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Glossary

Actuation: Process of activating an inhaler to deliver medication.

Actuator: Device that accompanies a metered dose inhaler canister that is used to activate the inhaler.

Acute: Symptoms, often severe, which have a sudden beginning and typically a short course

Anti-Inflammatory: A medication used to reduce swelling of the airways within the lung.

Bronchoconstriction: Narrowing of the airways of the lungs.

Bronchodilator: Medication used to relax and open up the airways of the lungs to make it easier to breathe.

Bronchospasm: contraction of the muscles surrounding the airways in the lungs.

Controller Medication: A medication used to prevent and or control asthma symptoms, such as airway inflammation.

Corticoidsteroid: A type of medication used primarily to reduce airway swelling and inflammation caused by irritants to the lung.

Diskus: A device used to deliver dry powder inhaled medication. To view video on how to use the Diskus; click here.

Inflammation: A protective reaction, of the body, to tissue injury that may produce swelling.

Inhaler: A device used to administer aerosol or dry powder medication to the lungs.

Leukotrienes: Substances released from various cells in the body that can cause airway inflammation and contraction of the muscles surrounding the airways in the lungs.

Leukotriene Receptor Antagonist: A type of medication used to prevent asthma episodes by blocking the release of substances in the body (leukotrienes) that can cause worsening asthma.

Long-Acting Bronchodilator: A bronchodilator that works for up to 12 hours at a time. This type of bronchodilator is generally used as a "controller," to prevent asthma episodes from occurring.

Mcg: Microgram. A measure of medication dosage, equal to one millionth of a gram.

Metered-Dose Inhaler (MDI): A device used to deliver medication to the lungs in a pre-measured amount. To view a video on how to use your MDI; Click here.

Nebulizer: A device that produces a mist and is used to administer medicine into your lungs by inhalation.

Reliever/Rescue Medication: Medication used to relieve acute asthma related symptoms such as wheezing.

Short-Acting Bronchodilator: A bronchodilator that acts quickly, generally starts working within 5 minutes. Its effects generally last for 4-6 hours.

Spacer or Holding Chamber: A device that is attached to your meter-dosed inhaler that holds the medication until you inhale the medication through the spacer/holding chamber.

Turbuhaler: A device used to deliver dry powder inhaled medication. To view a video on how to use your Turba diagram and instructions on how to use the Turbuhaler, please click here.

Wheeze: A musical noise made when you exhale during difficult breathing.

© 2017 American Association for Respiratory Care