How to Buy a Spirometer for Your Respiratory Health
A spirometer is a device that measures how well your lungs are working by testing the amount and speed of air you can breathe in and out. Spirometers are used to diagnose and monitor various lung conditions, such as asthma, COPD, bronchitis, and emphysema. They can also help you improve your lung function by providing feedback and guidance on breathing exercises.
If you are looking for a spirometer to buy, you may be overwhelmed by the different types, features, and prices of the available models. To help you make an informed decision, here are some factors to consider before buying a spirometer:
Type of spirometer: There are two main types of spirometers: peak flow meters and incentive spirometers. Peak flow meters measure the maximum speed of air you can exhale (peak expiratory flow or PEF), while incentive spirometers measure the volume of air you can inhale (forced expiratory volume or FEV). Peak flow meters are more suitable for people with asthma or other conditions that affect the airways, while incentive spirometers are more suitable for people with conditions that affect the lung tissue or chest wall.
Digital or analog: Digital spirometers have a screen that displays your results and can store them in memory or transfer them to a computer or smartphone via Bluetooth or USB. Analog spirometers have a dial or a ball that indicates your results and require you to record them manually. Digital spirometers are more convenient, accurate, and easy to use, but they are also more expensive and require batteries.
Features and functions: Depending on your needs and preferences, you may want to look for a spirometer that has additional features and functions, such as adjustable resistance levels, multiple flow-rate ranges, analysis software, alarms, reminders, graphs, charts, games, etc. These features and functions can help you customize your spirometer to your personal goals, track your progress over time, motivate you to perform your exercises regularly, and make your sessions more fun and engaging.
Price and quality: The price of a spirometer can vary from $10 to $100 or more depending on the type, brand, quality, and features of the device. You should look for a spirometer that fits your budget but also offers good quality and reliability. You can read customer reviews, compare different models online, or ask your doctor or respiratory therapist for recommendations. You should also check the warranty and return policy of the seller before buying a spirometer.
Buying a spirometer can be a great investment for your respiratory health if you choose the right one for your needs and use it correctly and consistently. A spirometer can help you monitor your lung condition, prevent complications, improve your symptoms, and enhance your quality of life.
How to Use a Spirometer
Once you have bought a spirometer, you need to learn how to use it correctly and safely. Depending on the type and model of your spirometer, you may need to follow different instructions. Always read the user manual carefully and consult your doctor or respiratory therapist if you have any questions or concerns.
Here are some general steps on how to use a spirometer:
Set up your spirometer: If your spirometer has a flexible tubing, connect it to the outlet on the side of the device. The mouthpiece is attached to the other end of the tubing. If your spirometer has a screen, make sure it has enough battery power and turn it on.
Sit upright and hold the device: Find a comfortable position on a chair or on the edge of your bed. Hold the spirometer at eye level so you can see the indicator or the screen clearly. If you have had surgery on your chest or abdomen, you may want to hold a pillow against your incision to reduce pain and movement.
Breathe out normally and place the mouthpiece in your mouth: Breathe out through your mouth as you normally would. Then, put the mouthpiece in your mouth and close your lips tightly around it. Make sure you don’t breathe through your nose. You can pinch your nose if you need to.
Breathe in slowly and deeply: Depending on the type of your spirometer, you will either breathe in as much as you can (incentive spirometer) or as fast as you can (peak flow meter). As you breathe in, you will see the indicator or the screen move up or show a number. Try to reach the target level or range that your doctor or respiratory therapist has set for you.
Hold your breath and breathe out slowly: When you have reached your target level or range, hold your breath for a few seconds. Then, breathe out slowly and gently through your mouth. The indicator or the screen will move down or show another number.
Repeat the steps and record your results: Do this exercise for 10 to 15 times or as directed by your doctor or respiratory therapist. You may take a short break between each breath if you feel tired or dizzy. After each session, write down your highest or best result on a chart or log book. You can also use an app or software if your spirometer has one.
Using a spirometer regularly can help you improve your lung function and monitor your lung condition. However, it is not a substitute for medical treatment. You should always follow your doctor’s advice on how to manage your symptoms and prevent complications.