Disease staging, proper medication technique, compliance, and adherence is are the biggest factors to be addressed in asthma management. First, a patient must be identified as having asthma, defined as chronic inflammation causing bronchospasm that can be reversed with medication. Once proper diagnosis is made, severity stage should be defined (see additional resources here). For a patient to receive the full benefit of medication, it is crucial that they understand how to take an inhaler effectively. Evidence suggests that many asthma patients still suffer from unnecessary symptoms, and improper inhaler use is the root cause. It has become increasingly apparent that inhaler misuse is directly affiliated with decreased disease control for asthma patients of all ages. In fact, it is estimated that more than half of all asthma patients may be using their devices incorrectly, which means that they are not receiving the correct dosage of medicine prescribed by their physician.
It is extremely important for practitioners to ensure their patients have mastered the correct use of an inhaler prior to prescribing one for asthma treatment. Furthermore, if the patient displays poor symptom control, inhaler device technique should be rechecked regularly to ensure the efficacy of disease treatment.
Common errors often seen in incorrect inhaler usage include:
- Inhaling through the nose
- Not exhaling fully before each use
- Stopping inhalation when spray hits the throat
- Not inhaling fully
- Not inhaling for over 5 seconds
The most effective way to combat these critical issues with patients is through proper training and education for physicians and primary care staff. With proper demonstration of devices as well as thorough training, physicians can increase their level of care as well as quality of life for their patients.
The professionals at Carolina Diagnostic Solutions offer the highest quality asthma testing and treatment equipment, along with expert training for your primary care facility to help you best serve your patients. Contact us today to find out more about our services, or to schedule an appointment for a diagnostic training consultation.