Best Spirometers & How to Use Them

Jack Vejvoda
Written by Jack Vejvoda on Mon Oct 04 2021.
Best Spirometers & How to Use Them

For many, breathing is an activity that barely crosses our minds. For others, however, every breath can present a challenge. It’s in these situations where spirometry can offer some assistance. The goal of a spirometer is to ensure accurate lung function measurements.

This article discusses a general overview and recommended incentive spirometers. These devices will help you to improve your lung function over time.

Spirometer: Definition

Spirometry is a lung function test and a spirometer is a device used to measure pulmonary function. It can measure a variety of breathing flows, such as the amount of air in your lungs and the force you expel when you release a breath. There are many types, some measure lung function while others can help to improve lung function over time.

Dry spirometers measure the volume of air in the lungs and the volume of air released in a breath. An incentive spirometer is a device that helps your lungs recover after surgery or a lung illness. It can easily be used at home. It’s important to follow your healthcare provider’s recommendation on which type is right for your needs. Depending on what type of breathing function your spirometer measures, it can have a capacity anywhere between 1000 ml - 7000 ml.

How to Use a Spirometer

Instructions for how to use an incentive spirometer will vary from product to product and you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions while using the device. Generally, however, an incentive spirometer will either have colored balls or a piston that will rise to a certain level when you inhale or exhale with the desired amount of force. Here are some best practices for how to use it:

  1. Before beginning, don’t smoke at least an hour before the test, don’t wear tight-fitting clothing, avoid alcohol, and avoid having a large meal. 

  2. Wear a nose clip if you are unable to keep air from escaping through your nose. 

  3. Make sure you are sitting up as straight as you can with your feet on the floor and chin up. 

  4. Hold the spirometer instrument in an upright position. 

  5. Seal your lips tightly around the mouthpiece.

  6. Breathe in slowly and as deeply as you can until the balls or piston are in the outlined area. 

  7. Hold your breath as long as possible then exhale slowly. 

  8. Once you have exhaled, rest for a few seconds and repeat steps 5-10 times or as directed by your healthcare provider.

If the product has a disposable mouthpiece, make sure you are not using the same piece for more than 24 hrs. Remove the tube and mouthpiece and hand wash it with warm water and mild soap when cleaning.

Best Spirometers

Highly rated: AirLife Spirometer

This is perfect for mobile health, its design allows it to be held comfortably while in use. The calibrations are listed on both sides of the tube, allowing for easy-to-read measurements. The tubing is flexible, giving the user flexibility in how they would like to position the mouthpiece. The one-way valve option reminds patients to inhale rather than exhale. This device reads volumes up to 4,000 ml.

New: Triflo II Incentive Spirometer Adult

This is a compact device that measures breathing flow. Users push air through the mouthpiece into the device. As air gets pushed in, the color-coded balls will rise, indicating an airflow rate of 600 to 1200 cubic centimeters per second. This allows the user to visualize their progress over time. The higher the balls reach the chamber, the stronger the breathing muscles.

Lung illness and related issues are incredibly difficult circumstances to overcome for any person or loved one. Luckily, an incentive spirometer can assist with recovery and accurate lung function measurements after such events. These easy-to-use devices can strengthen breathing muscles and improve lung function, making them an essential part of any caregivers’ supplies. Carewell offers a large selection of many products that can meet the varied needs of your loved one.

If you have questions about any of the items we’ve linked to in this post, please reach out to our friendly Caregiving Specialists. Call (855) 855-1666 or send an email to support@carewell.com. They can help you make the right decision for your loved one’s needs.

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Jack Vejvoda
Jack Vejvoda

Jack Vejvoda is Carewell’s Special Projects Associate who resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. A west coast native, he enjoys all things outdoors: hiking, running, biking, skiing, you name it!