Studies show that most asthma patients use their inhalers incorrectly

Facts | 5/12/2022
Studies show that most asthma patients use their inhalers incorrectly
Your inhaler plays a key role in helping you breathe easier. When and how you inhale are important factors when managing your asthma symptoms.

Are you using your inhaler correctly? Probably not, as several studies prove that as many as 80 per cent of asthma patients fail to use their inhalers the right way. These findings are echoed in studies around the world.

A poor inhaler technique might actually be bad for your asthma. It’s estimated that only about 40 per cent of the medicine reaches lungs if patients fail to use their inhalers correctly. The wrong technique can also increase potential side effects.

Choose an inhaler you like

Interestingly, studies also suggest that your relationship with your inhaler might affect your technique. Statistically those asthmatics who are happy with their inhaler are having better asthma control.

Yet, a recent study of asthmatics found that most patients played a limited or no role in choosing their inhalers. The researchers suggested that patients might be able to improve their inhaler technique if they would be more involved in selecting an inhaler they’d like to use.

That said, there could be need for a chat with your physician, nurse, or pharmacist about your satisfaction with your inhaler. They can also provide feedback on your inhaler technique. It’s fairly common that a patient’s technique hasn’t been rechecked since the first training session. Bad habits learned early stick easily.

Practise makes perfect

Luckily, there are many sources that offer simple ways to improve your inhaler technique. Remember to check the patient information leaflet provided with your inhaler. Many inhaler providers also publish more information and guidance on their website. It’s good to practise using your inhaler in a calm situation when the asthma symptoms are under control.

The right technique ensures that the medicine finds its way properly into your lungs – and helps you better manage your asthma.


By Justin Petrone

Photo by iStock



Bryant L, Bang C, Chew C, Baik SH, Wiseman D. Adequacy of inhaler technique used by people with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. J Prim Health Care. 2013 Sep 1;5(3):191-8.

Jahedi, L. et al. (2017). Inhaler Technique in Asthma: How Does It Relate to Patients’ Preferences and Attitudes Toward Their Inhalers? Journal of Aerosol Medicine and Pulmonary Drug Delivery, 30(1), 42–52.

Sulaiman I (2018) A randomised clinical trial of feedback on inhaler adherence and technique in patients with severe uncontrolled asthma. Eur Respir J. 2018 Jan 4;51(1).

Plaza V et. al. (2018) Impact of patient satisfaction with his or her inhaler on adherence and asthma control. Allergy Asthma Proc 39:437–444; doi: 10.2500/aap.2018.39.4183

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Orion invests in research and development of treatment options for people with asthma and COPD while also developing the design and usability of the Easyhaler® inhaler device platform. The focus is on safety and quality in each step of the product life cycle while taking care of the environment. All aspects of sustainability - social, economic and environmental - are carefully considered in the whole product life cycle. Sustainability is entwined in the whole process from R&D through manufacturing, including patient use and the disposal of old inhalers.

You can download the Orion Sustainability Report 2021 here