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Things To Know About Using an Incentive Spirometer

Things To Know About Using an Incentive Spirometer
Shweta Chaubey

Breathing is simple, right? Not for everybody. For many, breathing requires assistance. This means they need a breathing device to strengthen the lungs and allow them to function properly, like an incentive spirometer. If you are among the many people who find breathing difficult, this article is for you.  

What is an incentive spirometer? 

It is a breathing device designed to help you take slow, deep breaths and expand your lung capacity. The purpose of incentive spirometer is multifold. It helps - 

  • improve lung function,  
  • encourages deep breathing,  
  • aids with lung rehabilitation programs,  
  • helps with overall health and wellness,  
  • and works as a preventive measure for postoperative complications like pneumonia.  

A spirometer consists of a chamber with a piston and a visual indicator to track progress. This seemingly simple breathing device is impeccably effective.  

Whether you've just undergone surgery, are managing a respiratory condition, or want to improve your lung health, using a spirometer can be a game-changer. 

How to use an incentive spirometer? 

Using an incentive spirometer is a straightforward process, but it requires a proper technique for maximum benefit. According to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, here is how to use an incentive spirometer. 

  • Sit comfortably upright while keeping your feet flat on the floor.  
  • Hold the device in your hands. 
  • Take a deep breath and place the mouthpiece in your mouth. Your lips should seal the seal the mouthpiece.  
  • Deeply and slowly breathe into the mouthpiece.    
  • The piston inside the spirometer rises as you keep inhaling. Breathe in till it gets to the mark. 
  • Hold your breath for 3 seconds.  
  • Exhale slowly and steadily through your mouth.  
  • Repeat as prescribed by your healthcare provider. 

Frequently Asked Questions on Incentive Spirometry

1. How often should you use an incentive spirometer after surgery? 

Your healthcare professional will prescribe the frequency of using it after surgery. Typically, one is prescribed at least 10 times per hour while awake during the initial recovery phase. The number gradually starts reducing as the recovery progresses. 

2. What's the incentive spirometer goal by age? 

Although there is no universal spirometer goal by age, however, your doctor will set individual goals for you.  

According to the article mentioned above by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, "the number one should aim for depends on the age, height, and sex of the person. Moreover, it also depends on the type of surgery one has had and the recovery process. Most people begin with a goal of 500 mL or cc. However, your doctor may change your goal and have you aim for higher numbers in the later phase of your recovery.

3. Can I use an incentive spirometer as a breathing machine for my lungs? 

Yes, an incentive spirometer can be used as a breathing machine to help improve lung function. However, it's not a substitute for other medical treatments if you have a respiratory condition. 

5. How to choose the best spirometer for your needs? 

Many chronic conditions, such as asthma and COPD, may require one to use one. Here is how to choose the best one for your needs -  

  • Consult with your doctor 

Speak with your doctor to understand your needs and narrow your search for the best incentive spirometer. 

  • Go for one designed specifically for home use 

If you are reading this, you're most likely looking for an incentive spirometer for home use. Such types of incentive spirometers are manufactured differently than the hospital equipment since the environment at home is much different than the hospital and can affect the results of the spirometry tests. 

 Therefore, while purchasing, make sure your device meets the latest ISO standards for home use. 

  • Simple is good 

Your device should be easy to operate since, at home, your doctor will not always be there to assist you; hence, go for a device that does not require calibration and comes with manuals and guides to learn how to use an incentive spirometer. 

  • The best bet is not always the cheapest 

An incentive spirometer is not just any other tool you want to buy. It is a necessary breathing device to strengthen lungs. Look at it as an investment more than an expense. The best spirometers may seem expensive, but they are more accurate and effective when compared with cheaper ones.  

Top-selling spirometers at HPFY 

Here are three of HPFY’s best spirometers -  


1. CareFusion AirLife Volumetric Incentive Spirometer with One-Way Valve 

FSA Eligible Items FSA Approved LatexFree Latex Free

It is a Volumetric Incentive Spirometer with a One-Way Valve for breathing exercises. AirLife is a handheld device with an intuitive design that acts like a breathing machine for the lungs.  

Features of AirLife Spirometer 

  • Manual display 
  • Single patient use 
  • Flexible tubing 
  • Has dual-sided calibrations 
  • Made with plastic material 

CareFusion AirLife Volumetric Incentive Spirometer With One-Way Valve


2. Hudson RCI Voldyne 2500 

FSA Eligible Items FSA Approved

It helps to improve breathing and increase lung capacity. The Voldyne 2500 is ideal for patients requiring post-operative deep breathing exercises and delivers a reliable volume of up to 2500 mL. 

Features of Voldyne 2500 mL 

  • Comes in two convenient sizes to accommodate: pediatric and adult-inspired volumes 
  • Compact, ergonomic design 
  • packaged individually 
  • Has a built-in handle 

Voldyne 2500 mL Incentive Spirometer


3. Medline Voldyne Incentive Spirometer 

It helps patients exercise their lungs and keep them healthy. The user can easily use the Voldyne 4000 spirometer comfortably since it has an expandable, foldable, and removable tube. It also offers convenient storage and portability. 

Features Hudson RCI Voldyne 4000 

  • A bright green flow indicator makes it simple to see the results. 
  • A flow indicator showcases spirometer goals.  
  • It comes with a screen for particulate filters and lowers the danger of contamination. 

Medline Voldyne Incentive Spirometer


Where can I buy the best incentive spirometer online? 

HPFY has been your health and wellness partner since 2023. We offer a wide range of medical and respiratory supplies including incentive spirometers, and other breathing machines. Explore our catalog today to find the best pick for you or your loved ones.  


Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics, and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our reviewed content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.


HPFY Shweta Chaubey

Shweta Chaubey

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Shweta Chaubey, has been a Health Products For You contributor since 2021. An advocate-turned-writer, her desire to create meaningful and positive content has brought her to HPFY and what better than writing ...

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