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The Lung Flute Product Review

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating
User Rating 3 Star Rating (1 Review)

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Updated October 01, 2011

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

The Lung Flute

The Lung Flute

Photo Courtesy of Medical Acoustics, LLC
The Lung Flute, developed by Medical Acoustics LLC, is a revolutionary, hand-held medical device that is FDA approved to supplement a patient's own, natural mucus-clearing ability.

The Lung Flute currently has clearance for both diagnostic use, as it aids in the collection of sputum samples, and therapeutic use, as it facilitates effective airway clearance.

How It Works

According to the manufacturer, when you blow vigorously through the mouthpiece of the Lung Flute, your breath moves the reed inside which causes airway vibrations deep within the lungs. These vibrations subsequently help loosen your secretions, making them easier to cough up as they pool in the back of your throat.

Pros

  • Relatively low cost of $45.00 for the Lung Flute itself and $16.50 for replacement reeds.
  • Lightweight, extremely easy to handle.
  • Simple, step-by-step instructions.
  • Frequent use is said to help prevent a build-up of mucus.
  • Uncomplicated -- consists of only a mouthpiece and reed inside a long tube.
  • Two sessions consisting of 5 to 10 minutes per day are generally all you will need for effective airway clearance.
  • Important tips for managing included with every purchase.
  • Comes with 14 replacement reeds, a 6 month supply.
  • Easy to clean using soap and hot water.
  • Instructional video available on the website.
  • May be partially reimbursed by Medicare and other insurance companies.
  • Orders from Canada and the European Union do NOT require a prescription.

Cons

  • Requires a prescription for use in the USA.
  • People on fixed incomes may not be able to afford one.
  • May cause a transient, throat irritation.
  • May be difficult to use for those who have difficulty following verbal instructions from health care providers.
  • Some people may become overly tired from using the device.
  • The condensation in the tube sometimes makes the reed stick, rendering the device temporarily ineffective.

Guide Review

While the Lung Flute may be similar to other mucus clearing devices, I think its ease of use and overall accessibility make it a product worthy of attention for those who may benefit from it. My review is somewhat limited, however, because I don't have COPD myself, and it was difficult to determine whether or not it really worked. One patient I interviewed who used the device shared the following:

At 75 years old, I was recently diagnosed with Stage II, Moderate COPD. I saw an advertisement for the Lung Flute in Popular Science Magazine and decided to try it. This was in March of 2010 and I have used it religiously every day since. It was not hard for me to use, in spite of my advanced age. The only problem; the condensation from my breath makes the reed stick. My advice to other COPD patients: Be patient, it takes time to see results, just like any other COPD treatment.

It is important to note that there are no studies yet in existence on the effects of the Lung Flute on chronic sputum clearance. One study in Japan looked at one-time sputum induction for diagnosis of tuberculosis and this device supposedly worked, however, nothing currently exists in the literature confirming that the Lung Flute works well for sputum clearance in COPD. That said, this could be because the device is relatively new and additional study results are somewhere on the horizon.

Overall, the Lung Flute is easy to use, affordable and if you are an individual who has difficulty with mucus clearance, I recommend speaking to your doctor about using it as an adjunct to your current COPD treatment.

Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 3 out of 5
Lung Flute - First few days, Member indyuk

I have been using the Lng Flute fro a few day now. At my age and with COPD GOLD stage 4 it is difficult to muster enough breath tomake the read flutter. However I found that turing the flute on it side I can made the read flutter quietly and gently. This does stimullate expectorate if I work hard at it. I will continue to use the flute. Meanwhile I plan to buy a 'Flutter Valve' which appears to be easier to use and can fit in my trouser pocket. We'llsee if that is more effective for advanced stage COPD.

50 out of 52 people found this helpful.

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