Spirometry is a test that doctors use to diagnose and monitor conditions affecting the lungs. The test determines how well your lungs work by examining how much air you can breathe in and out. This means if you have trouble breathing due to a chronic health issue or illness, we can diagnose the condition with a spirometry test.
Our spirometry tests at Star Clinic allow us to diagnose conditions such as asthma, lung infections, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), and other lung issues. Therefore, if you are having trouble breathing, it is worth getting your lungs checked by a qualified doctor. Once we know your condition, we will be able to advise a course of treatment.
What are spirometry tests?
Spirometry is one of the most common pulmonary function or breathing tests. The test accurately measures your lung and breathing capacity, as well as how quickly you can breathe the air out of your lungs. “Spirometry” derives from the word “spiro,” which means “to breathe,” indicating that it deals with the health and function of the respiratory system.
The test can detect health concerns such as:
- Pulmonary fibrosis
- Chronic bronchitis
Spirometry tests can determine whether you have any of the above conditions, how bad it is, and if there are any underlying causes for your symptoms.
Although the test is useful for identifying and diagnosing a lung condition, it can also be used to monitor the lungs’ condition and the effectiveness of treatment. This means that if you already have a diagnosis for a condition affecting the lungs, a spirometry test can periodically test whether your breathing problems have worsened or improved over time. The test can also be necessary before a planned surgery to check if your condition is suitable for operation.
What to expect
A spirometry test generally takes place at the clinic. We will advise you on how to prepare so that we can get the most accurate and reliable results. For example, you will need to follow instructions on whether you should avoid certain medications. It is also a good idea to wear loose, comfortable clothing that does not interfere with your ability to take a deep breath.
The test itself requires the patient to breathe into a tube that is attached to a device called a spirometer. Your doctor will instruct you on how to use it correctly to ensure the results are accurate. You can expect to be seated comfortably with a small peg on your nose, as it is important to breathe out of your mouth only during the test. Once you are prepared, the doctor will instruct you to place your lips tightly around the mouthpiece, take a deep breath, and exhale as fast and hard as you are able.
Most patients will need to repeat the exercise at least three times in order to get the most accurate result. In total, the process takes about 15 to 30 minutes to complete.
The spirometry testing process will help determine the cause of your coughing, wheezing, or breathing difficulties. The results will take into account your personal characteristics, such as your age, height, weight, and sex, giving your doctor valuable information about your condition.
The measurements of a spirometry test include Forced Vital Capacity (FVC) and Forced Expiratory Volume (FEV). FVC measures the largest amount of air that you can exhale after taking a deep breath. FEV measures how much air you can forcefully exhale in one second. Both of these measurements will help determine abnormal or restricted breathing, indicating an underlying health issue.
Your doctor will explain what your results mean and guide you towards possible treatments and solutions.
Book your appointment at Star Clinic
Spirometry tests are widely used and trusted by medical professionals to diagnose problems in the lungs. Lung problems can worsen over time, especially if left undiagnosed and untreated. Therefore, if you feel that your breathing is difficult or restricted, it may worth seeing a doctor and getting tested to find out whether you have a lung condition.
Our specialists at Star Clinic aim to provide top-quality care for each patient. Whether you have asthma, COPD, or other lung issues, we can diagnose, treat, and manage your condition. Get in touch today or book an appointment to find out more about spirometry tests.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who should get a spirometry test?
If you experience symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing, or coughing, there may be an underlying health issue that can be identified with a spirometry test. Additionally, if you have been diagnosed with asthma or another lung condition, the test can monitor the condition to determine if it is getting better or worse. Speak to your doctor if you think you may require a spirometry test.
Can I smoke before the test?
You should avoid smoking for at least six hours before your spirometry test.
Is the test painful?
No, the test is not painful, but it requires your best effort to breathe into the tube as hard as you can.
How many times will I need to repeat the test?
A spirometry test is usually repeated at least three times during an appointment to ensure the result is as accurate as possible. If there is substantial variation between each result, your doctor may ask you to repeat it again. Of the close test results, the one with the highest value is used as the final result.