Researchers evaluated children ages 2-16 years of age and found that 42% of the time, proper steps for inhaler technique were not followed. And 18% of the time, a spacer device was not used with their inhaler. A spacer is a device that is recommended for use with certain inhalers to help the medication reach the lungs. Though the study looked at very young children, they found that teens were the MOST likely to make mistakes or to not use a spacer. Also, it is common to think that spacer devices are only for children, when in fact we recommend them for adults and teens as well. Using a spacer deivce boosts the amount of medication getting to the lungs from 34% to 83%! Improper inhaler technique can lead to uncontrolled asthma, more symptoms and “sick visits” to doctor’s offices, ER’s, or urgent cares. It can also lead to stronger medication being prescribed unnecessarily. Other studies have shown that many patients misuse their inhalers or miss an important step, even if they have been on the same inhaler for many years. If you are prescribed an inhaler for asthma, staff at AAAI are more than willing to demonstrate proper use of your inhaler and spacer device. If you are not sure if you are using it correctly, or your inhaler recently changed, be sure to ask staff for a demonstration and proper teaching. If the right medication is being used properly, this can lead to optimal asthma control and a full, rich life despite being an asthma patient!