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 makes breathing difficult. In addition to positioning your body for increased air flow, 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 on how to take slow and deep breaths.
An incentive spirometer helps increase lung capacity and improve patients’ breathing ability.
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 are 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 is 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 journals. Write down your incentive spirometry measurements daily. This will help you monitor your progress and celebrate your improving lung health successes.
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.