If you, or a loved one, suffers with a chronic lung disease, like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or pulmonary fibrosis, there is hope for rebuilding strength and enjoying a fuller and more active lifestyle through pulmonary rehabilitation.
What is Pulmonary Rehab?
Pulmonary rehabilitation – rehab for short— will not reverse the damage to your lungs from COPD. But it will make daily tasks, such as dressing, grocery shopping, and walking, easier for the patient.
Administering some type of airway clearance therapy for patients with COPD is essential to disease management, and clinicians have several options for clearing the airway.
Positive Expiratory Pressure (PEP) Therapy
Positive expiratory pressure (PEP) therapy is a type of airway clearance therapy in which the patient exhales through a resistance. This helps air get behind the mucus and helps move it from lung and airway walls.
Oscillating PEP (OPEP) is an airway clearance technique (ACT), where the person blows all the way out many times through a device.
Commonly known by their brand names (Acapella, Aerobika, Flutter, and RC-Cornet), these types of oscillating PEP devices work in two ways.
Treatment usually begins with Acapella or another handheld device that increases respiratory clearance.
The Acapella Valve is a unique handheld device that is used to keep your lungs clear of mucus so you can breathe easy. It combines the benefits of positive expiratory pressure or PEP therapy with airway vibrations.
Inside the valve is a small steel ball in a cone shaped valve. As you exhale, the ball moves up and down, doing two things—a) vibrating your airways and b) making you exhale against resistance.
The vibration opens your airways, facilitating the movement of mucus. Exhaling against resistance creates back pressure or positive pressure which allows mucus to move from peripheral airways to the larger central airways so it can be coughed out.
There are two types of Acapella Valves. The green or high flow valve is for users who can exhale at 15 liters per minute or more for at least three seconds. The green valve works for most users. If your lungs are lower volume, you can use the blue or low flow valve.
Aerobika is a convenient, user-friendly device that provides clinicians and patients with a means for reliable, drug-free, and natural airway clearance.
Aerobika OPEP system opens weak or collapsed airways by creating positive pressure and oscillations simultaneously, which helps move mucus to the upper airways where it can be coughed out.
The Flutter is a small, lightweight mucus clearance device that requires no power and can be used anywhere at any time.
The Flutter device works by the patient exhaling into the device, which causes the ball-bearing inside the casing to vibrate. The vibrations travel back into the lungs. These vibrations loosen the mucus in the airways. Gentle coughing then removes the mucus.
Mucus secretion and clearance are extremely important for airway integrity and pulmonary defense. If trapped mucus is not cleared, it makes breathing difficult and if allowed to build up, it leads to infection and damage to the lungs.
The RC-Cornet belongs to the oscillating group of PEP-devices. The exhalation in the mouthpiece causes a positive pressure.
This pressure massages the mucous membranes, loosens the secretions, and widens the lower respiratory tract of the bronchia.
The Vibralung Acoustical Percussor is intended for use in the hospital or at home for patients with respiratory diseases and related conditions that involve increased mucus production, infection, and inspissation of secretions, and defective mucociliary clearance.
The TheraPEP PEP Therapy System by Smith’s Medical is a lightweight, easy-to-use positive expiratory pressure system designed for clearing airways, helping to promote airflow in patients with COPD) or cystic fibrosis (CF), as well as for individuals recovering from surgery.
The device features a built-in pressure indicator, six fixed orifice options, and can be used with a mask or mouthpiece, as well as a nebulizer. The TheraPEP device is sturdy enough to resist breakage, allowing it to go with the user wherever they go.
GeloMuc is a breathing treatment device for shifting persistent, tough bronchial mucus from the respiratory tract, for example in patients with chronic bronchitis, COPD or asthma.
It opens the airways and releases persistent, tough bronchial mucus.
By shifting persistent, tough bronchial mucus, the GeloMuc increases pressure in the bronchi, opening the respiratory tract and reducing unproductive coughing.
The Shaker offers simple and convenient relief from excessive mucus and its associated problems. It can be used for chronic conditions such as COPD, asthma, emphysema and acute problems like chesty coughs, flu, and bronchitis.
Shaker devices help to shift bronchial secretions by combining resistance and oscillations. This combination helps to move mucus into the larger airway ready to expectorate.
AirPhysio is a mucus clearance and lung expansion OPEP device.
This assists the body’s natural cleaning process of mucus clearance. This helps to maintain optimal hygiene in the lungs and restores lung capacity.
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This article contains medical information provided to help you better understand this particular medical condition or process and may contain information about medication often used as part of a treatment plan prescribed by a doctor. It is not intended to be used as either a diagnosis or recommendation for treatment of your particular medical situation. If you are unwell, concerned about your physical or mental state, or are experiencing symptoms you should speak with your doctor or primary health care provider. If you are in medical distress, please contact emergency services (such as 911).
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