What does OPEP means?
Oscillating Positive Expiratory Pressure Therapy (OPEP Therapy) is widely used by healthcare professionals as a drug free non intrusive method assisting those with Asthma, COPD, or other lung issues. Positive expiratory pressure can be delivered to airways and helps expand airways and cleanse mucus thus makes breathing better and easier. The vibrations is the key to loosen and expel mucus.
OPEP Devices are highly recommended for those having difficulty expelling mucus in OPEP Therapy. The vibrations, not present in some PEP devices, help mobilize mucus, allowing easier expulsion of mucus. OPEP Therapy is best utilized by individuals diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Cystic Fibrosis (CF), Atelectasis, Chronic Bronchitis, Bronchiectasis and Asthma. If in doubt, it is best to consult a medical care professional before undergoing OPEP Therapy.
The stainless steel ball moves upward and downward from its resting position, causing the Oscillation (OPEP) or vibration. This vibration resonates throughout the patient’s airway, helping the mobilization of mucus phlegm and environmental irritants.
How effective are OPEP devices?
OPEP devices have seen success for patients diagnosed with COPD, Cystic Fibrosis, bronchiectasis and Asthma. A common effect is that of increased mucus clearance and cost effectiveness.
In a similar study of 27 patients with COPD, the researchers also utilized a PEQ. The research evaluated the effect of OPEP devices for a period of 21-28 days. The results were similar to patients with Bronchiectasis. The patients reported improvement in expelling mucus. The response average before therapy read 3.9 and decreased to 2.7. These results show more controllable mucus expulsion with the use of OPEP devices. Furthermore, the use of OPEP devices was linked to cost-effectiveness among patients diagnosed with COPD. In a 2017 research, it was shown that the use of OPEP devices results in savings amounting to 553 USD per patient. This is due to the lesser amount of exacerbations, as well as better mucus clearance.
How do I use an OPEP mucus removal device?
1. Sit upright
Sit comfortably on a chair or sofa, such that your back is straight. This assures that circulation along the airway is at its best. Additionally, keep a tissue nearby for the final step.
2. Inhale and exhale
First you need a deep breath. The goal is to fill your lungs around two-thirds of the way. Hold your breath for about 3 seconds. Next, place the device’s mouthpiece in your mouth. The mouthpiece should be horizontal to the ground, with the clear end of the device pointing upwards. Finally, put your free hand on your cheeks and exhale forcefully (but not too much) through the device. After which you’d feel an urge to cough, but hold strong and do not cough just yet. A good way to know if you did the steps correctly is by feeling a fluttering effect in your chest and airways. Experiment with adjusting the angle of the device as you blow into it until you achieve maximum flutter effect. Repeat the Inhale-Exhale cycle 5-10 times for better impact.
3. Cough out mucus
At the end of the 5-10 cycles, do two more Inhale-Exhale cycles, forcefully exhale into the device emptying the lungs completely. The fluttering effect must be at its highest at this point. With all those cycles, the urge to cough is immense. This is the time to pull a tissue and initiate a cough into the tissue. Properly dispose of the tissue after use. It is recommended to use the device hourly, for the continued relief and proper expulsion of mucus throughout the day.