The Lung Flute Product Review

This medical device helps clear mucus

The Lung Flute
The Lung Flute. Photo Courtesy of Medical Acoustics, LLC

The Lung Flute, developed by Medical Acoustics LLC, is a hand-held medical device that is FDA-approved to supplement a patient's natural mucus-clearing ability. It may be especially useful for those who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The Lung Flute currently has clearance for both diagnostic use (because it aids in the collection of sputum samples) and therapeutic use (because 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 five to 10 minutes per day are generally all you will need for effective airway clearance
  • 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 transient throat irritation
  • May be difficult to use for those who have difficulty following verbal instructions from healthcare 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

Review

While the Lung Flute may be similar to other mucus-clearing devices, its ease of use and overall accessibility make it a product that's worthy of attention for those who may benefit from it. One patient 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, because it takes time to see results, just like with any other COPD treatment."

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

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I clear mucus from my lungs?

Controlled coughing can loosen mucus: Sit, lean forward, and cough with an open mouth. Postural drainage, in which you lie in a series of positions for five minutes each, with chest percussion (lightly tapping on your chest and back) may also help.

Can honey clear airway mucus?

There is no evidence that honey will reduce mucus build-up. Some research, though, has shown that it may help ease cough symptoms in children with upper respiratory infections.

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Article Sources
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  1. C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. COPD: Clearing your lungs. Updated October 26, 2020.

  2. Oduwole O, Udoh EE, Oyo‐Ita A, Meremikwu MM. Honey for acute cough in children. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018;2018(4). doi:10.1002/14651858.CD007094.pub5

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