Lung Capacity – Spirometers

What is a Spirometer?

A spirometer is a device used to measure the volume of air inhaled and exhaled by the lungs. A spirometer measures ventilation, the movement of air into and out of the lungs. The spirogram will identify two different types of abnormal ventilation patterns, namely obstructive and restrictive. There are various types of spirometers which use a number of different methods for measurement (pressure transducers, ultrasonic, water gauge,etc.).

What does it do?

It diagnoses certain types of lung diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema. I is also used to find the cause of shortness of breath and measure whether exposure to chemicals at work affects lung function. It is used to check lung function before someone goes through a surgery, assess the effect of the medication, and to measure the progress of the treatment.

What is an Incentive Spirometer?

An incentive spirometer is a device used to help patients improve the functioning of their lungs. It is given to patients who have had any surgery that might put in danger the respiratory function, particularly surgery to the lungs themselves. It is also commonly given to patients recovering from cardiac or other surgery involving extended time under anesthesia and prolonged in-bed recovery. The incentive spirometer is also issued to patients recovering from pneumonia or rib damage to help minimize the chance of fluid build-up in the lungs. It can be used as well by wind instrument players, who want to improve their air flow.

What are my options?

There are a number of options. For example the CareFusion AirLife Volumetric Incentive Spirometers simplify deep breathing therapy with an intuitive design that prompts patients to correctly perform and monitor their own breathing exercises, even without direct supervision. Next is the CareFusion AirLife Airx Flow Incentive Spirometer is disposable and designed for exercising and measurement of volume flow. Preoperative and postoperative patients increase their lung volume by keeping the instruments inhalation-sensitive ball suspended with their inhalation. The Smiths Medical Portex Flow Based Incentive Spirometer is a small hand-held tool with a breathing tube and air chamber that is used to measure the air taken into and exhaled by the lungs. It is used when recovering from surgery to help keep lungs active. Last is the Cardio Tech GT-105 Spirometer is used to measure and assess lung function and the general flow of oxygen to and from the lungs. It connects via the computers USB port for easy data transmission. It is also used for conducting bronchial and bronchodilator tests and suitable in early detection of respiratory impairments such as Asthma and COPD.


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