Are you ready to breathe a sigh of relief? OPEP devices, or Oscillating Positive Expiratory Pressure, give people with asthma, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), and cystic fibrosis a chance to breathe a little easier. We’ve discussed how effective lung exercisers are like the Airofit and Airphysio. If you haven’t checked out the best lung exercisers, click here now.
Now we want to showcase some of the best OPEP devices for people who suffer from one of these conditions or have a loved one who does. These revolutionary, non-invasive tools might mean the difference between staying healthier longer with fewer breathing issues. We’ll explain what an OPEP is and how it works. Then, we’ll describe the different types of OPEP devices and show you some we recommend.
What are we waiting for? Let’s get started!
What is an OPEP Device?
OPEP stands for Oscillating Positive Expiratory Pressure. These devices create oscillations or back-and-forth movements throughout the airway, allowing airway clearance when exhaling. These movements also help disperse and remove lung mucus, resulting in better airflow. Reducing mucus and promoting better airflow lowers the risk of lung infections and increases lung function.
People are excited about OPEP devices because they are a drug-free, non-invasive way to treat lung conditions.
How They Work
When you exhale into an OPEP device, it increases pressure in your airways. The increase in pressure allows your airways to maintain their shape, staying open as air leaves your lungs. This process helps to prevent airways from collapsing, which happens for people with asthma, COPD, or cystic fibrosis.
In addition to helping keep airways open, the oscillating effect of OPEP devices maintains movement throughout the lungs, decreasing mucus build-up. It’s a natural process of expelling lung mucus without hard steroids or other medications.
Types of OPEP Devices
There are two different types of OPEP devices, so let’s look closely at each.
Gravity-dependent OPEP devices use gravity to support the oscillation when you exhale. Because of this, it is necessary to have the OPEP device positioned in a certain way relative to the ground to work correctly. It looks like a pipe with a ball or disc placed inside. When a person exhales into the gravity-dependent OPEP device, the ball or disc moves, creating an oscillation that adds pressure to your airways. This process keeps airways open for better airflow while loosening mucus inside the lungs.
As you may have guessed, gravity-independent OPEP devices do not rely on gravity to function. Instead, they use counterweighted plugs or magnets to deliver pressure during exhaling. These OPEP devices are great in any position, making them more convenient for people with mobility issues.
Best Gravity-Dependent OPEP Devices
We like the Breather Fit device for athletes or people who want to increase their lung capacity. With the help of gravity, this device requires no battery, refills, or liquids to function. Exhale through the Breather Fit device and let the adjustable pressure settings build up your lung capacity and increase airflow. Instructions for use come with the product and are available online. It fits in your pocket for use anywhere.
With the Breather Fit, you may have just that little, but crucial advantage. The Breather Fit may boost your efforts to improve your fitness, reduce your weight, or even help you take part in professional sport.
- Simple to use
- Small size
- Some reviews complain of deterioration after only a few months of use.
Another great OPEP device for athletes and those wishing to increase their lung capacity, the IDEAR device is portable and excellent for kids and adults. It contains different steel balls inside for many levels of resistance when exhaling. Best of all, it’s available via Amazon for $19.98.
- Package include one Handhold Exercise device. Help you trained in stages and gradually improved.
- For both adults & children, helps improve better training for children, as well as adults enhance training.
- Simple to use and cleans easily
- Lightweight and compact for travel
- Reviews say it breaks up mucus
- Some reviews say the device malfunctions after just a few months
Our full Airphysio review is worth reading to get a more expansive view of this fantastic product. In a nutshell, pulmonologists highly recommend Airphysio for its effectiveness in gaining lung capacity and riding the lungs of mucus. It’s an excellent product for people with COPD or asthma, especially for helping the feeling of suffocation that comes with those conditions. It’s available via the Airphysio website for $59.99.
- Excellent product for an affordable price
- Straightforward use
- A wonderful addition to other treatments options
- Non-invasive and no medication required
- More expensive than competitors
- Depending on health, some results may vary
Best Gravity Independent OPEP Devices
Another highly recommended OPEP device by doctors, the Portex Acapella, is an excellent choice for people needing to clear their airways. It offers plenty of resistance to keep airways from collapsing after exhaling and is quiet when used. It’s available on Amazon for $32.03, where one 5-star review said it was a “lifesaver.”
- Breathing Aid for the patient
- Allows inhalation and exhalation without removing from mouth
- Prolongs expiratory airflow to increase the removal of secretions
- Allows use with mask or mouthpiece attachment
- Nebulizers have a hook-up for this device
- Different levels of resistance
- Not gravity dependent and used in any position
- No instructions come with the device
- The mouthpiece is uncomfortable for some people
- It takes time to get acquainted with the device
Airobika OPEP Natural Pleghm and Mucus Clearance Device
This Canadian-made device works great for people suffering from COPD or who require airway clearance therapy. It uses liquid or batteries to unblock airways and is simple to clean after each use. The Airobika OPEP device reduces lung infections, chronic coughs, and breathlessness and can reduce COPD flare-ups by 28%. It’s available on Amazon for $84.99.
- Lung Exercise Therapy Unblocks and Expands Airways
- Improve Breathing and Reduce Cough
- Studies and trials show scientific evidence for this device
- Cleans easily after each use
- Fantastic product for an affordable price
- It improves breathing and loosens mucus in the lungs
- Not as portable as other OPEP devices
Everyone Deserves to Breathe Easier
While there are plenty of medications and other treatments for conditions like asthma, COPD, and cystic fibrosis, having a non-invasive, unmedicated option that works is a bonus. Many people have success by adding OPEP devices to their treatment regimen and find increased lung capacity, better airflow, and reductions in lung mucus. Try out one of our suggestions and find comfort in breathing a little easier.