A metered-dose inhaler is a pressurized container that releases a mist of medicine. You inhale the medicine into the airways of your lungs.
Inhaled asthma medicines contain a gas that helps the medicine get into your lungs. Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) is the gas that used to be used in inhalers. Because it depletes the ozone layer in our atmosphere, hydrofluoroalkane (HFA) is now used instead. Although the gas in inhalers has changed, the medicine in HFA inhalers is the same as the medicine in CFC inhalers. The HFA inhaler looks just like a CFC inhaler but is a little different. The spray comes out with less force, is warmer, and has a slightly different taste. It is not felt as much in the throat when inhaled, but you still get the right amount of medicine.
A device called a spacer can be used with an inhaler to help you breathe in more of the medicine into your lungs with each spray. You attach one end of the spacer to the inhaler and put the other end into your mouth.
Wash the spacer and the plastic case for the inhaler once a week with soapy tap water. Rinse well and let the parts air dry.
Replace the one-way valve or get a new spacer when the valve dries out and starts to curl.