Inhaler Overuse: A Serious Problem

The Risk of Inhaler Overuse

When your asthma starts to get out of hand, you may turn to your inhaler to help you feel better. Yet some studies have shown that over-reliance on an asthma inhaler to improve respiratory functioning can sometimes backfire and leave you worse off than you were when you began.

For people who become too reliant on their inhalers (both prescription and over-the-counter varieties, too), part of the problem is that the symptoms may be relieved for the short-term, yet the underlying respiratory condition that caused the discomfort remains untreated. When this happens, this can put you at risk for more serious consequences. In addition, when you overuse an inhaler over the long term, your body may become used to the effects and for some people, this tolerance can eventually make their symptoms become even worse in the end.

How Inhaler Overuse Occurs

There's also another problem with inhaler overuse, according to a report from the Council of Scientific Affairs, which points out that while inhalers relax the muscles in the airways to help you to breathe more effectively, sometimes they also cause harmful chemicals to be released into the lungs, which can ultimately lead to more asthma symptoms.

This information, which was included in the Chest Journal in August of 2000, can serve as an important warning to asthma patients who turn to a fast-acting release inhaler more often than their doctor has directed.

While this is a serious concern, though, doctors also warn that it's important that this fact doesn't cause you to forego using your medication when you do need it. In fact, if you let your asthma symptoms go untreated, this, too, can put you at risk for more difficulties.

Prevent Inhaler Overdose from Happening to You

In order to make sure this doesn't happen to you, it's important to pay attention to how often you need to use your inhaler and make sure you are following your doctor's guidelines. If you're finding yourself reliant on it on a daily basis, you may need to try a more effective, long-term form of treatment, such as an inhaled corticosteroid.


The Chest Journal

The Irish Examiner