Acapella Breathing Treatment

Written by kelly potoczny
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The acapella breathing treatment is a form of bronchial hygiene therapy for patients who are having troubling clearing secretions from the airway. Normal airway clearance requires an effective cough with ciliated epithelial cells that move the mucus toward the trachea and larynx where the excess secretions can be expectorated. People who are ill are not always able to do this effectively so they need what is called bronchial hygiene therapy such as acapella treatments.


Acapella therapy is done when a patient has poor posture and muscle tone. When a persons muscle tone and posture are weak it makes a patients cough very ineffective. Without an effective cough the secretions stay within the airways and create infection. The acapella therapy help to vibrate the chest and break up secretions to make them easier for the patient to cough out or for them to be suctioned out.


The acapella therapy is a great tool for cystic fibrosis patients and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. By blowing into the acapella device a flutter valve is turned and causes a vibration that goes down through the chest helping to break up secretions. As these secretions are broken up then if the patient is able to cough they can cough the sputum up or the respiratory therapist can suction the patients airways.


One of the common misconceptions of a bronchial hygiene therapy is that once the patient is out of the hospital he/she does not have to do the therapy at home. The therapy must be done to doctors orders and could be up to four times a day even at home. There will be goals set for each patients certain disease and these goals need to be met in order for the patient to get better.


One of the great benefits of doing acapella therapy is that it is very easy to do and it is light weight. It can be used in any posture including sitting, standing or reclining. The frequency and the resistance can be adjusted by the twist of the dial at the end of the device. It is not as fatiguing as other treatments but just as effective. This is one of the least expensive at home therapies.


Retained secretions will increase the work of breathing, cause air trapping and promote atelectasis. Patient needs high motivation to continue treatments at home. Patient must be able to concentrate and understand how to do the therapy in order for it to work well. There could be limitations of technique based on the disease type and the severity of the disease. Patient may get fatigued with this type of therapy so rest will be needed after the treatment is done.

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