Expert medical advice for using an inhaler

Are you using your Turbohaler inhaler correctly? Getting the technique right will help you manage your symptoms better. Find out how.

Hi I'm Debbie. I'm an asthma specialist nurse. I'm going to show you how to use a Turbohaler. This is a dry powder device or DPI. Getting your inhaler technique right is very important because it helps you manage symptoms better. It may take a few tries to feel comfortable using your inhaler but it does get easier with practice. When you first get your Turbohaler, you need to get it ready to use. First, twist off the cover and hold the Turbohaler upright with the coloured base at the bottom. Turn the coloured base as far as it will go in one direction and then all the way back again. You should hear a click on one of these turns. It doesn't matter which way you turn it first. Repeat the sequence once more. Your Turbohaler is now ready to use for the first time. When you use your inhaler again, you don't need to repeat these steps. To use your inhaler, first twist off the top cover. Check there's nothing inside the mouthpiece. Check the dose counter to make sure the inhaler isn't empty. On some Turbohalers, the dose counter is here and shows the number of puffs left. On other Turbohalers, the dose counter is here. When there are only 20 doses left in the inhaler, a red strip will appear in the top of the window. When it gets to the bottom of the window, this means your inhaler is empty. Hold the inhaler upright. Turn the coloured base to the right as far as it will go and then to the left until you hear a click. Your dose is now ready. Sit or stand up straight and slightly tilt your chin up as it helps the medicine reach your lungs. The next steps all happen smoothly in one action. Breathe out gently and slowly away from the inhaler, until your lungs feel empty and you feel ready to breathe in. Hold the inhaler horizontally but don't tip it upside down as the powder may fall out. Put your lips around the mouthpiece to make a tight seal, then breathe in quickly and deeply until your lungs feel full. Take the inhaler out of your mouth and hold your breath for up to ten seconds or for as long as you comfortably can. Then breathe out gently away from the inhaler. If you've been prescribed a second puff, repeat these steps. When you've finished, twist the cover back on. If you've used an inhaler that contains steroids, rinse your mouth with water and spit it out to reduce the chance of side effects. For more tips on using your inhaler, why not watch our other videos.

The UK Inhaler Group includes leading respiratory health organisations and professional societies.

This video is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you find it hard to use your inhaler, or find breathing problems are interfering with your daily life and sleep, see your GP. If you are having an asthma attack right now or cannot breathe normally and your blue reliever inhaler isn't helping or if you don’t have one, please call 999 for an ambulance. Asthma + Lung UK does not endorse nor recommend specific products. See our general disclaimer.

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