Pursed lip breathing is most often practiced to treat asthma, pulmonary/cystic fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The purpose of PLB is to create positive pressure inside airways to splint them open. Moving air then takes less work. Additionally it prolongs exhalation and allows more air out of the body therefore increasing lung volumes (FEV, FVC).
This leads to:
- More efficient breathing
- Improved oxygenation
- Reduced breathing rate
- Reduced shortness of breath
If you suffer from diabetes and use insulin or other blood glucose-lowering medication, the pursed lip breathing exercise can increase your sensitivity to medication. This can make your blood glucose level lower than usual. You may suffer then from hypoglycemic shock, which is much more dangerous than high blood sugar. You should have a small snack immediately after the breathing session.
Breathing with longer exhalations triggers the parasympathetic nervous system, the rest-and-digest response. If you suffer from depression, this can further aggravate it as you tend to predominantly activate your parasympathetic; Putting the body in a state of relaxation but increasing a lack of motivation.
Severe Personality Disorders
Personality disorders, psychopathic disorders, severe forms of depression, mania, obsessive-compulsive disorder and delirium. In these disorders the patient is more likely to interpret a breathing exercise in the context of his/her personality disorder in which the therapist no longer has sufficient control over the therapy's effect.
Kids under 7 years should use the product in assistance with their parents or caregivers.
Opioids, benzodiazepines and caffeine may decrease the effectiveness of therapy.
Practicing pursed lip breathing expels air that was previously trapped in the lungs. This air is saturated with water and CO2 resulting in dehydration. Thus the patient is required to drink some water after the exercise.
In elderly patients a short-term dizziness is possible therefore after exercise the patient should rest for a while.
Exercise should be provided at least once daily in the form of ten (10) prolonged exhalations (blows). Exercise should be carried out in a relaxed sitting position. The aim is to achieve longest blow possible.
- Supply patients with extra drinking water
- Before and after use, clean headset with dry tissue
- Store the headset in a clean and dry environment
Did you know? With each exhalation humans eliminate water from their bodies. Chemical equation is: Glucose + Oxygen --> Carbon Dioxide + Water + Energy (ATP). That's why you feel thirsty after playing breathing games.
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"Keep using the pursed-lip breathing until the breathless feeling goes away. Rest In between breaths if you feel Dizzy. Give sips of room temperature water."
American Lung Association
“Pursed-lip breathing attempts to prolong active expiration through half-opened lips, thus helping to prevent airway collapse. Compared with spontaneous breathing, pursed-lip breathing reduces respiratory rate, dyspnea, and PaCO2, while improving tidal volume and oxygen saturation in resting conditions."
American Thoracic Society
"Pursed lip breathing is one of the simplest ways to control shortness of breath. It provides a quick and easy way to slow your pace of breathing, making each breath more effective."
“Inhaling through the nose and exhaling through pursed lips makes breathing easier. Pursed-lip breathing can also help you regain control if you’re having trouble catching your breath. You can practice breathing this way anytime, anywhere. If you’re watching TV, practice during the commercials. Try to practice several times a day. Over time, pursed-lip breathing will feel natural.”
University of Minnesota Medical Center
“Pursed lip breathing helps you use less energy to breathe. It can help you relax. When you are short of breath, it helps you slow the pace of your breathing and can help you feel less short of breath."
University of Iowa Children's Hospital