Spirometry is a simple test that is used to monitor and assess your lung function. It measures how much air you inhale and exhale and how quickly you do so.
This test uses a medical device called a spirometer. It is a small machine connected through a cable to a mouthpiece. Spirometry is a safe and commonly performed examination.
Why Do I Need a Spirometry?
Spirometry tests determine whether your lungs are performing at normal levels. It assists doctors in the diagnosis of lung and airway issues, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
If you are recovering from a pulmonary disease such as COVID-19 or pneumonia, your doctor may order a spirometry test in evaluating how well your lungs are recovering from the condition. This test is used to assess your lungs’ strength.
Your doctor may suggest a spirometry test if you show any indications of breathing difficulty, and your condition is at a heightened risk of developing a particular lung condition. For example, a 35-year-old regular smoker who is experiencing persistent cough and breathlessness is likely to be recommended to have a spirometry.
Some of the lung conditions that spirometry can monitor include the following:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Chronic bronchitis
- Cystic fibrosis
- Pulmonary fibrosis
Spirometry may be used to check if the medication you’re taking for a chronic lung condition is improving your breathing. It’s also helpful for monitoring whether your breathing problems are under control.
Likewise, spirometry may be used to verify if a patient’s lungs are healthy enough to go through a planned surgery. It can also screen for occupational-related lung disorders or review the general health of people with other ailments that can affect the lungs, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
What Happens During a Spirometry Test?
You will first be asked to breathe into a tube that is connected to the spirometer. The whole process usually takes only about 15 to 30 minutes. In general, the following situations may transpire in a spirometry test:
- You will be seated, and your provider will put a soft clip on your nose to avoid air from escaping.
- When you’re ready, you will take a deep breath, and then exhale as quickly and hard as you can.
- You’ll do this at least three times. If the outcomes are not consistent, you will be asked to repeat the test. The final result will be the highest value among the three close results.
- Your doctor may then give you a bronchodilator medication, and then you will be asked to repeat the test approximately 15 minutes later. The results will show if your lung function improves with the medication.
Breathing Tests in Greater Fort Worth, Texas
Having healthy lungs is essential to getting enough oxygen for the blood to supply all of the cells and organs of the body. If you are having any breathing difficulties, do not try to self-diagnose – see a professional lung specialist for an evaluation.
The medical experts here at Lung & Sleep Specialists of North Texas can help you achieve and maintain excellent lung health. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, contact us today by calling us at (817) 594-9993 or complete our appointment request form online now. We look forward to helping you breathe easily again.