SPIROMETRY DEFINITIONSpirometry is a common test used to check how well a patient’s lungs are working. It is used to diagnose different breathing disorders including COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma.
SPIROMETRY PURPOSEA spirometry is suggested if a doctor suspects a chronic lung disorder including asthma, COPD, bronchitis, and pulmonary fibrosis. In cases where those lung diseases are already ruled out, a spirometry is ordered periodically to check how well a therapy is working in controlling your symptoms.
SPIROMETRY RISKSThere are no known risks for undergoing a spirometry test.
SPIROMETRY PREPARATION REQUIREDBefore the test, you will be given specific instructions regarding your inhaled breathing drugs and other medications that may affect the result. You will also be instructed to wear loose clothing and eat a smaller meal prior to testing to ensure that there will not be any obstruction to your breathing.
You will be briefed by the nurse or technician on how the test will go and what your participation will be. Understanding the instructions is important to ensure that the results will be accurate. There will be a clip that will be placed on your nostrils before you will be asked to take deep breaths into a tube that is attached to the spirometer. This will be done at least three times to make sure that the results are consistent and accurate.
SPIROMETRY COMPLICATIONSThere are no known complications related to spirometry.
SPIROMETRY SIDE EFFECTSThis procedure is simply a test to measure how well the lungs are working. At times, bronchodilators may be used so your doctors can see the difference.
SPIROMETRY RESULTSThere are key measurements that define a specific condition. One is FVC or forced vital capacity. A lower than normal result indicates restricted breathing. Another is FEV-1 or forced expiratory volume. A lower than normal result indicates a more serious breathing problem. Your doctor will discuss if and what kind of treatment is needed based on the results of your test.