In terms of asthma treatment devices, a metered dose inhaler is just one of the options that is available to you. However, as you will discover with some basic research, it is a form of asthma treatment that is quite well known. In fact, an MDI is the most well-known asthma treatment possibility that is currently available to the public. Other asthma treatments, but they are not as established as the MDI option. In the end, it doesn’t seem likely that any other asthma treatment is going to surpass it at this point in time.
Still, if you are going to consider your options for treating asthma, then you will certainly want to begin by taking a look at metered dose inhaler advantages and disadvantages. There are several advantages and disadvantages of metered dose inhalers that you are going to want to keep in mind.
Metered Dose Inhaler Advantages
MDIs are the established, accepted form of treating the symptoms of asthma. There are a number of advantages to consider with metered dose inhalers, which can serve to help you appreciate why MDIs continue to be so popular:
As the name implies, a metered dose inhaler works to give you a metered dose. This means that it gives you that dose every single time you use it. When it comes to effective medicine, it goes without saying that consistency is absolutely vital.
Of all the different types of asthma medications that are currently on the market, it is worth noting that MDIs have a reputation for being the most reliable. In other words, when you need it to work, you will be able to count on exactly that.
The “blast” one feels when using an MDI can give an individual the sense of being restored. This is because MDIs work by sending the medicine directly to the lungs. This is why the medicine is able to work so effectively. It is also why the medicine is able to work so quickly, as well.
As a method of delivering an asthma treatment, MDIs have another distinct advantage. Most of the medicines that are currently available to asthma sufferers can utilize an MDI as the delivery system. This is perhaps one of the most significant reasons as to why this delivery system continues to be the one that doctors and others rely on the most frequently.
Metered Dose Inhaler Disadvantages
However, while there are notable advantages to a metered dose inhaler that are worth keeping in mind, it is also important to understand that there are some problematic elements to these devices, as well. While MDIs are popular, they are not always the best solution for certain individuals suffering from asthma. Even in situations in which they are the ideal solution, there are still potential problems that should be kept in mind:
This may sound like a ridiculous complaint, but one of the biggest problems with MDIs comes down to how one uses them. In order to use an MDI effectively, one must be able to combine a deep breath with the pushing motion that activates the MDI. This may sound simple, but there are certainly individuals that can struggle with the concept. For example, if someone is experiencing an asthma attack, using an MDI effectively may prove to be difficult. Furthermore, some individuals can struggle with coordination for legitimate medical reasons.
2. No dose counters:
Obviously, if you want to know if an MDI is empty, you can shake the device, and be able to guess how much is left to within a reasonable degree of accuracy. Still, this is hardly an effective way to actually know how much is left. The lack of a dose counter on MDIs isn’t the worst thing in the world. But there is no question that these devices would be considerably more effective, if it was possible for the individual to keep track of how many doses they have left.
3. Small weaknesses:
While MDIs are fairly durable products, they still have certain fundamental flaws in their design. For example, when you have your MDI, make sure the device is not exposed to extreme temperatures.
This last disadvantage is something of a matter of debate. Some would argue that the MDIs represent the most effective delivery solution for asthma medication that is currently on the market. Barring that, one might at least make the case that while flawed as an effective delivery system, it is still superior to alternatives. However, others still will tell you that the overall efficiency of these devices is a little on the lacking side. These individuals would argue that unless the metered dose inhaler is paired with a good spacer device, the effectiveness of the MDI is going to be limited. However, this is ultimately something the individual using the device can decide of their own accord.
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.