Breathing: Asthma: Spacer

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What is a Spacer?


Inhalers are often used with spacers. Spacers increase the concentration of medicine at the far-reaching parts of the lung and decrease the amount of inhaled medicine that actually get to the mouth. A spacer is a tube that connects on one end to the inhaler and on the other end to the mouth. It extends the channel of the inhaler. Some studies have shown significant increases of medication in the target areas of the lung through the use of spacers. All studies have shown less medicine getting into the mouth through the use of spacers.


Minimizing the amount of medication that stays in the mouth is a significant benefit of using spacers. People should avoid having significant amounts of inhaled medicine in remaining in their mouths. It can get absorbed and cause side effects. Inhaled medicine should be delivered right to the lungs, and spacers do a good job of facilitating that. These two benefits (decreasing the side effects of having inhaled medicine remain in the mouth and getting a higher concentration of medication to the lungs) are important considerations when treating asthma.


There are several types of inhaler and spacer combinations. With adults, a spacer will look like just a regular tube. It connects to an inhaler on one end and to the mouth on the other. But giving an inhaled medication to a child is a whole different story, and so many people like to use options that incorporate masks into the spacer. The mask goes over the nose and mouth, allowing the child to breathe with regular breaths. The spacers incorporate a one-way valve allowing medication to be brought into the mouth only during inhalation. A spacer / mask combination is a great way to treat children with asthma. The whole inhaler spacer / mask combination easily fits in a small bag and it can be carried anywhere and used quickly if needed.