In chapter 201 i mentioned that my Physiotherapist added on a new breath training and “lung building excercise” with a device termed
Obtainable from a pharmacy ⚕
Christina of Breathe Live Fit recently compiled a great article explaining everything beneficial to know, so instead of typing extra, im sharing 2 of her articles.
This one is regarding an Incentive Spirometer.
What is it?
Most likely if you have had any sort of surgery that has had you “laid up” for a few days in the hospital, odds are you were probably given one of these little beauties.
I absolutely LOVE the incentive spirometer for people with chronic lung conditions, so if you have one of these stuck under your bathroom sink or in your linen closet… Pull it out.
The incentive spirometer was designed to prevent alveolar collapse (or in layman’s terms… prevent a patient from getting pneumonia and encourage them to take deep breaths).
However, I really love it for monitoring purposes and for people with lung conditions that just aren’t moving around a lot. So much of how a person with a lung condition feels is subjective.
This device allows you to make an objective measurement of how deeply you can inhale. This device is fairly inexpensive and easy to obtain.
The incentive spirometer is made up of a breathing tube, an air chamber, and an speed of flow indicator. It encourages a patient to take long, slow, deep breaths promoting lung expansion and better gas exchange.
Who should use it?
People living with chronic lung diseases like COPD, emphysema, and pulmonary fibrosis. Really anyone with a chronic lung disease! (Also, it is a gold standard for most post-surgery patients)
How do you use an incentive spirometer?
When using your incentive spirometer, make sure you breathe through your mouth. If you feel dizzy at any time, stop and rest.
1. Sit up in a chair or bed. Put the mouthpiece in your mouth with your lips sealed around it. (Make sure your tongue does not block the mouthpiece opening.)
2. Exhale all of your air
3. Slowly (slowly is the key) breathe in through your mouth as deeply as you can. You will see the piston rise as you are doing so. Attempt to hold your breath for 3-5 seconds.
4. Try to get the piston as high as you can, while keeping the speed indicator in the window.
5. Make a note of how much volume you were able to pull in.
6. Rest a few seconds and repeat.
7. You should perform this maneuver with the incentive spirometer about 10 times. Be sure to rest as needed.
8. Keep a log of your average volume.
You can always take deep breaths on your own however, the incentive spirometer gives you feedback on how much volume you are taking in, helps you to control your flow, and provides motivation to improve with each attempt!
Thanks for Reading!
If you enjoyed this blog, I invite you to check out some of the topics I have covered in the past
10 Myths about Lung Disease Everyone Should Know
Take Control of Your Lung Condition
Remember: We are in this TOGETHER!
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