Some people make it look simple, but using an inhaler properly can be quite tricky.
You need to make a good seal with your mouthpiece while ensuring good coordination at the same time, pressing down and inhaling at just the right moment.
Here is a related article that might interest you on How to Use an Anti Static Valved Holding Chamber?
Fortunately, there are tools and devices designed specifically to make this process easier for you. Amongst these are spacers and Valved Holding Chambers.
What is a Valved Holding Chamber?
A spacer is designed to make the administration of inhalable medication more easy and convenient. The chamber of a spacer will disperse and contain the aerosolized particles of the medicine so that you can slowly inhale all of it.
A Valved Holding Chamber is a type of spacer that comes with the addition of a valve on the mouthpiece. The valve is usually one-way meaning it only allows the flow of air and particles in one direction- outside of the chamber.
Why Should I Use a Valved Holding Chamber?
Using a holding chamber allows you to safely inhale your medicine in a time of need. You do not have to worry about coordinating when you spray the medicine and when you inhale it. It also prevents you from inhaling the medicine too fast or failing to inhale it at all.
What is the Difference Between a Regular and an Anti Static Valved Holding Chamber?
Regular Valved Holding Chambers are much more prone to static charges, especially if you clean and wipe them dry as it creates a lot of friction. If you spray your medication in a chamber littered with static charge, the particles will stick to the walls instead of remaining suspended in the container. As a result, you will be inhaling a significantly reduced quantity of the medicine. Additionally, the medication will start to build up on the chamber walls, making clean up quite difficult.
Anti static Valved Holding Chambers, on the other hand, have an anti static lining on the inside. This resists the build up of static charges so that the maximum amount of the medication remains suspended in the chamber for as long as you need to inhale it.
How to Clean an Anti Static Valved Holding Chamber?
To start off with the cleaning, you need to disassemble the device first. Avoid manipulating the mouthpiece or the valve; remove the backpiece only. The device can be hand washed or washed in the dishwasher. If you are noticing medicine build up inside the chamber, you can wipe it off using a soft cloth after disassembling the device. Some manufacturers recommend taking the individual device components in lukewarm water and dishwashing liquid for 10-15 minutes before rinsing it off.
Make sure you do not put high pressure water through the valve area as it can be damaging. Do not try to boil the chamber in water as it will permanently damage the product. Also avoid putting it in the dishwasher at very high temperatures, typically over 158 degrees.
Generally speaking, try to ensure that you air dry your device components as it prevents further static build up. Simply shake off any excess water and then place them over a drying rack until they are ready for assembly.
Do Different Brands Have Different Cleaning Methods?
Yes, this is definitely a possibility. The instructions above are a compilation of generally acceptable practices. However, make sure you read through your manufacturer’s instructions on cleaning before you attempt to do it. They may have specific guidelines in regards to the cleaning process which you should go over.
How Often Should an Anti Static Valved Holding Chamber Be Cleaned?
Most anti static Valved Holding Chambers need to be cleaned on a weekly basis, more or less. If the device seems to be visibly dirty or you have noticed medication build up/residue on the chamber walls, feel free to clean it again until it is suitable for use.
How Often Do I Need to Replace My Anti Static Valved Holding Chamber?
How often you replace your chamber depends entirely on your use and the state of the device. For example, if you find that the chamber is cracked or damaged in any way, replace the device immediately. Additionally, if it has been damaged in a way that limits cleaning, then you are definitely advised to get a new one for safety purposes. As a general principle, you should replace your chamber every year or 12 months.
If you keep a few of the above precautions in mind, cleaning up your anti static Valved Holding Chamber is pretty straightforward. Regular cleaning will extend the life of the product and also keep you safe.