Is There an At Home Spirometer in Your Future?
One of the ways a doctor can decide if you have COPD is to perform lung function testing. One of the devices used for this is something you breathe into called a spirometer.
Spirometers measure airflow and how well lungs are working. When you breathe into this device, it measures the amount of air you are breathing in and out, as well as how fast you are able to inhale and exhale.
They are more accurate and provide more information than a peak flow meter or simple observation and examination. But spirometers are not used only for diagnosis. They are also useful in tracking how your lungs work over time and in picking up on deterioration and progression of your illness.
A company called PMD Healthcare has developed a new portable device they are calling the "personal spirometer", or Spiro PD, that now brings the ability to use a spirometer to your home.
The device has both visual and audio instructions that help you use it correctly. And not only will it track your lung function, you can also log your medications on it and have it remind you when to take them. Both the lung function and the medication data can help you work more effectively with your doctor for optimum COPD control and your overall health.
It's only available by prescription and should definitely be used in a team effort with your respiratory specialist. It'll track and store information about your lung function and is said to be as easy to use as a cellphone. From the video, it looks quite compact. You can even upload its data right to your physician's office!
Although you might worry about the spirometer's results scaring you about how "bad" your lungs really are, another way to look at it is that it can help detect when things are getting worse, so that you can make adjustments in your treatment plan (with your doctor's help, of course) before things get really out of control.
The Spiro PD is being marketed to anyone with a chronic lung condition, not just to people who have COPD. It can also be used for asthma, cystic fibrosis and lung transplants. The device costs $219.
If you're struggling to control your COPD or would just like to be more involved in the regular monitoring of your health, I encourage you to talk with your physician about getting one of these personal spirometers from Spiro PD. And if you get one, be sure to come back here and tell us all about it, won't you?