6 Benefits of Using a Smart Spirometer
Spirometry is a basic test that general practitioners use to help diagnose or keep track of lung conditions. Here are 6 health benefits of using a Smart Spirometer.
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Spirometry is a basic test that general practitioners use to help diagnose or keep track of lung conditions.
A Smart Spirometer is a device that accurately measures how much air your lungs can take in and breathe out within a single breath.
These machines are normally attached to a mouthpiece that patients use to blow into.
Spirometry is particularly commonplace among GPs that believe the device can help diagnose a specific lung condition, providing certain symptoms are already being displayed.
It can also be used if your GP believes your lungs are at increased risk of developing a specific lung condition due to your age or lifestyle. For instance, a spirometer might be used on you if you are aged 35 and older and are a regular smoker.
Even if you have been diagnosed with a lung condition such as asthma, cystic fibrosis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a spirometer can monitor the severity of your condition and measure how well your lungs are responding to treatment.
Fortunately, there are several other benefits of regularly using a spirometer which we will go into greater detail about below.
1. Provides exercise for your lungs
Whether you have an incentive Smart Spirometer at home or you visit your GP for regular examinations, spirometry is hugely beneficial for exercising your lungs and keeping them active. By regularly using a spirometer you are emptying out and refilling your lungs with fresh air regularly, getting rid of any nasty germs and fluids that can foster unwanted infections, whilst putting greater levels of oxygen elsewhere into your body.
Deep breathing techniques using a spirometer also help to improve the overall function of your lungs, strengthening your muscles and helping to keep the lungs’ air sacs open, whilst helping to ward off pneumonia.
2. Keeps your alveoli well-inflated
The exchange of oxygen within your lungs takes place via the membranes of your alveoli, which look like small balloons and are joined to your bronchial passages. Your alveoli will inflate and deflate when you inhale and exhale. If the alveoli are not adequately inflated, it can be a struggle to breathe in. Sufferers of emphysema can also experience issues exhaling due to their alveoli lacking their typical elasticity that is needed when breathing out. That’s because the wall tension within each alveoli – when elastic – will force air out of each small balloon-like alveoli.
Regular deep breathing exercises using a spirometer can be hugely effective in keeping your alveoli well-inflated for inhalation and exhalation.
3. It measures how much air you can inhale and exhale
At its core, spirometry is designed to help GPs and asthma nurses understand how much air your lungs can inhale and exhale. If your GP wishes to gain a quick understanding of your lungs’ capacity, a spirometer can provide an almost instant indication of their health. Regular smokers and those taking specific medications may be required to take spirometer tests more regularly than others to monitor the potential degradation of lung capacity.
4. Capable of helping to diagnose lung diseases
As we’ve already ascertained, spirometry is the most vital test of any individual’s lung function. It can be used to diagnose various lung conditions and diseases, including asthma.
For people with suspected asthma, a spirometer test provides the following information:
- If your lung condition is restrictive or obstructive to your inhalation or exhalation
- The severity of any airway blockage
- The effect of medication on the opening of your airways
- The sensitivity of your airways
- Whether your medication(s) are working as they should
- Whether the functioning of your lungs has worsened or improved over time
According to Asthma.net, there are three key pieces of data that GPs and asthma nurses will record from any spirometer test:
- FEV1 – The volume of air that can be forcefully exhaled in a single second. This stands for forced expiratory volume in one second.
- FVC – The total amount of air that can be forcefully exhaled in total. FVC stands for forced vital capacity.
- FEV1/FVC – This calculates your lungs’ total air capacity that can be forcefully exhaled in a single second.
Typically, the results of the three results above are recorded in litres per minute and percentages. The percentage figure is based on “predicted normal values” based on an individual’s age, weight, gender, height and race.
GPs and asthma nurses then use the results of the three figures above to determine the severity of a patient’s asthma condition:
FEV1 – More than 80%
FEV1/FVC – Adults (Normal) Children (More than 80%)
FEV1 – 60%-80%
FEV1/FVC – Adults (Reduced by 5%) Children (75%-80%)
FEV1 – Less than 60%
FEV1/FVC – Adults (Reduced by more than 5%) Children (Less than 75%)
5. Devices are available at most GP practices
Another benefit of using a Smart Spirometer to monitor lung conditions such as asthma is that these devices are now readily available at most GP practices. In the event that a surgery does not have a device on-site, they can quickly place an order for a spirometer test at the nearest hospital.
6. Very useful for pre-surgery preparations
Much like you can improve your leg and arm muscles with exercise, it is also possible to strengthen your chest, lungs and abdominal muscles with regular deep breathing exercises. If you are soon to have a surgical procedure at hospital, your pre-surgery preparations should focus on increasing the capacity of your lungs and training the muscles around the lungs. It is said that deep breathing exercises with a spirometer can reduce the risk of developing pulmonary problems post-surgery, including infections and pneumonia.
Pre-op patients will often be handed incentive spirometers to monitor how much air you’re inhaling. The idea is to work to improve the amount of air you inhale into your lungs and how long you can hold it.
Manage your asthma with spirometry and smart inhaler technology
Two-thirds of asthma deaths are said to be entirely preventable. Spirometry not only helps to underline those with severe asthma symptoms, it can monitor whether those with severe conditions improve over time with the correct asthma medication.
At Safey, we see the creation of our smart inhaler tools as a means of simplifying the adherence and monitoring of asthma treatment. If spirometry has diagnosed your asthma, our smart Bluetooth-enabled inhalers keep caretakers and clinicians well-informed on your adherence of medication.
The smart sensors within our devices help to monitor inhaler technique and will train you on how to correct your adherence and ensure your lungs get the maximum benefit from the medication.
Controlled asthma poses far less of an economic and emotional burden than uncontrolled asthma. That’s why Safey focuses on delivering positive outcomes for the UK’s asthma sufferers.