SmartVest Blog

Airway Clearance

An older couple go for a walk outside
Jan 23, 2024
What Is NTM Lung Disease?

Nontuberculous Mycobacteria (or NTM) are organisms that naturally occur in water, soil, and dust.¹ When you inhale these NTM organisms, the bacteria travel to your lungs, which may cause a respiratory infection to develop. Though NTM lung disease can affect anyone, you may be at higher risk if you have a pre-existing lung condition, such […]

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Man coughing into arm while having a coughing fit.
Dec 28, 2023
Coughing Fits: Causes and How to Find Relief

Coughing fits can be disruptive, uncomfortable, and sometimes downright embarrassing. But did you know that they may also indicate an underlying health condition? In this article, we’ll explore the link between coughing fits and certain lung conditions, shedding light on what you need to know to help manage your symptoms. What Is Considered a “Coughing […]

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Graphic icon of the anatomy of the lungs.
Dec 12, 2023
A Breath of Knowledge: Understanding the Anatomy of the Lungs

Our respiratory system is a complex network of organs and tissues responsible for the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the body. It consists of two main parts: The upper respiratory tract The lower respiratory tract The upper respiratory tract includes the nose, nasal cavity, sinuses, pharynx, and larynx while the lower respiratory tract […]

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Older man using SmartVest to help clear mucus buildup.
Nov 02, 2023
How to Get Rid of Mucus in the Lungs

Mucus typically gets a bad reputation, but it actually helps protect your body from the spread of bacteria and allergens by trapping germs.¹ Though congestion can make you feel uncomfortable and cause breathing difficulty, your body’s natural response is to mobilize mucus buildup in the lungs and cough—causing the phlegm to thin and loosen. You’ve […]

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Respiratory care therapist holding a stethoscope.
Oct 22, 2023
Respiratory Care Week 2023

Respiratory Care Week is an annual event that recognizes the essential work and dedication of respiratory care professionals around the globe—from clinicians and pulmonologists to nurses, respiratory therapists (RTs), and home caregivers.  This year, respiratory care week runs from October 22 through the 28th, 2023. Coinciding with this event is Healthy Lung Month, which—as you […]

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Middle-aged man holding chest wall.
Sep 28, 2023
How Is Chest Physiotherapy Performed at Home?

Manual Chest Physiotherapy (or chest physical therapy) requires the assistance of a caregiver or respiratory therapist to perform repeated clapping on a patient’s chest wall, also known as percussion.  The goal of chest physical therapy (CPT) is to help dislodge mucus in the lungs and then apply postural drainage techniques¹ to allow mucus to drain […]

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Aerial shot of wildfire smoke.
Sep 14, 2023
Find Relief from Smoke-Induced Lung Irritation

Though air pollution is nothing new, this past summer has seen more than its fair share of wildfires and their effects on air quality. Such conditions are hazardous for everyone. However, the increase in smoky air can cause respiratory irritation and inflammation, worsening symptoms for those with chronic lung conditions. Even if you don’t live […]

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Male arm reaching for tissue to help clear mucus.
Aug 31, 2023
Mucus vs. Phlegm: A Guide to Clearing Up the Confusion

Mucus and phlegm are natural substances our bodies produce to help protect and lubricate the respiratory system. But are they the same thing? Phlegm is indeed a type of mucus, but its presence, color, and consistency can tell you a lot about your lung health. Uncovering the Difference between Mucus and Phlegm A simple way […]

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Older man experiencing reaction to airway obstruction while talking to clinician.
Aug 15, 2023
Airway Obstruction: Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment

Can you think of a time when a tiny piece of food became stuck in your airways, blocking the natural flow of oxygen to the lungs? When most people think about airway obstruction, the first image that typically comes to mind is choking on food. However, trapped food is only one reason people experience this […]

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Doctor listening to patient's congested lungs using a stethoscope.
May 16, 2023
Congested Lungs: Causes, Symptoms, and Relief

When our bodies are exposed to different bacteria, viruses, dust, pollen, or smoke, their natural response is to produce excess mucus. This helps trap irritants in the nose or airways, stopping them from entering the lungs.¹ Following the production of excess mucus, the body then triggers a coughing reflex to help propel the mucus (and […]

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