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Our lungsstart at the back of the throat with the windpipe which divides into two airways, one for each lung.In each lung, the airways branch like a tree, getting smaller and smaller until eventually, they form small air sacs called alveoli. Its in the very smallest of these where the oxygen passes into the bloodstream and at the same time waste gases are discarded. The lining of our airways continually produce mucus, which keeps the airways moist, trapping dust and debris that may enter our lungs. Cilia or tiny hairs line our airways and continually move this mucus up to our throat so it can be cleared.
However for some of you this mucus becomes stickier making it difficult to clear and this can lead to infection making your airways swell and produce even more mucus. This in turn results in further infection which can eventually lead to lung damage. One possible treatment of these symptoms along with mucolytics is airways clearance techniques and it is vital that these are recommended and monitored by a physiotherapist as everyone is an individual.
Increasingly many of you have been recommended by your health professional to try Oscillating Positive Expiratory Pressure devices such as theFlutter theShaker or the Pari O-PEP. These work by vibrating your airways and applying a “back pressure” during a breath out. This helps to open up your airways by getting air behind the secretions and moving them further up.
The Flutter is usually used in a sitting position and the angle at which it is held needs to be adjusted to where maximum vibrations can be felt in your chest The Pari O-PEP is a similar shape to the Flutter and has a jaunty red storage bag
The Shaker comes in the 'classic' shape or you can choose the deluxe version with its more comfortable mouthpiece
Having checked with your health professional, those of you who may benefit from a product such as The RC Cornet or Flutter include anyone suffering from medical conditions which result in sticky mucus secretions in your airways, such as COPD, Bronchiectasis, Cystic Fibrosis, Emphysema or Asthma. As with any medical device caution is always wise and they aren’t suitable for everyone. You can find out more about these devices and if you have any of the contra indications at our previous post or click HERE for our website