Is Spirometer Good For Lungs?

Oct 21, 2022
Is Spirometer Good For Lungs?
Maybe you have recently gone through an abdominal or chest surgery and were handed this weird apparatus to breathe in and you have absolutely no idea what it’s for?

Maybe you have recently gone through an abdominal or chest surgery and were handed this weird apparatus to breathe in and you have absolutely no idea what it’s for? 

Chances are your doctor has recommended you a spirometer, yep that weird equipment that you breathe in to; with tubes and small ping pong balls inside. So what is a spirometer and why do you need to use it?

 The use of an incentive spirometer comes highly recommended by many in the medical field for improving overall lung function; it is particularly helpful in strengthening lung function in patients post-op. Your healthcare practitioner will be able to guide you in the process of goal-setting and demonstrate to you how to use the apparatus in a manner that is both secure and efficient.

What is a Spirometer?

An incentive spirometer is a straightforward piece of medical equipment made of plastic that assists you in developing your lung capacity. It is possible that your physician will recommend that you use an incentive spirometer following a chest or abdominal injury, illness, or surgery. 

As you continue to use the incentive spirometer, you will see an increase in the amount of air that can be contained within your lungs.

What is the purpose of an Incentive Spirometer?

Incentive spirometry is carried out with the use of apparatus that shows the patients, via the use of visual signals, when they have attained the necessary flow or volume. 

The foundation of incentive spirometry is for the patient to take a sustained, maximal inspiration (SMI). An SMI consists of taking a slow, deep breath in from the Functional Residual Capacity all the way up to the entire lung capacity, then holding your breath for around five seconds.


Patients are prompted to take slow, deep breaths in an effort to simulate the patient’s natural sighing pattern. 

How Does a Spirometer Work?

When you exhale through an incentive spirometer, the internal piston of the gadget rises to record how much air you expel. You may receive instructions from a medical professional to take a predetermined number of breaths.

Hospitals regularly make use of spirometers for patients who have undergone significant medical operations or who have been bed-ridden for an extended period of time due to an illness. It is possible that following surgery, your doctor or surgeon will provide you with a spirometer to use at home, hence if it is doctor recommended you can safely assume that using a spirometer is good for lungs. 

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Is Spirometer Good For Lungs?

The answer is yes, it is. Incentive spirometers are used to remove mucus and other secretions from the chest and lungs, increase lung capacity, strengthen the lungs, and maintain lung inflation, all of which are beneficial in warding off lung infections.

After surgery or a major illness, your body’s oxygen levels may drop. An incentive spirometer can help you get them back up to normal. 

Who needs to use an incentive spirometer?

Patients recovering from surgery, those with lung illness, or those with disorders that cause fluid buildup in the lungs are common recipients of incentive spirometers.

What are the benefits of using a spirometer?

  • The use of this apparatus trains you to breathe more deliberately and deeply. 
  • After surgery or when you have a progressive illness such as lung disease, it may be helpful for you to build up your lung capacity with this exercise. 
  • The use of this gadget empowers you to take an active role in your own recovery and healing process.
  • By using an incentive spirometer, one can enhance their general lung function. This in turn improves the quantity of oxygen that is inhaled into the lungs, which eventually results in an increase in the amount of oxygen that is taken into the body. 
  • This gadget also has the capability of assisting patients in expelling mucus from their lungs.
  • A person can reduce their risk of acquiring a major lung ailment by just breathing in more deeply. 
  • Patients can further improve their lung function by taking slow, deep breaths in and then holding their breath for up to six seconds. This allows the patient’s alveoli, which are little air sacs in the lungs, to expand and become more functional.

What is The Voldyne 5000?

One well-known model of an incentive spirometer is the Voldyne 5000. The air sacs in your lungs will be more easily opened with the help of this device following surgery, which will make it simpler for you to take in more air and maintain your lung function.

 If you use the device correctly, it might cut the overall time you need to recuperate while also lowering the likelihood of getting pneumonia or other respiratory conditions. 

This lightweight spirometer offers an ergonomic design which incorporates an improved filter; thus requiring less effort to breathe through.

In addition to that, the air volume that is measured by the Voldyne 5000 provides information about how well the user is filling their lungs with each breath that they take.

Voldyne 5000

Incentive Spirometer Normal Range Chart

Normal readings for spirometry might fall anywhere within a somewhat large range. When determining what is normal for you, it is important to take into account a variety of aspects, including your age, height, as well as your physical and sexual traits.

Your doctor will take all of these factors into account when selecting a goal for you to work towards. When you are able to produce outcomes that are regularly better than the aim that was stated by your physician, this is an indication that things are going in the right direction.

To determine the normal range for incentive spirometer there is a reference calculator available on the website of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which you can use to obtain an idea of the normal and abnormal values. However, clinical applications are not intended for use with this calculator; you shouldn’t rely on it as a substitute for the diagnosis provided by your physician.

Incentive Spirometer Goal by Age

Normal values are expressed as ranges for age groups since age itself is influenced by gender, race, and height.

 As mentioned above, a calculator is created by the CDC which is available on their website. You can use this to enter your details to find the perfect spirometer goal for your particular age.

Incentive Spirometer Goal by Age

 However, if you still want to know the incentive spirometer goals by age, there are general goals for both genders based on age. For males between the ages of 20 and 60, their normal values are from 4.75 – 5.5 Litres, and for females between the age of 20 and 60 are 3.25 – 3.75 Litres.

Airlife Spirometer Normal Range

Before you take the test, your physician has already estimated what a “normal” value for you would be. After you finish the test, they will examine the score you received and compare it to the score that was projected for you. If your score is at least 80 percent of the number that was predicted for you, then your result is regarded to be “normal.”

The two most important elements that are measured by spirometry are the forced vital capacity (FVC) of the exhale and the forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1). The ratio of the forced expiratory volume in one second to the forced vital capacity is another metric that your doctor will look at.

When your airways are blocked, the volume of air that you are able to forcefully expel from your lungs in a short length of time will be diminished. Because of this, both your FEV1 and your FEV1/FVC ratio will be decreased.

FVC Measurement

The forced vital capacity (FVC) is one of the key measurements that are taken during spirometry. The FVC is the largest total volume of air that a person is able to forcibly breathe out after taking the deepest possible breath in. If your forced vital capacity (FVC) is lower than predicted, this indicates that something is limiting your ability to breathe.

  • Results that are deemed “normal” or “abnormal” in youngsters are evaluated differently than they are in adults.
  • For children between the age of 5 and 18, the normal result is 80% or greater than the predicted FVC value. 
  • For adults, the normal result is anything that is greater than or equal to the lower limit of the normal value.

FEV1 Measurement

The FEV1 is the second most important measurement that spirometry can provide. This is the volume of air that can be expelled from your lungs in one single second when you exert maximum effort.

Your doctor will be able to more accurately assess the severity of your breathing problems using this information. If your FEV1 reading is lower than what is predicted, it indicates that you may be suffering from a major breathing obstruction.

The severity of any breathing difficulties will be rated based on the FEV1 measurement that you provide to your doctor. According to recommendations made by the American Thoracic Society, the following chart provides an explanation of what kinds of results from your FEV1 spirometry test are regarded “normal” and what kinds of results are considered “abnormal”:

Percentage of predicted FEV1 value Result
80% or greater normal
70%–79% mildly abnormal
60%–69% moderately abnormal
50%–59% moderate to severely abnormal
35%–49% severely abnormal
less than 35% very severely abnormal

With that said, you can also learn how to read pft test results without any confusion.

FEV1/FVC Ratio

Your doctor will often perform an individual analysis of your FVC and FEV1, and then determine your FEV1/FVC ratio. The ratio of your forced expiratory volume to your forced vital capacity (FEV1/FVC) is a figure that shows the proportion of your total lung capacity that you are able to expel in one second.

If you do not have a restrictive lung illness that is the source of a normal or increased FEV1/FVC ratio, then the greater the percentage that you get from your FEV1/FVC ratio indicates that your lungs are in better condition.

If your ratio is low, it might mean that you have anything restricting your airways. The following is an example of what is considered a low ratio:

For ages between 5-18 years old less than 85% is considered a low and for adults, it’s less than 70%.

All the values shown above are the airlife spirometer goals that you should aim for if you’re using the lung capacity machine incentive spirometer.

How does an Incentive Spirometer Prevent Pneumonia?

When you use an incentive spirometer, you are encouraged to take long, leisurely breaths that allow your lungs to expand and become more fully filled with air. This helps avoid lung diseases, like pneumonia, which may be potentially life threatening.

 An incentive spirometer can be particularly helpful in removing the buildup of mucus that accumulates as a result of pneumonia. 

According to the findings of a study published in 2019, the utilization of incentive spirometers in the postoperative period may help lower the incidence of complications such as pneumonia.

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Incentive spirometers are particularly helpful in strengthening your lungs. 

They are particularly helpful for patients post-operation to lower the risk of post-op complications such as pneumonia, atelactasis, bronchospasms and respiratory problems. 

A spirometer may also be suggested for patients diagnosed with COPD or cystic fibrosis, in the case of the former, it helps remove excess mucus buildup. 

The main takeaway here being that don’t worry if you have been sent home with a spirometer, they are indeed good for your lungs, which is why they come recommended by medical professionals. As long as they are used correctly there are no possible risks or drawbacks.