Using an incentive spirometer is a simple thing. It’s not more difficult that holding your breath just like you did as a little kid when you didn’t get your way (you know you did).
Your physician or nurse will prescribe a frequency for you to use your spirometer, but typical it will be every one to two hours.
Here are the steps to using an incentive spirometer:
- Put the mouthpiece in your mouth – Make sure that you use your lips to seal it well; you want to “get credit” for all of the air that you breath in.
- Breathe out normally – You want to exhale just as you would with every other breath. Don’t strain to empty your lungs more than usual.
- Breathe in slowly – Inhale nice and slow to give your lungs time to expand and adjust to the volume of air that you are putting into them. If you inhale too quickly, you can get dizzy or might hurt yourself.
- Try to get the little marker to go to the height that your health practitioner set on the device – This is how big a breath you want to take.
- As the ball or marker rises, it tells you how big your breath is – This is the part that tell you that you are breathing in at the right pace.
- Make sure the ball stays in the middle – That’s exactly the pace that you want to be breathing in.
- If the ball shoots to the top, you are breathing in too fast.
- If the ball stays at the bottom, you are breathing in too slowly.
Hold your breath for a few seconds (3-5) then release your breath and exhale.
You will repeat this for 10-15 breaths about every one to two hours.
Doing this simple exercise can make all the difference in your healing and how well you feel as the healing process continues.