Modern advancements have made living with asthma more manageable. One of these advancements is the portable spirometer. With a portable spirometer, even children can monitor their lung function at home, empowering them to take control of their own health.
What is a Handheld Spirometer?
Spirometry is an all-encompassing term that refers to breathing and lung function tests. Typically, these tests are performed by having the patient inhale and exhale and measuring the volume of air their lungs can hold. Lung function tests also measure how quickly a pair of lungs can release the air they hold.
Since spirometry is the test, a spirometer is the means of administering the test. A handheld spirometer is a method of testing your own lungs at home without the hassle of a doctor’s visit. Some portable spirometry devices function on their own, and some can be paired with a smartphone app to supply you with extra information.
How Do Doctors Use Information from Lung Tests?
Lung tests tell doctors virtually everything they need to know about your breathing. They use lung tests to diagnose your condition, monitor your symptoms, and determine courses of action. By taking regular spirometry tests, you are building an arsenal of data that can be used to help you down the line.
Consider the following questions to help you understand more about how lung tests are performed and how their information is utilized.
How is a pulmonary function test performed?
A pulmonary function test performs a complete evaluation of the respiratory system. Typically, a tube will be attached to the portable device that you will place in your mouth. After inhaling deeply, you will exhale quickly and forcefully into the tube while the device performs the necessary measurements. If you are at a doctor’s office, you will likely have to take the test several times in a row. It isn’t painful, but it can leave you feeling lightheaded.
How do you use a spirometer for breathing exercises?
A traditional spirometer is labeled with numbers and an arrow. Based on your age/height/weight, etc. you should be reaching a certain number (ask your doctor for help in determining this). To exercise your lungs, place your lips over the tube and breathe steadily, trying to match your breaths with the correct number. Repeat multiple times over the course of an hour. Aluna's portable, digital spirometer is different in that it measures your FEV1 score. To use the Aluna spirometer, you place your mouth on the breathing tube and exhale as hard and as long as you can, until you have no air left in your lungs. It is not necessary to do this multiple times in a row.
How Accurate Are the Flow Measurements?
Like anything, measurement accuracy will vary from product to product and company to company. For the most part, portable spirometry devices are accurate and safe to use at home. Not only do they help you track your own symptoms, they provide a valuable resource for your personal doctor.
With the aid of modern technology, you can take a spirometry test at home.
Aluna is an innovative, scientifically-accurate, and portable spirometry exam and asthma management platform paired with a mobile game kids love. Developed by four asthmatic UC Berkeley grads with guidance from the world’s leading pediatric pulmonologists, Aluna seeks to shed light on childhood asthma by providing better data for doctors and parents while coaching kids to develop good asthma management habits.
This regular testing of lung function helps both doctors and patients to more closely monitor respiratory health over time and create better, more informed treatment plans. Proper usage of Aluna will result in better control of asthma.
If your child lives in California and has been diagnosed with asthma, contact us for more information on how they can participate in the Aluna clinical trial. Get valuable information for you and your child’s doctor regarding their FEV1 scores.