lady using POWERbreathe Medic breathing device

One of the most common COPD symptoms is shortness of breath which makes breathing more difficult over time. Thankfully, drug-free breathing training, such as POWERbreathe Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT), helps to reduce this symptom of COPD.

This review article in Respiratory Care finds IMT to be effective in enhancing COPD treatment. Furthermore, this study suggests that IMT may be a starter intervention for patients unable to undergo Pulmonary Rehabilitation either due to the severity of their COPD, logistical reasons, or perhaps due to their financial situation.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the name for a group of lung conditions that cause difficulty breathing. Such conditions include emphysema, or shortness of breath, and chronic bronchitis. This pulmonary disease is obstructive due to the narrowing of the airways. As a result, breathing becomes difficult. COPD treatment can help to slow down the progression of the disease and relieve COPD symptoms. However, even with treatments, COPD exacerbations can still occur.

COPD Symptoms And Signs

  • An increase in breathlessness
  • More frequent chest infections
  • A persistent chesty cough
  • Constant wheezing

Although COPD is the third leading cause of death worldwide, it is treatable. Treatment for symptoms of COPD will include pulmonary rehabilitation.

Can COPD Symptoms Improve?

Pulmonary rehab aims to improve how much ‘exercise’ or physical activity a patient can achieve before feeling out of breath. In patients with COPD, this is very helpful, as breathlessness makes everything feel hard. With excessive breathlessness, a patient may start to do less and begin to feel that they are losing their independence and joy for life. Unfortunately, COPD symptoms can cause patients to lose their confidence. So it’s no surprise that pulmonary rehab includes breathing exercises to help improve physical activity and quality of life again. It does this by improving breathing muscle strength so that the patient with COPD breathes more efficiently. As a consequence of stronger breathing muscles, the patient will become less breathless and more active again.

COPD Treatment And Management

The POWERbreathe IMT breathing device is being used in studies into the efficacy of IMT in patients with COPD. The Effects of 1 Year of Specific Inspiratory Muscle Training in Patients With COPD uses POWERbreathe IMT. It shows an increase in exercise capacity, improvement in quality of life and decrease in dyspnea (shortness of breath) after POWERbreathe IMT in patients with COPD.

“This study shows that in patients with significant COPD, long-term IMT results in an increase in inspiratory muscle strength. This increase is associated with improved exercise performance, decrease in the sensation of dyspnea while breathing against resistance, improved quality of life, lower rate of primary care consultation, and fewer hospitalization days.”

Marinella Beckerman et al (2005)
What is POWERbreathe IMT?

POWERbreathe IMT In Pulmonary Rehab

For various reasons, some patients decline Pulmonary Rehab. This may be because they feel there is a stigma attached to having COPD. They may also perceive it to be time-consuming. But, there is a type of rehab that is easy to do at home and that isn’t time-consuming either. And that is breathing training using the scientifically proven, drug-free POWERbreathe IMT breathing device. In fact, scientific studies found that just 30 inspiratory breaths through the device, twice a day, will improve inspiratory muscle strength in just 4 weeks.

This study, using an electronic POWERbreathe K-Series breathing device, shows Inspiratory Muscle Training to be an acceptable treatment for people with COPD:

“Interviewees felt that they would have the time to do IMT… The environment of therapy appeared to have a high impact on acceptability of IMT. Interviewees liked the fact that they could do the treatment in their own home.”

(Cath O’Connor et al. BMJ Open. 2019; 9(8): e028507.)

POWERbreathe K-Series Breathing Trainers

Drug-Free Breathing Device For COPD

If an electronic breathing trainer isn’t for you, then have a look at the manually adjustable, POWERbreathe Medic and POWERbreathe Medic Plus breathing trainers. They are easy to use, straight out of the box.

The POWERbreathe Medic was rigorously assessed for clinical evidence and patient compliance and is clinically proven to reduce breathlessness. In fact, all POWERbreathe breathing devices are drug-free, have no side effects or drug interactions and are scientifically proven to improve breathing strength and stamina.

Are COPD Symptoms Constant?

Another common and constant symptom of COPD is a chest infection. Some are mild but some may cause wheezing and a chesty cough that brings up secretions known as mucus. Medicines, such as mucolytic medicine can be prescribed to help make the mucus thinner and easier to cough up. Over-the-counter medicine, known as expectorants, can help to increase bronchial secretion. And in the case of a particularly bad flare-up, a course of steroids may be prescribed.

Such medicines may have contraindications with other COPD treatments and may also cause side effects. The Shaker Deluxe mucus clearance device by POWERbreathe, however, is an effective drug-free alternative. It helps to ‘shake’ the secretions loose in your chest, making it easier to cough up. Coughing is your body’s natural way of clearing your lungs. Coughing up these secretions helps the body to rid itself of infection because secretions contain viruses and dead bacteria. But with regular use of the Shaker Deluxe mucus clearance device, you can help to minimise chest infections.

COPD Treatment For Improving Cough Strength

People with COPD find it harder to exhale. This is because the air sacs no longer ‘bounce back’. Difficulty breathing out can also be the result of an increase in mucus production that is thicker than normal. This obstructs the airways, making it harder to breathe out. As a result of weak expiratory muscles, cough strength diminishes and coughing is impeded.

It is possible to improve the strength of your cough by increasing the strength of your expiratory muscles. This is achieved with Expiratory Muscle Training (EMT) with the POWERbreathe EX1-Medic EMT device.

What is POWERbreathe EMT?
10 Reasons To Choose The POWERbreathe EX1 EMT Breathing Device

World COPD Day

Because COPD is a common disease worldwide, there is a Global Initiative for raising awareness of how to reduce the burden of COPD. This is World COPD Day, organised by GOLD. The British Lung Foundation also promotes this day by supporting people with this pulmonary disease to look after their lungs and live well. You will find a host of information about managing COPD on their website.