The official blog of the Lung Institute.
People living with chronic lung diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema and pulmonary fibrosis, experience similar lung disease symptoms. Shortness of breath and decreased lung function make breathing difficult. Sometimes, doctors recommend their patients use an incentive spirometer. Incentive spirometers are prescribed after surgery or as part of a lung disease treatment plan. Here are the facts you need to know about incentive spirometry benefits.
What Do Incentive Spirometers Do?
Incentive spirometers gently exercise the lungs and aid in keeping the lungs as healthy as possible. The device helps retrain your lungs how to take slow and deep breaths. An incentive spirometer helps increase lung capacity and improves patients’ ability to breathe.
Tying to manage medications, doctors’ instructions and your lung disease symptoms can feel overwhelming and like you have no control over your healthcare. Using an incentive spirometer lets you take charge of your lung health. When you use your incentive spirometer as instructed by your doctor, you actively help your lungs learn how to work better.
How Do You Use an Incentive Spirometer?
There different types of incentive spirometers. Because of the variety of incentive spirometers available, follow the instructions for your specific type of spirometer. Ask your doctor or respiratory therapist to teach you how to use your device. Any type of spirometer will help you and your lungs. Always follow your doctor’s instructions.
What are the Incentive Spirometry Benefits?
There are several incentive spirometry benefits. Using your incentive spirometer exercises your lungs, measures how well your lungs fill with air and helps keep your tiny air sacs (alveoli) inflated.
Keeping your alveoli inflated and working properly helps your lungs exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide more effectively.
Experiencing the incentive spirometry benefits is easy when you use your device as directed. At first, you may not reach your incentive spirometry goals. Don’t let that discourage you from using your device.
Remember, it takes time to retrain your lungs. Keep using your incentive spirometer to get the most out of the incentive spirometry benefits.
Some people like to track their progress in their treatment journal. Write down your incentive spirometry measurements daily. This will help you monitor your progress, so you can celebrate your improving lung health successes.