This test helps determine how well your lungs are working.

This test helps determine how well your lungs are working.

Spirometry is a test that helps determine how well your lungs are working. It does this by measuring:

  • How much air you can breathe in (inhale)
  • How much air you can breathe out (exhale)
  • How fast you can breathe the air out
  • The test is usually done three times to increase its accuracy. Some of the key findings are:

    • Forced vital capacity (FVC) - FVC is the largest amount of air you can force out of your lungs after you take a deep breath.
    • Forced expiratory volume (FEV-1) – FEV-1 is the amount of air you can force out of your lungs in one second.
    • Peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) – PEFR is the maximum speed you can push air (exhaling) out of the lungs (exhale).

Spirometry can help diagnose a variety of lung conditions, such as:

  • Asthma
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Emphysema
  • Pulmonary fibrosis

Spirometry can also be done to see if treatment has improved a chronic lung condition, such as asthma.

Prior to this test follow any instructions given to you by your healthcare provider. This may include:

  • Use of inhaled breathing medications before the test
  • Wearing loose clothing so you can take a deep breath
  • Avoiding large meals before the test

To stop you from breathing through your nose, a clip will be placed on your nose during the test.

What should I ask my healthcare provider before having a spirometry?

  • What is the reason for the test?
  • What are the pros and cons of the test?
  • Is there any special preparation for the test? (If so, get clear instructions on what you need to do.)
  • Are there complications to the test?
  • How will I feel after the test?

After the test, you should know the results and what symptoms you should report to your healthcare provider. You should also understand all home care instructions and follow-up plans.

Source UHC.com

Also known as:

Acute Bronchitis

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