An incentive spirometer is a device that’s often used during deep breathing exercises for patients with chronic lung diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Using this device is intended to provide chronic lung disease patients with several benefits. Here are 3 benefits that using an incentive spirometer regularly could have for you:
1. Keeping Alveoli Healthy
Chronic lung diseases often damage the soft tissue of the lungs. A structure that’s commonly damaged is the tiny air sacs in your lungs, which are called alveoli.
Like a balloon, alveoli are designed to fill with air, but chronic lung conditions can make it harder to take deep enough breaths to keep your alveoli inflated properly. This makes them more susceptible to the progressive damage caused by such conditions.
Using a spirometer can help keep alveoli inflated and healthy.
2. Breaking Up Mucus
One issue that makes it harder for chronic lung disease patients to breathe is increased mucus buildup, and such patients often find it more difficult to get rid of mucus.
An incentive spirometer can benefit patients who are having trouble expelling mucus because it encourages deep breathing.
Deep breathing forces the lungs to move more than normal, and this helps shake excess mucus loose and makes it easier to get rid of.
3. Reducing Risk of Lung Infections
Incentive spirometers can also offer chronic lung disease patients the benefit of reducing the risk of lung infections. Lung infections are typically the result of bacteria that enters the lungs.
In normal lungs, this bacteria is trapped in mucus and then expelled with it. Incentive spirometers can help chronic lung disease patients increase their ability to get rid of mucus. In turn, this helps reduce the infection-causing bacteria in their lungs.
Christine Kingsley, APRN is the Health and Wellness Director at the Lung Institute where she focuses on providing helpful online resources for people looking for information on various lung diseases, breathing exercises, and healthy lifestyle choices. She advocates for holistic care that involves working with your doctor to explore all options including traditional and alternative care while focusing on diet and exercise as proactive measures.