How to use an MDI properly

The most commonly-used inhaler is a Metered Dose Inhaler (MDI) or "Puffer".
When you press the canister, it creates a fine mist of medication for you to inhale.
To get the most benefit, everyone should know how to use it properly. Sadly,
research during 2007 found over 90% of patients (and health professionals) had
not learned the right technique.

Not everyone uses an MDI - some people use "dry powder inhalers", or "soft-mist
inhalers", or even nebulisers - and others only use an MDI when attached to a
"spacer" or "chamber". But if you are one of the millions using the standard
Metered Dose Inhaler, then take a minute to check your technique against the
10 steps listed below, or view the animated version at the bottom of the page.

10 steps to get the most from your Metered Dose Inhaler (MDI)

1) Remove cap. Check mouthpiece is clear.

2) Shake inhaler well.

3) Hold the inhaler upright with thumb on the base, below the mouthpiece.

4) Gently breathe out, as much as possible.

5) Place inhaler in your mouth and grip gently between the teeth. Make sure
your tongue is underneath the inhaler, then seal your lips around the mouthpiece.

6) Start to inhale - slowly and deeply - then press the canister to release the
aerosol. Keep on breathing in slowly until your lungs are full.

7) Hold your breath for a count of 10 (or as long as is comfortable).
You can remove the inhaler from your mouth.

8) Breathe out slowly.

9) Breathe normally. Wait 30 seconds if you need to use the inhaler again.

10) Replace cap to keep out dust and fluff.

The latest version of Flash is required to view the animation