Spirometry testing measures a patient’s lung function. It shows how much air the patient is inhaling and how much and how quickly that air is exhaled. It tests pulmonary function and helps in the diagnosis of lung disease.
What is it? Spirometry involves a patient blowing into a mouthpiece that is connected to a spirometer, which is a cylinder with markings, or a digital device that will measure the airflow.
Why is it performed? Your healthcare provider may order a spirometry test If you suffer from breathing problems, if you are wheezing, or if you have a serious cough. The test can help to determine if you have a lung condition such as asthma. It can also be used to monitor your asthma over time.
What to expect
During your test, you will be asked to take a deep breathe and exhale completely into the spirometer. Your doctor may also have you use an inhaler or nebulizer during the test.
Try to wear loose-fitting clothing and avoid exercise for at least 30 minutes before your test. Do not eat a large meal at least 2 hours before the test.
Spirometry is a low-risk procedure. Breathing hard might cause a person to feel dizzy, cough, or feel short of breath. Inform your doctor if you have had any recent heart trouble.
Understanding the Results
The test will measure your forced vital capacity (FVC), which is your lung volume, and your forced expiratory volume (FEV), which is the amount of air you can exhale in one second.
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