Medical

New study confirms that respiratory patients benefit from using the Lung Flute

New study confirms that respir...
The Lung Flute creates low-frequency sound waves that break up mucus in the user's lungs
The Lung Flute creates low-frequency sound waves that break up mucus in the user's lungs
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The Lung Flute creates low-frequency sound waves that break up mucus in the user's lungs
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The Lung Flute creates low-frequency sound waves that break up mucus in the user's lungs

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, is one of the most common causes of death in the US. Often the result of smoking, it's characterized by a restriction of the airways. Four years ago, a device known as the Lung Flute received FDA approval as a treatment for COPD. Now, a study conducted by the University of Buffalo has concluded that the hand-held device is indeed effective at helping patients breath more freely.

Manufactured by Buffalo, New York-based Medical Acoustics, the Lung Flute requires users to simply blow into it. Doing so causes an integrated reed to vibrate, producing low-frequency sound waves which travel down into the patients' lungs. There, the waves break up the mucus, allowing it to subsequently be cleared when the user forcefully exhales.

In the U Buffalo study, 69 COPD patients were monitored for a period of 26 weeks. A control group of half of those people, which didn't use the Lung Flute, experienced no change in their symptoms. Test subjects using the device twice a day, however, reported significantly less difficulty breathing and less coughing.

The researchers also monitored the patients' Body-Mass Index, Airflow Obstruction, Dyspnea and Exercise Capacity (BODE) score throughout the six-month period. "The BODE index provides a more comprehensive assessment of COPD patients," said Dr. Sanjay Sethi, who led the study. "As the disease worsens, the BODE index goes up as it did in the control group. But for patients using the Lung Flute, the BODE index stayed flat."

The study also indicated that use of the device likely decreases the likelihood of COPD flare-ups, and that it's more effective at treating COPD than similar devices designed to treat cystic fibrosis. Additionally, Sethi's colleagues are now assessing the Lung Flute's effectiveness as an asthma treatment.

A paper on the research was recently published in the journal Clinical and Translational Medicine.

Sources: University of Buffalo, Lung Flute

7 comments
Gary Richardson
Perhaps certain types of singing (such as chest voice) may be beneficial as well.....
Dawa
Nothing new here. Devices like flutter valve and acapella valve ( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2580042/ ) have been using this same theory and technology for years. Seems to be just another device to accomplish the same thing that other technologies (much smaller and more portable I might add) already offer.
Wolfman Thomas
where can I get a lung flute ?
John Chambers
Actually, the device described is more a "lung sax" than a "lung flute". It has a vibrating reed. A flute doesn't; its "reed" is merely a hole with a sharpened edge, which doesn't itself vibrate. A sax, like a clarinet, has a physical reed that vibrates against the mouthpiece. Also, if you compare the photo of the guy "playing" it with someone playing a soprano sax, they look very similar, while a flute is held off to the side so the player can blow across the hole where the sound is produced. Maybe we should do a bit of music ed, and get them to change their name for this device?
Rich Trout
They had a report over a year ago how you could do this with an empty paper towel roll! No Cost!
Don Duncan
I would love to try it but I think it requires a prescription. I have not heard of the paper towel roll but I would try that also if I knew how.
Slowburn
What frequency is optimal and can I get it out of my woofers?