Why is inhaler technique so important?

Good Poor
Improves health Poor inhaler technique
Improved quality of life.  Use more medication.
Less asthma symptoms.  More side effects.
Better lung function. Higher risk of hospital admission. 

Based on National Asthma Council of Australia

Some groups of patients are more likely to have difficulty taking their inhalers correctly. For example children, frail patients, and patients with cognitive impairment, neurological conditions or arthritis are all at risk of having poor inhaler technique.

Another factor is that all the different types of inhaler are used in slightly different ways and it is important that the patient/client has been assessed for and is taught the correct method for their inhaler.

Up to 85% of people do not use inhalers correctly*

There are a few options, these will be discussed in the next pages:

  • Spacer.
  • Breath-actuated aerosol inhalers.
  • Dry-powder devices.


  • *Ref Lavorini, Federico et al., Effect of incorrect use of dry powder inhalers on management of patients with asthma and COPD Respiratory Medicine , Volume 102 , Issue 4 , 593 - 604.