An incentive spirometer is a device that helps you do deep breathing exercises. These exercises expand your lungs, aid in circulation, and help prevent pneumonia. Deep breathing exercises also help you breathe better and improve the function of your lungs by:
Keeping your lungs clear
Strengthening your breathing muscles
Helping prevent respiratory complications or problems
The incentive spirometer gives you a way to take an active part in recover. A nurse or therapist will teach you breathing exercises. To do these exercises, you will breathe in through your mouth and not your nose. The incentive spirometer only works correctly if you breathe in through your mouth.
Relax and breathe out.
Make sure the device is upright and not tilted.
Inhale slowly and deeply.
Hold your breath long enough to keep the balls or disk raised for at least 3 to 5 seconds, or as instructed by your healthcare provider.
Some spirometers have an indicator to let you know that you are breathing in too fast. If the indicator goes off, breathe in more slowly.
Do this exercise every hour while you're awake, or as instructed by your healthcare provider.
If you were taught deep breathing and coughing exercises, do them regularly as instructed by your healthcare provider.
Make a follow up appointment, or as directed. Also, follow up with your healthcare provider as advised or if your symptoms do not improve or continue to get worse.
Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following:
Fever 100.4° (38°C) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider
Brownish, bloody, or smelly sputum
Call 911 if any of these occur:
Shortness of breath that doesn't get better after taking your medicine
Cool, moist, pale or blue skin
Trouble breathing or swallowing, wheezing
Fainting or loss of consciousness
Feeling of fizziness or weakness or a sudden drop in blood pressure
Feeling of doom or lightheaded
Chest pain or rapid heart rate
© 2000-2017 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.