Monday, April 25, 2011

The Vest

For those of you new to the blog I am reviewing all of the treatments/meds I use to stay well. I obviously think they are all important because I use them, but some seem to be more effective than other.

Today I am reviewing The Vest...hmmm. I have mixed feeling about it. I do use my vest, but I have to admit that I feel it does very little for me. Most CFers will tell you that The Vest is not a passive treatment (but no CPT is) and that in order for it to be effective you must couple the vest with huff coughing. Okay, but it still produces no more than if I am sitting and watching T.V. and try to huff cough.

Now studies prove over and over again that The Vest is amazing and can do wonders for a CFer, but for me The Flutter works way better. *Flutter review to come soon* In fact I would say most CFers prefer the Vest to other forms of CPT, but I just can't get much up with The Vest. Many people rely on The Vest as their main CPT and I say "Good for you!" because it works for them, but it is just not my thing. When I list my CPT to my docs they always assume my Vest is my primary CPT and the Flutter is my secondary. I always explain that no, it's the other way around. I think they assume that everyone uses The Vest as their primary. But they all agree that it is better to use what works best so Flutter it is.

So why do I use The Vest? Well, good question! I only use it on days I don't exercise or if I feel I am getting sick and I want to take every precaution. I use it while using nebulized albuteral as well as Hyper-tonic Saline. I hope that it may shake loose some mucus and allow these treatments to reach further in my lungs. I also believe that The Vest does shake loose mucus, but for me I need another device (flutter) to help assist the mucus out of my lungs. I would never use The Vest without the Flutter because shaking mucus loose just to resettle in my lungs seems pointless. If the Vest works well for you then I am jealous because I wish I could get more out with The Vest, but it is what it is.

Also, to add to my cons list I find that I must wear only a t-shirt because if any amount of skin is touching the actual vest, it gets very irritated. My skin also itches very badly after I stop The Vest so I give myself a nice scratch down after each treatment. The last con is that it is time consuming and I find I can do very little while using it. It shakes your body so I can't read or type. It is very loud and so it is too hard to watch T.V. or listen to music. I have the old Vest, the HUGE 40lb vest that sounds like a vacuum so the newer models may be quieter. Let me know if you have experience with the newer Vest because I may just ask for an upgrade if it seems worth it.

1. Studies show that it helps clear mucus.
2. It is not hard to use.
3. It's nice to have a little boost for the days I don't exercise or am sick.

1. I find it does not bring up very much mucus without the assistance of another device (flutter)
2. It is noisy and is hard to do just about anything while using it.
3. It is time consuming 30+ minutes.
4. It is ugly/huge (but I have the old vest) When guests come to my home I always get a "What in tarnation in that?"

Let me know your experiences with The Vest especially if you have a newer model.

**Disclaimer: I am not a Dr and this is just my experience using the Vest. Every CFer is different
and I am not recommending or discouraging any form of treatment, just telling you my experience. Never change your treatment plan without your Drs consent.**

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