What is a Spirometry Test & What Does it Measure?
Over the last 35 years, respiratory diseases have skyrocketed. Over 3.9 million Americans have died from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD. If you don’t have trouble breathing, you probably never think about it. However, if breathing is difficult for you it quickly becomes apparent how your quality of life can be seriously compromised. If your lungs are not functioning properly it is crucial that you find out what is wrong. A trip to the doctor will usually entail a spirometry test, here is everything you need to know.
What Does a Spirometry Test Measure?
The spirometry test is a common and simple in-house test that will assess how well your lungs are working. To understand the functionality of the patient’s lungs, it will measure how much air the patient inhales, exhales, and how quickly you exhale.
When To Do a Spirometry Test
If you’re experiencing breathing complications or suspect you have asthma, the spirometry test will help your doctor with the diagnosis. Spirometry is used to diagnose asthma, COPD, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis and any other breathing issues. If you’ve already been diagnosed with asthma or other lung disorder, this test will give your doctor an idea as to how well your prescribed medication is working.
What to Expect
Before your spirometry test, you will want to follow the instructions of your doctor. You may need to avoid use of medications or your inhaler. During a spirometry test, the patient will breathe into a tube attached to a machine – the spirometer. Once the doctor gives you instructions, the test will begin. Generally, you can expect to have a clip placed on your nose to keep your nostrils closed. You will take long, deep breaths in and out for several seconds.
It’s important to note that your lips must be sealed around the tube to prevent air from leaking out. In order to get accurate results, you will need to repeat the breathing exercises for around 15 minutes.
Spirometry Test Results
After your test, your doctor will go over the results. Forced vital capacity, or FVC, is the largest amount of air that you can forcefully exhale after taking an intentionally deep breath. If your FVC is lower than the average person, this is an indication of restricted breathing.
Forced expiratory volume, or FEV, is how much air you can force from your lungs in one quick second. This measurement helps allows your doctor to assess the severity of your breathing complications. If you have low FEV results, this may indicate a serious obstruction in the lungs.
Spirometry is one of the quickest and most accurate breathing tests in the medical industry. If you are experiencing trouble breathing, need a medication evaluation, or need a new primary care physician in Hialeah, contact GMP Medical. We perform spirometry testing, routine check-ups, and an abundance of other medical services. Our practice accepts all insurances, so everyone is welcome. Contact us today to schedule an appointment, and if you need transportation, let us know. We do that, too! 305-823-2433
September 1, 2018 2:55 pm
Categories: Lab Work