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July 5, 2024

How to Use the Aerobika OPEP Device

Some people with chronic lung conditions like COPD, bronchiectasis and cystic fibrosis produce large amounts of mucus which can become trapped in their airways. This can make breathing difficult and increase the risk of infection. The Aerobika OPEP device helps to mobilise and clear this mucus from the chest.

The device is an oscillating positive expiratory pressure (OPEP) device which creates a negative pressure inside the lungs as you exhale. This forces the airways to open and provides a feeling similar to blowing up a balloon. This can help to clear the mucus from small and narrow airways.

During use, the device is worn on the upper chest over the collarbone. It can also be used on the back or tummy. This can be used in combination with breathing exercises to aid airway clearance. Ideally this should be done under the supervision of your respiratory physiotherapist.

Sit in a comfortable position, or lie down as directed by your respiratory physiotherapist. Take a slow breath in through your nose, a little deeper than usual. Hold the breath for a few seconds and then breathe out through your mouth at a steady rate. Breathe in as far as possible without letting your cheeks drop; don’t force the air out as this may cause discomfort. You should feel the vibrations of the device in your chest or tummy. It is important that the device is not removed from your mouth as this could reduce its effectiveness.

Repeat this cycle of inhaling, holding and exhaling several times. The aim is to try and get rid of as much mucus as possible, particularly from the smaller airways. It is recommended to perform two or three “huff” coughs towards the end of each session to help move secretions upwards.

The Aerobika also comes with a manometer adapter which shows you the expiratory pressure you are creating as you exhale. This can help people who are new to OPEP therapy to learn the correct breathing technique and encourages compliance with treatment.

It is advised to clean the device before and after each use with a disinfectant solution such as rubbing alcohol or the device can be washed in a bowl of sterile water. Do not use water from a tap or bottle that has been used previously, it must be sterile. The five disassembled parts can be soaked for 15 minutes or rinsed as needed and should then be allowed to dry thoroughly before being reassembled.

Using the Aerobika with regular breathing exercise can help improve airway function and quality of life in people with chronic lung conditions such as COPD, bronchiectasis, cystic fibrosis and nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) disease. The Aerobika is an effective method for improving sputum clearance in such patients and is safe for long term use. The AEROBIKA has been clinically trialled and demonstrated significant improvements in IOS, spirometry and 6MWT outcomes over 24 weeks in a randomised controlled study.