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An incentive spirometer is a device that helps you learn to take slow, deep breaths and fill your lungs with air. It is used after surgery or a procedure to keep your lungs healthy during your hospital stay and after you leave the hospital. Taking deep breaths will exercise your lungs to help prevent pneumonia.
You need to use your incentive spirometer at least 8 times a day. Each time you use the incentive spirometer, you should try to breathe through it 10 times. We recommend that you use the incentive spirometer every hour while you are awake. Of course, if you want to use it more often that is OK. The more you do this breathing exercise the healthier your lungs will be.
The incentive spirometer will help you see how well you are doing with taking deep breaths. It helps open the air sacs in your lungs and may reduce future problems.
Using the incentive spirometer should help you:
If you start to feel lightheaded or dizzy, slow down your breathing, and take a longer time for the exercises with normal breaths between the deep breaths.
If you find that you can breathe in deeper than the number set for you, move the yellow slide up and proudly show that you have improved.
To learn more about using the incentive spirometer or about taking care of your lungs, talk to your doctor, nurse, or respiratory therapist.
Reviewed: October 2022