Asthma spacers

Asthma spacers are clear plastic tubes that are used with inhalers. They’re also called volume spacers.

A one-way valve in the spacer mouthpiece opens as you breathe in and closes as you breathe out. 

Why spacers work

Using a spacer is a more effective way to use your asthma inhaler, as up to 50 percent more medicine reaches your breathing tubes (airways) than with the inhaler alone.

Spacers are as effective as a nebuliser in a severe asthma attack
  • Spacers can be used with preventers, relievers and combination type inhalers.
  • Some spacers work only with a particular brand of inhaler, and others fit any type.
  • Spacers are available free of charge from your doctor or asthma educator.

A spacer makes it easier for people of all ages to use their inhalers, especially when you’re short of breath. Babies and small children use a small volume spacer and mask.

With a spacer, there’s less risk of throat irritation or a husky voice because less medicine is left in your mouth and throat.

How to use a spacer

When you get a new spacer, wash it first in warm soapy water.

Rinse your mouth and spit out or clean your teeth after using a corticosteroid preventer such as Flixotide.
  1. Shake the inhaler.
  2. Fit the inhaler into the spacer opening.
  3. Put the spacer mouthpiece into your mouth and seal your lips around it. If the spacer has a mask, make sure it seals around your nose and mouth.
  4. Press the inhaler once only.
  5. Breathe in slowly and deeply through the spacer mouthpiece. Take six normal breaths and take the spacer out of your mouth.
  6. Repeat these steps if you need more doses. 

Caring for your spacer

Wash your spacer once a week with warm water and dishwashing liquid. Don’t rinse it – let it drip dry. This helps stop the medicine from sticking to the sides of the spacer.

Don’t wash your spacer in a dishwasher.

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