The official blog of the Lung Institute.
Even your lungs need a little exercise sometimes, and a breath exerciser just may be helpful.
For those living with a chronic lung condition such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary fibrosis (PF) or emphysema, in which the intake of oxygen can prove exceedingly difficult in day-to-day life, many patients may find themselves at a respiratory loss. Struggling to breathe is an objectively unpleasant experience, and for the millions of Americans that live with such chronic conditions, this reality is often a daily one.
So, what can be done?
Currently there are a variety of medications and treatment options such as inhalers, corticosteroids, oxygen therapy and cellular therapy. And those these treatment options can be beneficial, when treating lung disease, positive lifestyle changes are critically important to improving one’s overall respiratory health and quality of life.
What lifestyle changes, you ask?
Simply put, diet and exercise, but for the purpose of this article, we’re going to address one often-neglected area specifically: respiratory exercise through the use of a breath exerciser.
For your benefit and with your health in mind, the Lung Institute is here to break down What Is a Breath Exerciser and How Can It Help?
So, what is a Breath Exerciser?
Simply put, a breath exerciser is a respiratory device used to help patients improve their lung function. For example, an incentive spirometer is a device of this sort, used to help patients who are recovering from recent surgery keep their lungs active. However, incentive spirometers can also be used by those with chronic respiratory conditions such as COPD, PF and emphysema.
Aside from incentive spirometers, breath exercisers work in a similar nature with a primary focus to improve airflow, achieve optimum lung capacity and strengthen the cough effort which allows the clearing of airways. These small and compact devices are best used as supplementary additions to disease management and can often fit in even the smallest of bags and pouches. Cost-effective in price, these devices range from about $10 to 30 dollars and can be found online through convenient stores such as Amazon.
How Do I Use It?
So, once you get one, the question is how do you use it? The answer is pretty simple:
For most breathing devices, the recommended treatment use is 1-2 hours or 25 sharp inhalations twice a day. Depending on your schedule, the choice for how you structure your exercise plan is up to you. However, this is exercise. In order to see results and gradual progress, you must use these breath exercisers deliberately, consistently and as directed. In a sense, you’re building up the strength of your lungs. This may be difficult at first but in order to see the other side of better respiratory health, you’ll have to work to break through the initial resistance.
If you have any questions for how the use of these devices can be tailored to your particular schedule or stage of condition, please refer to your pulmonologist or primary care physician for further direction.
What Will It Do for Me?
As we stated above, a breath exerciser can be a great supplementary tool for achieving your optimal lung capacity. Although the work may be difficult at first, if combined with a regimented diet and general exercise plan (think walking up the street once a day) it’s possible to reclaim some lost ground on your daily quality of life.
Today, breath exercisers are used across a variety of applications, from wind instrument players looking to improve their air flow control, to Navy SEALs and triathletes looking to increase their lung capacity when running and swimming. A breath exerciser is a notable addition to anyone’s respiratory improvement plan.
The Next Steps
In the quest to improve your respiratory health, a consistently-used breath exerciser may be an excellent tool to improving your quality of life through your own determination and discipline. However, it’s important to remember that these improvements, although important, cannot address overall disease progression and the expression of symptoms.
The first steps when addressing these inherent conditions should be to quit smoking immediately. After that, personal routine and behavior should be addressed with a specific focus on diet and general exercise. If these general lifestyle changes are undertaken purposefully, it’s possible to greatly affect the pronouncement of symptoms within your daily life. However, when lifestyle changes fail to improve your quality of life in the way you may expect, it may be time to consider cellular therapy. Rather than addressing the symptoms of lung disease, cellular therapy may directly affect disease progression and may improve your quality of life.
If you or a loved one suffers from a chronic lung disease like emphysema, COPD, PF or ILD, the Lung Institute may be able to help with a variety of cellular treatment options. Contact us today at (800) 729-3065 to see if you qualify for cellular therapy, and find out what cellular therapy could mean for you.
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