The official blog of the Lung Institute.
An incentive spirometer can be an incredibly useful respiratory tool. Find out how.
First off, what is an incentive spirometer? An incentive spirometer is a medical device that is used to help patients improve their lung function. The device is typically given to a patient after surgery and allows you to keep your lungs clear and active during the recovery process. However, the device can also be particularly helpful for those who live with a chronic condition, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary fibrosis or emphysema. For those who live with chronic respiratory diseases like the one’s mentioned above, anything to improve lung function can be a critical tool in improving your continuing quality of life. Although there are emerging treatment options available—uniquely designed to address symptoms with the potential to address disease progression—the daily routine of pulmonary rehabilitation through tools such as the incentive spirometer are critical to your lasting health.
With your health in mind, the Lung Institute is here to break down the importance of Incentive Spirometers: How Can They Help Me?
Overview: How Do Incentive Spirometers Work?
As a supplemental respiratory device, the incentive spirometer works to improve lung function in patients that are either recently recovering from lung surgery or live with a chronic lung condition. For example, for those suffering from respiratory conditions such as pneumonia or rib damage, an incentive spirometer may be prescribed to help reduce the probability of fluid build-up within the lungs. In fact, incentive spirometers can even be used outside of respiratory injury, as in the case of wind instrument players, these individuals often use incentive spirometers to improve their air flow.
The Benefits: How Do I Use It?
Similar to the act of yawning, when using the device, you start by breathing into it as slowly and as deeply as possible, holding for 2 to 6 seconds. This allows pressure to pop open the lungs’ alveoli. On the device itself, there is an indicator that will display how well your lungs are functioning through a sustained inhalation vacuum. For best use, it’s advised to use an incentive spirometer several times (every 1 to 2 hours) throughout the day while keeping track of your continuing progress. However, you should always consult with your nurse or doctor first before beginning any long-term pulmonary rehabilitation.
So What’s Next?
Incentive spirometers can often be among the initial steps to improve lung function in the face of a lung disease diagnosis. However, to address the progressive symptoms of lung disease at the source, the first step in this process is to quit smoking. The second is to address your lifestyle through simple diet and exercise changes. With these behavioral changes, it’s possible to greatly affect the pronouncement of symptoms within those with COPD, pulmonary fibrosis and emphysema. However, when lifestyle changes fail to improve your quality of life in the way that 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 quality of life.
If you or a loved one suffers from a chronic lung disease like COPD, PF or ILD, the Lung Institute may be able to help with a variety of adult cellular therapy 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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