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 own health.
What is a Handheld Spirometer?
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 volume of air their lungs hold. Lung function tests also measure how quickly a pair of lungs can release the air they hold.
Since spirometry is the test, a spirometer is the means of administering the test. A handheld spirometer is a method of testing your own 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 to supply you with extra information.
How Do Doctors Use Information from 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.
Consider the following questions to help you understand more about how lung tests are performed and how their information is utilized.
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 will 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.
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 the course of an hour. Aluna’s portable, digital spirometer measures your FEV1 score. 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.
How Accurate Are the Flow Measurements?
Like anything, measurement accuracy will vary 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 own symptoms, they provide a valuable resource for your personal doctor.
With the aid of modern technology, you can take a spirometry test at home.