critical. Otherwise, you may not get the correct dose of medication you need to keep your asthma under control. Replace your inhaler if it has passed its expiration date or it shows that all the doses have been used. Talk to your doctor if you're having any trouble using your inhaler or it seems like you aren't getting a full dose of medication.

Aug. 11, 2011 See more In-depth