Modern advancements have made living with asthma more manageable. One of these advancements is the portable spirometer. With a portable spirometer, even children can monitor their lung function at home, empowering them to take control of their health.
What is Spirometry?
Spirometry is an all-encompassing term that refers to breathing and lung function tests. Typically, the patient performs these tests by inhaling, exhaling, and measuring the total volume of air their lungs hold. Lung function tests also measure how quickly a pair of lungs can release the air they hold.
Spirometry is low-risk and rarely causes any issues. However, it is not recommended if you have had a recent heart attack or other heart-related issues. Consult your physician with any concerns or questions you may have.
What is a Handheld Spirometer?
Since spirometry is the test, a spirometer is the means of administering the test. A handheld spirometer is a method of testing your lungs at home without the hassle of a doctor’s visit. Some portable spirometry devices function on their own, while others pair with a smartphone app and supply you with extra information.
Understanding the Point of Lung Tests
Lung tests tell doctors virtually everything they need to know about your breathing. They use lung tests to diagnose your condition, monitor your symptoms, and determine courses of action. By taking regular spirometry tests, you build an arsenal of data that can be used to help you down the line.
The following questions might help you understand more about how lung tests are performed and how their information is utilized.
1. How is a pulmonary function test performed?
A pulmonary function test performs a complete evaluation of the respiratory system. Typically, a tube attaches to the portable device that you place in your mouth. After inhaling deeply, you exhale quickly and forcefully into the tube while the device performs the necessary measurements. If you are at a doctor’s office, you will likely have to take the test several times in a row. It isn’t painful, but it can leave you feeling lightheaded.
2. How do you use a spirometer for breathing exercises?
Numbers and an arrow label a traditional spirometer. Based on your age/height/weight, etc. you should reach a certain number (ask your doctor for help in determining this). To exercise your lungs, place your lips over the tube and breathe steadily, matching your breaths with the correct number. Repeat multiple times over an hour.
To use the Aluna spirometer, you place your mouth on the breathing tube and exhale as hard and as long as your lungs allow until all air exits your lungs. It is not necessary to do this multiple times in a row, which saves you from becoming lightheaded or dizzy.
3. How accurate are the flow measurements?
Like anything, measurement accuracy varies from product to product and company to company. For the most part, portable spirometry devices are accurate and safe to use at home. Not only do they help you track your symptoms, they provide a valuable resource for your doctor.
Benefits of a Portable Spirometry Device
So, why invest in a portable spirometry device? What makes at-home spirometry more beneficial than taking a spirometry test at your doctor’s office? The “portable” aspect of a spirometer provides several advantages, including these.
1. Consistently monitor your data.
If you limit your lung tests to in-office only, it makes it difficult to get a consistent read on your lung data. By investing in a portable device, you can log important information regularly, which helps both you and your doctor.
2. Make fewer visits to the doctor.
Due to the busy nature of life, squeezing in visits to the doctor is always difficult. Cut back on doctor visits by taking your spirometry tests and sharing data with your doctor remotely.
3. Track your breath control.
Because spirometry measures your total lung capacity, spirometry provides a great opportunity to monitor your breath control and support. A spirometer is a particularly great tool if you play sports or are actively trying to improve breath control through lung exercises.
4. Prevent daily asthma triggers.
Consistent spirometry helps you gain a better understanding of what triggers your respiratory attacks. With this information, you can avoid triggers and reduce flare-ups.
With the aid of modern technology, you can take a spirometry test at home. Invest in your portable spirometer and gain better control over your lung health.