Pulmonary Medicine of DaytonPulmonary Medicine of Dayton

Business Office & Clinic 1
Sycamore Medical Center Physician Office Building
4000 Miamisburg-Centerville Road, Suite 450
Miamisburg, OH 45342
Clinic 2
Kettering Medical Center Physician Office Building
3533 Southern Blvd, Suite 5800
Kettering, OH 45429
Phone (937) 439-3600Phone (937) 439-3600
Fax (937) 439-3786

Ask the Gails'

The Gails

Gail B. and Gail S. are registered respiratory therapists, trained to perform pulmonary function testing and keep you updated and informed about managing your health. You have met one or both if you have had a pulmonary function test (PFT) performed in our office. Their many years working with patients with moderate to severe breathing problems makes them an invaluable resource for patients. The "Gails" are available to provide patients and their families support and educational information about living with a chronic disease. Both "Gails" possess a fund of knowledge and we invite you to "call-a Gail" anytime to ask a question or request information. If they don't know, they know who does!

Click on the picture (they are really much prettier in person) to submit your question. One of our "Gails" will get back with you within 48 hours. "Ask the Gails" is not intended to replace your visits with your doctor. Our goal is to enhance your overall care experience and help you maintain your independence and the best health possible.

Important: DO NOT use this link to report serious medical problems. If you need to report worsening or new symptoms contact our office at 937-439-3600 to speak with our triage nurse.

What is a spacer and should I use it with every inhaler I use?

Gail S: A spacer is like a reservoir. It holds the medicine in the chamber so you don't have to coordinate your breath in and the puffing of the inhaler. It also prevents most of the medicine from landing on your tongue and back of your throat, so in essence, it is effectively getting more medicine into your lungs. Literature states you get up to 50% more medicine. Not all inhalers can be used with a spacer, but if you have been given one to use, we strongly encourage you to use it regularly.
Gail B: You should not use a spacer with any dry powder inhaler. You will benefit from the use of a spacer with any pressurized inhaler, especially a steroid inhaler.

Is the use of inhalers addictive?

Gail S: No. If you use your inhalers too often, you may become drug fast (essentially you will lose the benefit of the medication over time), but they are not addictive.
Gail B: Actually, you are likely to find that you are breathing better, and so you certainly will want to continue using your inhaler. Kind of like getting addicted to feeling better!

Once I start using O2 (oxygen) will I ever get off of it?

Gail S: It depends on why the doctor started you on oxygen. If you have had a serious illness such as pneumonia, or, have been on a ventilator recently, as your lungs recover you may be able to get off the oxygen. If you have been placed on oxygen for a chronic illness such as pulmonary fibrosis or emphysema, there is a possibility that the oxygen may be permanent. You should discuss this with your physician.
Gail B: Click here for a printable copy of Oxygen Therapy by the COPD Foundation. If you are struggling with managing your oxygen, feel free to let the receptionist know at the time you make your next appointment and we'll make sure one of our staff spends some time with you after you see your physician.

Should I exercise? My wife complains about me just sitting in my chair. I don't have the energy to exercise.

Gail B: There are many benefits of exercise. The more fit you are the less energy it takes. Please check with your doctor to see if he has any limitations for you. You may benefit from a pulmonary rehab class. Please click here to get a printable copy of "Exercise for Someone with COPD" by the COPD Foundation. Make a note to ask your doctor about whether you are a candidate for pulmonary rehabilitation program at your next visit, or, send a question to your physician via our Patient Portal where you can also search our extensive Library for helpful tips on how to get moving!
Gail S: Exercise of any sort is good for you. Even if all you can do is walk around your house, it's better than sitting all day long. So stand up and do what you can. You may discover that you will feel better because of it! Expect some fatigue and even a few sore muscles, at first. Keep an exercise journal and bring it with you to your next appointment!

How long do I have to hold my inhaler before my PFT?

Gail S: Generally, short term bronchodilators are held for 4 hours prior to testing, and long term inhalers are held for 12 to 24 hours, depending on how often you take it. We like to do the testing before and after medicine so we can see how you respond to it, but if you are unable to hold your inhalers for the set amount of time, please tell the technician performing your test when you last took your medicine. We will adjust your testing as needed based on when you took the medicine.
Gail B: Here's our rule of thumb: if you take the bronchodilator every 4 hours, hold for at least 4 hours; if you take it every 12 hours hold it for at least 12 hours; if you take it every 24 hours, hold it for at least 24 hours.
When in doubt, call the office 24 hours prior to the test to verify (937-439-3600), or, go to our website (http://www.pulmonary-medicine.net/tests.cfm) for more specific instructions. If you are on continuous oxygen please wear it in. The supplemental O2 that you are breathing, will be out of your system in less than 10 minutes.