​​What are Inhalers?

An inhaler (also known as a puffer, pump or allergy spray) is a medical device used for delivering medicines into the lungs through the work of a person’s breathing. This allows medicines to be delivered to and absorbed in the lungs, which provides the ability for targeted medical treatment to this specific region of the body, as well as a reduction in the side effects of oral medications. There are a wide variety of inhalers, and they are commonly used to treat numerous medical conditions with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) being among the most notable.
Some of the common types of inhalers include meter-dosed inhalers, dry powder inhalers, soft mist inhalers, and nebulizers. Each device has advantages and disadvantages and can be selected based on specific patient needs, as well as age, coordination, and lung function. Proper education on inhaler use is important to ensure that inhaled medication takes its proper effects in the lungs.
In 2009, the FDA banned the use of inhalers that use chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) as propellants. In their place, inhalers now use hydrofluoroalkane (HFA). HFA is not environmentally inert as it is a greenhouse gas but it does not affect the ozone layer. While some asthma sufferers and advocacy groups contend that HFA inhalers are not as effective, published clinical studies indicate CFC and HFA inhalers are equally effective in controlling asthma.