Spirometry – Lung Testing:

Spirometry is a type of pulmonary function test (PFT), a noninvasive procedure that provides important information about how well the lungs are working. More specifically, it reveals how much air is moving through the lungs and how quickly as you breathe through a tube. The test is used to diagnose respiratory conditions such as asthma and to monitor lung diseases in order to evaluate how well treatment is working.

Purpose of test:

Spirometry measures key aspects of lung function. The test can play an important role in diagnosing and managing many lung problems. It can be used to distinguish between diseases that appear similar based on symptoms alone. Spirometry is also useful for evaluating how a lung disease is progressing (is it getting better, worse, or staying the same?), which can help to indicate if a current treatment plan is working or needs to be modified.

Spirometry is rarely used alone to diagnose a lung condition, however. It usually is combined with other findings, such a medical history, physical examination, and imaging tests.

What to expect:

  • On the day of test you may be asked to not consume certain inhalers or medications.
  • Wear loose clothing and avoid big meals before testing.
  • You should take your daily medications prior to testing unless told otherwise.
  • Do not smoke for at least six hours prior to testing.
  • If you are taking a short-acting inhaler that is used only as needed, do not use for six to eight hours prior to testing, if possible.
  • Your doctor may give you other instructions regarding medications.

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