Lung Function Tests

Lung Function Tests

Lung Function Tests

Alternative Names: Pulmonary function tests

Lung function, or pulmonary function, tests assess how well you can move air in and out of your lungs. These tests are especially useful for monitoring and treating asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and Chronic Obstructive Airway Disease (COAD). During the tests, you breathe into mouthpiece, and a machine (a spirometer) measures the movement of air. The tests may be done before and after inhalation of a bronchodilator (asthma pump or similar). Lung function tests can be carried out by a doctor or at home.

What is it?
Lung function tests refer to a series of tests that measure how well you can move air in and out of your lungs.

There are a variety of lung function tests – some can be done at home with simple equipment, while others require a spirometer (machine for measuring lung function), which is usually only available at a specialist physician’s rooms, or in a hospital.

Why is it done?
Lung function tests are done to assess how well you can move air in and out of your lungs. The common indications include:

  • Asthma
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Emphysema
  • Chronic Obstructive Airway Disease (COAD)

What happens?

Before – how to prepare
No special preparation is needed although you should not wear tight or restrictive clothing.

During – how the test is done
You should stand up when doing these tests. The exact procedures vary, depending on the test being performed, but the basic requirement is to breathe into a mouthpiece, as directed by the doctor or assistant, while the machine measures the movement of air. You will often be asked to breathe in fully (fill your lungs) and then exhale forcibly (blow out as hard as you can). The tests may be done before and after inhalation of a bronchodilator (asthma pump or similar).

After the test
The measurements will be available immediately, but it may take longer to interpret them.

Risks and Compilations
There are no known risks associated with lung function tests although some people may get a bit breathless if they find the exertion too much.

Special Issues
Home monitoring of lung function is a very useful method of monitoring chronic conditions such as asthma and COAD. It facilitates optimal treatment and allows for early intervention should there be any deterioration.

Short Description
Lung function, or pulmonary function, tests assess how well you can move air in and out of your lungs.

Keywords
Lung function, pulmonary function, Lung function tests, pulmonary function test



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