Breathing is integral for maintaining life, and monitoring breathing is something that health care professionals have done for centuries. Physicians, nurses, and respiratory therapists all rely on accurate measurements of a patient’s breathing rate. They use this information to diagnose conditions like sleep apnea or COPD, help adjust the body during anesthesia, and know when to provide supplemental oxygen. However, now technology has made it possible for more people – such as parents of new babies – to measure their breathing rates. There are many benefits associated with using a breathing monitor at home, including early detection of severe medical conditions (including asthma), a better understanding of your state of health (such as weight loss), better sleep patterns, and improvements in physical performance.
The following are the benefits of breathing monitoring at home.
- Early Detection of Serious Medical Conditions
Breathing monitors are an ideal tool for the early detection of severe conditions such as asthma or COPD. If you have an asthma flare-up or experience breathlessness at night, this device can help determine when to see a doctor; it will alert you if you experience symptoms before they become life-threatening. If you have COPD, your monitor could help you identify the earliest signs of an attack, potentially saving you time and money by preventing a hospital stay.
- Better Understanding of Your State of Health
A breath monitoring device can give you quick and simple insights into your state of health. You might be surprised by how well or poorly you sleep, how little activity you get each day, or how much weight you gain when on vacation. These things are often indicators of health problems that can be addressed with lifestyle changes or medication; a breathing monitor can indicate just how well these changes are working individually.
- Better Sleep Patterns
If you have trouble sleeping, a breathing monitor might provide the extra piece of information you need to do what is necessary (including exercise take medication) to achieve better sleep patterns.
- Improvements in Physical Performance
When athletes want to improve their physical performance, they often try to measure and optimize their diet, the amount of regular exercise they get, and the amount of rest they get between workouts. A breathing monitor could help athletes optimize all three aspects of physical training by providing feedback on how much work they are doing each day (and whether or not this is sufficient).
- Accurate Measurement of Vital Signs
A breathing monitor can assess any number of health parameters, including blood pressure, temperature, pulse, and more. This information helps diagnose various medical conditions, especially if you have a history of irregular heartbeats or other heart-related problems. If you are having trouble sleeping, this could be another metric that can help indicate the severity of your condition; it will also enable your doctor to determine how quickly you need to return for a checkup.
- Better Measurement of Physical Fitness
If you are trying to improve your physical fitness, a breathing monitor can help you practice proper technique and gauge the effectiveness of this approach. Proper breathing is fundamental when exercising at high altitudes; many serious athletes use a breathing monitor to prevent altitude sickness or ensure that they do not overtax their bodies in the early stages of acclimation.
Many medical professionals will recommend that a person start wearing a breath monitoring device before starting treatment for an illness or condition that alters their breathing. However, these devices can also be used by healthy people who want the extra assurance of knowing they are getting the best night of sleep possible.