Inhalers are often prescribed for people with respiratory disorders such, as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

However, Monica Fletcher, Chief Executive of Education for Health and Chair of the UK Inhaler Group, says: “Studies have shown that as many as 80-90 per cent of inhaler users do not use them correctly. This includes healthcare professionals who may be demonstrating their use to patients.

“This is critical because misuse may mean that patients do not receive the correct dose of their medication – or perhaps none, which can affect their health and even increase the risk of death”.

It also means that medicines are wasted, increasing NHS costs unnecessarily.

"80-90 per cent of inhaler users do not use them correctly."

“The UK Inhaler Group aims to improve the education about correct inhaler technique among patients and health professionals,” says Fletcher.

The situation is complicated by the increasing number of devices available. “It's good that there is a wide choice but this also means that doctors, nurses and pharmacists have difficulty keeping up to date with new devices and how to use them properly,” Fletcher says.

It is important to note that there are two broad types of inhalers. Pressurised, metered dose inhalers (pMDI), which deliver medicines in a spray form, while dry powder inhalers contain powdered medicine in a reservoir or a capsule inside the device.

To find out more about the correct use of inhalers, read the full article here: