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Spirometry is a common and effective diagnostic test that can easily be done in your doctor’s office or at a nearby hospital or clinic. You will be asked to take in a big breath, and then blow as hard and long as you can into a machine. The machine measures how much air you can blow out from your lungs and how fast you can blow it out. Spirometry is the most reliable way to test your lungs for COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and asthma.
Your doctor may call spirometry by another name including: pulmonary function test (PFT) or lung function test.
Spirometry can be used to diagnose and manage many different types of lung disease. If you have questions or concerns about your lung health, talk to you doctor about spirometry.
The earlier spirometry is done, the earlier lung disease can be detected and treated. There are many treatments to reduce symptoms, to prevent lung disease from becoming worse, decrease flare-ups (exacerbations) and improve your day-to-day life.
Spirometry is a painless test that can often be done in your doctor’s office or in a nearby clinic. The entire test usually takes less than 10 minutes, although sometimes it is repeated after taking a puffer medication.
You will be asked to breathe through a mouthpiece while wearing a nose clip. The tester will coach you to take in as big a breath as possible. You will then blast the air out as fast as you can until your lungs are completely empty. You may then be asked to take another deep breath in again. You will do this three times or more to make sure the results are accurate. You may also be given a medication to breathe in. The test would then be repeated to show if your lungs have responded to the medication.
How to prepare for the test:
So show your lungs some love. Talk to your doctor about spirometry.