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A personal inhaler is a device that dispenses medication or steam to a person's lungs. A personal inhaler is manufactured for one person only and is not to be shared with others. Some inhalers contain over-the-counter medication or prescription medication for asthma, colds, or respiratory distress. Other personal inhalers contain steam that aids in cold or sore throat symptoms.
Over-the-counter personal inhalers are often purchased for people that are having cold symptoms, including coughing or wheezing. The personal inhaler is taken by mouth and allows medication from a pressurized canister to flow through the airways. This type of inhaler should get relief to the sick person quickly. Even though these inhalers can be bought without a prescription, they work best under the directions of a physician.
People with asthma or on-going respiratory illnesses are often prescribed a personal inhaler by their doctor. These inhalers also work by administering medicine from a pressurized canister. The medicine in the inhaler can be strong and will usually allow the person to breathe normally within a few minutes. Some prescription inhalers are used on a daily basis to prevent lung distress. Inhalers contain a measured dose of medicine.
Children can also be prescribed personal inhalers. The medicine in a child's personal inhaler is usually given from a smaller metered dose. Children often have to use a spacer when puffing on an inhaler. A spacer is a plastic tube that is connected to the mouthpiece of the inhaler. The spacer allows the child to breathe in the medicine slower than a personal inhaler alone.
Another kind of personal inhaler is a steam inhaler. Steam inhalers can be purchased at a pharmacy without a prescription. They are bigger than an asthma inhaler and are used at home. They are filled up with warm water at the base. Once they are plugged in to an outlet, they will blow the warm steam out. The user breathes in the warm vapor to loosen up mucus in the sinuses and airways during a cold or flu illness.
Personal inhalers are convenient because they are small and often can be carried anywhere. Asthma inhalers are usually smaller than a person's hand. Personal inhalers are much easier to travel with and store than a nebulizer machine, and the medication is given much faster. A personal inhaler is often a life-saving device for those with severe asthma and other lung illnesses.