Using an Incentive Spirometer
An incentive spirometer is a device that helps you do deep breathing exercises. These exercises will help you breathe better and improve the function of your lungs. The incentive spirometer gives you a way to take an active part in your recovery.
Follow these steps to use your incentive spirometer
Inhale normally. Relax and breathe out:
Place your lips tightly around the mouthpiece.
Make sure the device is upright and not tilted.
Inhale as much air as you can through the mouthpiece (don't breathe through your nose). 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.
Hold your breath long enough to keep the balls (or disk) raised for at least 5 seconds.
Do this exercise every hour while you’re awake or as often as your healthcare provider instructs.
If you were also taught coughing exercises, do them regularly as instructed.
Make a follow-up appointment as directed by our staff.
When to call the healthcare provider
Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following:
Shortness of breath that doesn't get better after taking your medicine
Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider
Brownish, bloody, or smelly sputum
Blue lips or fingernails
March 21, 2017
Qaseem, A. Diagnosis and Management of Stable COPD. A Clinical Practice Guidelines from ACP, ACCP, ATS, and ERS. Annals of Internal Medicine (2011); 155 (3); pp. 179-192
Berry, Judith, PhD, APRN,Blaivas, Allen J., DO