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How To Use Inhaler Devices


Inhaler is a medical device commonly used in the treatment of asthma or respiratory diseases.

There are several type of inhalers often used. These include:

  • Metered Dose Inhalers (MDI)
  • Turbuhaler
  • Dry Powder Inhalers

How to use a Metered Dose Inhaler (MDI)


MDI is divided into two main components:

  • A Canister which contains propellant with drug/medication suspension
  • An actuator which produce a mechanism to spray the medication from the mouthpiece into the respiratory cavity

The technique of using MDI is as follows:

  • Stand or sit in an upright position
  • Open the mouthpiece cover and hold the MDI straight
  • Shake the MDI 3 to 5 times to ensure the canister contents are mixed evenly
  • Breathe out slowly
  • Insert the MDI mouthpiece into your mouth and ensure that your lips cover the mouthpiece
  • Press the canister and take a deep breath simultaneously
  • Hold your breath for at least 8 to 10 seconds
  • Remove the MDI from your mouth and breath out
  • Cover the mouthpiece

Repeat step 3 to 8 if more than 1 puff (inhalation) needed.

If you are required to use more than one type of inhaler, wait for at least 5 minutes before next inhalation.

Cleaning MDI:

MDI must be cleaned at least once a week to avoid the mouthpiece from becoming clogged.

The steps to clean the MDI is as follows:

  • Remove the canister from the actuator
  • Wash both the actuator and the mouthpiece cover with running tap water for about 30 seconds
  • Dry the actuator overnight
  • Once dried, reconnect the canister and the actuator
  • Finally, store the MDI in a dry place and away from children

How to use A Turbuhaler

  • Unscrew and lift the turbuhaler cover and hold the device upright with the grip facing down
  • Turn the grip as far as it will go in one direction. Turn in back again until you hear a click sound.
  • Breathe out and away from the turbuhaler, never breath into the turbuhaler mouthpiece
  • Place the mouthpiece gently between the lips and close the lips
  • Breathe in forcefully and deeply through your mouth. Remove the turbuhaler from your mouth and breathe out slowly
  • Turbuhaler is equipped with a dose indicator window. Remember to check the number in the window to know the remaining doses. A red mark indicates your medication is about to run out.
  • Repeat step 2 to 6 if more than one dose is needed
  • Replace the cap after use and store the turbuhaler in a dry place
  • Rinse your mouth after use


Cleaning Turbuhaler

  • Turbuhaler should be cleaned at least once a week
  • Clean the turbuhaler mouthpiece using a dry cloth or soft tissue paper
  • Never use a wet cloth or water to clean the turbuhaler

How to Use an Accuhaler

  • Hold the accuhaler with one hand and place the thumb of the other hand on the thumb grip. Open the cover by pushing the accuhaler with your thumb to the right until you hear a click sound. The mouthpiece will then appear
  • Push the lever with your thumb until you hear a click. This means a dose is ready
  • Breathe out slowly and away from the device. Place the mouthpiece between your lips and close gently
  • Breathe in slowly and deeply through your mouth
  • Remove the accuhaler from your mouth and breathe out slowly, do not breath with the mouthpiece
  • Close the accuhaler by sliding the thumb grip back to its original position until you hear a click sound
  • Rinse your mouth after use


Cleaning Accuhaler

  • Accuhaler should be cleaned at least once a week
  • Wipe the mouthpiece with a day cloth or soft tissue paper
  • Keep the accuhaler in a dry place and away from children
Last Reviewed : 23 April 2014
Writer : Siti Nurul Fathihah bt. Baharuddin
Accreditor : Fatkhiah bt. Hj. Khalil
Reviewer : Yam Chiew Fong