An inhaler is a handheld device that delivers medicine in a measured dose while a person inhales. Inhalers are used in respiratory conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Inhaled medicine may work faster than oral medicines to relieve symptoms such as wheezing and spasms in the bronchial tubes, because the inhaler allows the medicine to go directly to the lungs. Inhaled medicine usually causes fewer side effects than oral medicine.
There are two types of inhalers:
A metered-dose inhaler (MDI) is a small canister that contains medicine in an aerosol form. When the person triggers the puff of medicine, he or she inhales. The device measures a specific amount of medicine to be released in each puff. MDIs are often used with spacers, which serve as a holding chamber for the medicine. A spacer increases the amount of medicine going to the lungs and can help people who have problems getting the correct timing when using an inhaler.
A dry powder inhaler contains medicine in a dry powder form. The person breathes in sharply to inhale the medicine. Unlike using an MDI, no coordination between triggering the medicine and inhaling is needed. But how well the dry powder inhaler works may depend on how well a person inhales. A dry powder inhaler should not be used with a spacer.
Medical Review:John Pope MD - Pediatrics & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Group Universal Life (GUL) insurance plans are insured by CGLIC. Life (other than GUL), accident, critical illness, hospital indemnity, and disability plans are insured or administered by Life Insurance Company of North America, except in NY, where insured plans are offered by Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York (New York, NY). All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.
Selecting these links will take you away from Cigna.com to another website, which may be a non-Cigna website. Cigna may not control the content or links of non-Cigna websites. Details