May 21, 2024

Asthma Spacers: An Effective Delivery System for Asthma Medications

Asthma medications are highly effective in managing symptoms and preventing asthma attacks. However, proper administration and delivery technique is important for patients to get the full therapeutic benefits of their asthma medications. This is where asthma spacers come in and play a crucial role.

What are Asthma Spacers?

Asthma spacers, also known as aerochambers or valved holding chambers (VHCs), are plastic or metal devices used with metered-dose inhalers (MDIs) to deliver asthma medications into the lungs. Spacers help patients, especially young children, inhale a higher dose of medication to the lungs with each puff from their inhaler. They create a reservoir holding space between the inhaler and the mouth, which lets the medication disperse and reduces the speed at which it comes out of the inhaler. This makes it easier and more effective for patients to inhale the medication deep into their lungs.

Types of Asthma Spacers

There are a few different types of spacers available based on their design, material and capacity:

– Plastic spacers: These are lightweight and inexpensive options made of clear plastic. They are ideal for home use.

– Metal/Aluminum spacers: These spacers are durable and have a greater holding capacity. However, they are heavier than plastic ones.

– Single-use spacers: Disposable spacers meant for one-time use, often provided with new inhalers.

– Reusable spacers: Made of durable plastic or metal and can be used multiple times. They need to be cleaned regularly.

– Spacer with masks: Have a fitted mask attachment to place firmly over the nose and mouth for young kids and infants.

How do Asthma Spacers Work?

The working mechanism of Asthma Spacers is simple yet highly effective:

– The asthma medication is dispensed from the inhaler through the mouthpiece of the spacer.

– Instead of being inhaled immediately, the medication is held inside the larger holding chamber of the spacer.

– This gives the medication time to disperse and slows down its speed coming out of the inhaler.

– The patient then places the mouthpiece in their mouth and inhales deeply and slowly through the mouth.

– The dispersed medication particles get drawn inside and deposited deep in the lungs for maximum benefit.

– Spacers reduce the need for perfect coordination between inhaler activation and inhalation needed without a spacer.

Benefits of Using Asthma Spacers

Asthma spacers provide many clinical as well as user-centric benefits:

– Higher amount of medication reaches the lungs with each puff as compared to inhaling directly from an inhaler.

– Easier, more consistent and effective medication delivery, especially for children and elderly patients.

– Spacers eliminate the need for precise breath coordination needed to inhale directly from an inhaler.

– Lower chances of medications depositing in the mouth or throat instead of lungs.

– Can significantly improve asthma control and prevent exacerbations in patients not using controllers properly before.

– More cost-effective in the long-run compared to frequent doctor/ER visits for asthma exacerbations.

– Lightweight, easy to carry and reusable spacers are convenient for home as well as travel use.

Proper Use and Maintenance of Spacers

For optimal benefit, it is important asthma spacers are used and maintained correctly:

– Attach the spacer securely to the inhaler before each administration.

– Shake the inhaler well before inserting into the spacer.

– Exhale fully before placing mouthpiece in mouth and inhaling slowly.

– Rinse spacer parts with water after each use and allow to air dry.

– Wash spacer pieces in warm water weekly and let them completely dry before reassembling.

– Replace spacers every 6-12 months or if parts crack/break to maintain effectiveness.

– Store spacers in a clean, dry place away from extreme heat and cold when not in use.

In summary, asthma spacers are a highly useful and effective delivery system for asthma inhalers. When used correctly along with asthma medications under medical guidance, they have proven benefits in improving lung function and asthma control for millions of patients worldwide.

Note:
1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it