Acapella versus Flutter??

Posted , 10 users are following.

Recently diagnosed in May with Bronchiectasis and having problems clearing my lungs.  I have doing all the exercises, huffing, coughing resulting in a headache and tiredness with still very little gunge! My breathing has been worse in the last few days (could be humidity/pollen issues too?) especially at night.  I am on long 9 week waiting list for physio  so want to do more to help myself. I have researched above devices and don't know which one to buy?? Any advice would be welcome, thank you. 

2 likes, 27 replies

Report / Delete

27 Replies

  • Posted

    I was just wondering why none of you use a Nebulizer Machine...I live in Texas and if your doctor writes a RX you can buy one at any drug store for about $60 dollars...The stuff you put in it MuckaMist I think I spelled tha wrong is liquid and you put into this little holder that is connected to turn the machine on and breath in the helps break up the mucus....I guess you don't have anything like that in the UK....Why does it take you so long to see your doctors??? Just wondering....
    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Cynthia,

      I have been recently diagnosed and after the consultants quick chat I felt as if I was on my own!  I need physiotherapy, looks like a 3 month wait as hospital only have 2 respiratory physio's and they have just started on March 2015 referrals! My consultant doesn't want to see me for 6 months.  My doctor seems a little clueless anything that could help with bronchieactasis.  I have just been "hitting a brick wall" with most things.  The best help and advice has been from this site, all you lovely people with hints and tips has been wonderful, so thank you all. As for the nebulizer, havent been offered this or anything really.  As you will have seen from my original message, I haven't been able to get a flutter or acapella prescribed.  

      The reason it takes so long to see Doctors and physiotherapists is that they are inundated with patients and there is not enough doctors and physiotherapists to cope with the volumne of respiratory patients! My last appointment with my chest consultant to get the diagnosis of bronchieactasis, was rushed, only a few minutes with him, a leaflet and advice to look at the net for further info! I had waited an hour to see him for a few minutes.  I left the hospital with so many questions and confusion .....  I  thought "what now for me??".   

      On a positive note, this site has helped me so much.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Trish.....You can go onto You Tube and find out so much about Bronchetasis...I found several videos that answered so many questions....I have good days & I have bad days...I did get oxygen finally....I have a small one for when I go shoping ..I get so out of breath...I also have COPD.....Stay Strong...we will make it...This site has helped me a lot....
      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Cynthia

      Thanks for reply.  I have had a look at the videos and yes they do help with the questions. I saw my doc yesterday and he said I should not get too hung up on whether I am mild, moderate or whatever, worrying about my sats etc ....... the main thing was to try and avoid getting another infection, drink lots of water, do my exercises and on the good days "live my life and enjoy"!  He is probably right ........ mind you he was 6ft tall, obviously athletic and as fit as a fiddle, so what does he know lol!!

      Sending you a hug

      Its good you can get out to do some shopping with the help of oxygen, I am sorry that you get so out of breath

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi Trish

    As I have already posted in reply to your last post re your first post, I feel you were short changed with your initial consultation.  It would be usual for a respiratory consultant to refer to physio - which I believe con did - and to a specialist nurse.  Check out your con has a special interest in cystic fibrosis/bronchiectasis - believe me it makes a difference.

    To answer your question re flutter v acapella.  As dancing queen as already said the flutter is pretty strong but the acapella can be used in various positions.  We are all different and therefore what one bronch prefers may not be right for another.  In the main I use the acapella, only because I do postural draining with percussion and the acapella can be used in any position, but I know many bronchiectatics who prefer the flutter or the lung flute.  

    You really need to be sbown how to use these by your physio and if I were you I would hold out 'till I see the physio who will show you the various gadgets.  (they may even let you have one or the other).  

    Of course in the meantime you will need to try and get the gunk up somehow.  It may help if you lay over a few pillows on the bed and allow gravity to do its stuff.  There is a simple DIY gadget you can make and if I can get the link up I will.  Maybe do a separate post for link in case I lose this post.

    Good luck.  love cofalot x


    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    This site will not allow me to put on the link.  Google bubble pep.  It is a DIY PEP for children written by Great Ormond Street Hospital.


    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted


      Thanks so much for all the helpful info.

      When I saw my consultant, he seemed very stressed and rushed off his feet,   he literally ran down the corridor, with me trying to keep up, to get me a leaflet on the condition in order to get rid of me asap!! Bless him! He actually is a Lecturer in Respiratory Medicine so hopefully has some interest in Bronchiectasis lol!

      The physiotherapy dept rang me today because I am having trouble with getting rid of the gunge, to say they will try and get me an appointment sooner.  I mentioned the acapella device to them and they said buy one and they will check if I am using it correctly at my first appointment with them.

      I google bubble pep and have a look, thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

      I really must drink more water as am sure this will help me.

      All the best and ta ever so for info


      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi Cynthis

    Yes many bronchiectatics here in the UK use a nebuliser.   I myself use it twice a day to nebulise a bronchodilator, followed by hypertonic saline 7% followed by physio and for 28 days on and 28 days off I nebulise Tobramycin antibiotic.  My nebuliser is on permanent loan from the hospital and all the cups, piping, masks or mouthpieces and nebuliser are replaced.

    Personally I am what they call here a 2% patient i.e. 2% of patients at a GP surgery who are considered most likely to have unplanned hospital admissions have that status, which means you are seen or contacted by 'phone by a doctor if necessary.  Unfortunately some folks do have to wait longer but I don't think it is as bad as you have heard or read and of course our NHS is free at the point of use.

    Hope you are well at present.

    love cofalot x

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi Trish, Iv just been diagnosed with Bronchiectasis, I have been lucky to get my acapela devise and i find it quiet usfull even though I am having to use it four times a day at the minuet as i have a cold, I am doing the best to keep infection away, I find that deep breathing holding the breath for count of three, 5 times and then the huffing is good as well. 


    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi Ttish, I was lucky to get a speedy appointment at the physio, and given an Acopella devise it is good but I wanted one to carrie in my bag and saw the Fltter devises were smaller, I sent for on off of the internet, £54 but I find for me it works better and I am glad I sent for it , although I have fornd no way yet of compleatly clearing my lungs I havs asked a question on here you may be interested in reading the answers. it starts . I can not clear my lungs properly.

        Hugs pam

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Trish hi

    No answers for you, just empathy. I was diagnosed 3 years ago

    and have never been able to move enough sputem to put in the samples

    bottle! I rather gave up because apart from being a bit tired I had no

    symptoms. All that changed this year. I had the virus going around , a chest

    infection, , 3 lots of anti-biotics and now 2 weeks later the chest infection is

    back again. Still no sputem to speak of. Nobody ever told me what to expect

    I also have had a bad back during this time, is that a side effect?

    I will certainly try the appliances you mention. Am I to assume that this now my


    Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up