Studies show that most asthma patients use their inhalers incorrectly

Facts | 06/12/2021
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


Date of preparation: November 2023 / EASYH-667(2)


If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed in the package leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) website: or email


You might be interested in these:


Orion Corporation is a globally operating Finnish pharmaceutical company. We develop, manufacture and market human and veterinary pharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredients. The dry powder inhaler developed at Orion is in the core of our respiratory therapy area.