SmartVest Blog

Airway Clearance

Older man stretching his arms and back for good posture.
Jun 11, 2024
How Posture Can Support Airway Clearance

Did you know how we sit, stand, and even sleep affects our breathing? If you have a respiratory condition, you may not realize that your posture can limit your lung’s ability to inhale and exhale comfortably. The reason? Research shows that a person’s posture (particularly the head and neck positioning) can significantly impact the diaphragm’s […]

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Doctor showing patient X-ray of lungs.
Jun 06, 2024
Obstructive vs. Restrictive Lung Disease: What’s The Difference?

Chronic lung diseases like bronchiectasis and cystic fibrosis cause irreversible damage to the lungs and airways, making it difficult to breathe and break up mucus buildup. Other respiratory conditions, like asthma, force the airways to narrow due to swelling (i.e., inflammation), causing the muscles around the airways to tighten. As a result, breathing feels more […]

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Woman looking at article on tablet about cystic fibrosis vs pulmonary fibrosis.
May 07, 2024
Cystic Fibrosis vs. Pulmonary Fibrosis

Cystic Fibrosis and Pulmonary Fibrosis may sound similar, but they’re actually quite different. Both conditions include the term “fibrosis,” which means thickening or scarring tissue, and each one can affect a person’s lungs and airways, making breathing more difficult.¹ However, cystic fibrosis and pulmonary fibrosis are distinct conditions with individual causes, symptoms, and treatments. In […]

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Man holding chest after experiencing a flare up.
Apr 30, 2024
What Is a Flare Up?

Flare-ups and acute exacerbations—what exactly do these terms mean? Suppose you or a loved one has a chronic lung condition like bronchiectasis or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). In that case, you may have heard your clinician use these terms interchangeably, or maybe you’ve required hospitalization because of them. But what is a flare-up? More […]

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Hands held over the chest of a person
Apr 25, 2024
What Is Chest Physiotherapy?

Chest Physiotherapy (CPT) is an airway clearance technique that typically involves the assistance of another individual (e.g., caregiver, trained family member, or respiratory therapist) to manually perform chest percussion on a patient’s chest wall. Chest percussion is defined as manually clapping on a person’s chest wall in an effort to break up mucus and prevent […]

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Woman with bronchiectasis experiencing morning cough.
Apr 02, 2024
Morning Cough: Causes and Home Remedies

Do you have a persistent cough that only happens in the morning? If so, you’re not alone. A morning cough usually occurs when you first wake up. It can either be dry or wet. While it may be a normal reaction to an irritant in your respiratory system, such as allergies or post-nasal drip, if […]

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Lungs and airway clearance.
Mar 19, 2024
Wheezing and Crackling Sounds in the Lungs

When we breathe, our lungs make sounds that are often barely audible. However, in certain situations, you might hear high-pitched wheezing or a crackling sound coming from your lungs. These unusual noises can be alarming, but understanding their causes can help you seek medical attention to treat the underlying respiratory issue. In this blog post, […]

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Woman putting two hands over her diaphragm.
Mar 05, 2024
Disorders of the Diaphragm: Types, Symptoms & Treatment

Any condition that disrupts a patient’s ability to breathe deeply and naturally is a serious health concern. Diaphragm disorders are no different. The diaphragm is a muscle located below the lungs that helps us breathe. It contracts and flattens when we inhale and relaxes when we exhale. Any damage, or dysfunction, to this essential area […]

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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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