If you have had surgery, have a lung disease, are suffering from COVID, or are on bed rest, breathing can be difficult. You may only be able to take short and shallow breaths. This makes it difficult to get oxygen into the lungs which can lead to a buildup of fluid and mucus. This can result in a severe lung infection such as pneumonia. Using a spirometer will help you practice taking deep breaths. It can help in expanding your air passage and avoid fluid or mucus from accumulating in your lungs. Hence, it is required to make breathing easier.
So here are some exercises that you can do with a spirometer, to help cope with your breathing problems. In today’s times, with the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic in mind, this is a much-required knowledge for the masses as well.
Exercises That You Can Do with A Spirometer
What are Spirometers?
A spirometer is a diagnostic tool used to measure how much air you can breathe in and out, as well as how long it takes you to fully exhale after taking a breath. It has the size of a small notebook and is made out of plastic. It comes with a mouthpiece that resembles a vacuum tube. As you inhale with it, the suction thus resulting will drive a disk or a piston up within a transparent cylinder.
Breathing Exercise Using A Spirometer
Here are the steps in chronological order to guide you through the exercise.
- At first, push the slider on the wide column to the point that you want to achieve or as suggested by your doctor.
- Keep the spirometer in front of you when sitting or standing up straight. Make sure to maintain a uniform level.
- To begin, take a normal breath out. Then firmly seal your lips around the mouthpiece. Make sure the tongue doesn’t get in the way.
- Take a long, slow breath. Inhale as deeply as you possibly can. The piston or ball within the big column will rise as you breathe in. You should try to raise the piston or ball as high as you can or to the amount prescribed by your doctor. Keep your breath for 2 to 5 seconds when you can no longer breathe in.
- Relax and take out the mouthpiece. Exhale normally.
- Cough a few times after you’ve taken the prescribed amount of breaths. This will aid in the loosening of any accumulated mucus in your lungs. It will help make breathing easier for you. While coughing, place a pillow over your incision if you’ve had surgery on your stomach or chest recently. This will help to strengthen your stomach or chest and relieve pain.
Steps 1 through 6 can be repeated as much as the doctor instructs.
Keep In Mind
You breathe in air through a tube connected to a wide air column holding a piston or ball. The piston or ball inside the column rises as you breathe in. The deeper your breath is, the higher the piston will go. At first, you would only be able to lift the piston or ball a few inches up the shaft. If you continue to use the spirometer, you should be able to take in more air and return to your usual level. When you take a deep breath for this exercise, you might feel a bit dizzy. You should immediately stop exercising and relax if you feel dizzy or you think you’re about to pass out. You should keep track of your progress by writing down how far the piston goes up the column each time you perform this exercise. This will help you and your doctor to keep track and inform you about the state of your lungs.
Benefits of Using A Spirometer
You get rid of fluid and germs that can cause an infection as you drain and fill the air in your lungs. You also work your lungs out and as a result, they can provide more oxygen to your body. This aids in the healing process and the prevention of having an infection in your lungs. Your doctor might advise you to start using a spirometer at your home before going to the hospital if you’re having surgery. You’re less likely to get an infection in your lungs if you make them strong and resistant beforehand.
The benefits of spirometers are still debated by many doctors and experts. According to researches, deep breathing exercises tend to perform just the same if not more. But stay relieved as your doctor will advise you on the appropriate course of action.
Try Doing These Exercises If You Don’t Have A Spirometer
- Inhale deeply and try holding it for some time before slowly breathing out.
- Inhale deeply, try to get in as much air you can and as fast as you can before pushing the air out as fast as you can.
- Inhale deeply and start counting. Count as long and as fast as you can and then exhale slowly.
Breathing problems can take over your senses and prove to be very troublesome. Hence, to take precautions, these exercises can help in strengthening your nasal tract and lungs. They can prove to be beneficial in preventing you from having a lung infection. They can help in removing and prevent the accumulation of mucus in your bronchi or alveoli. So performing these exercises that you can do with a spirometer might help in preventing or getting over those breathing problems.
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