Spirometry Testing: What To Expect

Spirometry Testing: What To Expect

A spirometry test is a pulmonary function test that is used to test your breathing ability and diagnose respiratory illnesses and conditions. Pulmonary tests are quick, easy, and completely safe. If you’re thinking about getting a spirometry test, or if your doctor recommended you get one, you probably have questions. We’ll do our best to answer any questions you may have.

What Is Spirometry Testing?

Spirometry testing is a very common way to test pulmonary function – in other words, how strong your lungs are. A spirometry test measures how much air you can breathe in; how much air you can breathe out; and how fast and strong you can inhale and exhale. All of these tests are important in diagnosing how healthy your lungs are.

What Conditions Can Be Diagnosed With a Spirometry Test?

A spirometry test is designed to diagnose conditions that affect your breathing ability, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis, and pulmonary fibrosis, among others. 

How Do I Prepare for a Spirometry Test?

A spirometry test does not require much preparation. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

  • Tell your doctor what medications you are on, and ask if you need to stop taking any prior to the appointment.
  • If you have had surgery recently or have a heart condition, tell your doctor.
  • Before the test, abstain from eating a big meal or smoking
  • Make sure to wear something comfortable and non-restrictive. 

What Happens During a Spirometry Test?

A spirometry test is quick and easy. Once you’re signed in and brought into the appointment room, you’ll sit down on a chair and have a clip placed over your nostrils, to prevent you from being able to breathe through your nose. Then a cup-like mask will be placed around your mouth, and you will be asked to breathe in, hold your breath for a few seconds, then breathe out as quickly and as hard as you can. You will repeat this process at least two more times, though you may be asked to do it more if required. 

Depending on your health, a spirometry test may make you feel light-headed or short of breath, but it is completely safe. 

Are Spirometry Tests Accurate?

Spirometry tests give your doctor information on the quality of your breathing. While mistakes can be made and there is a margin for error, spirometry tests are generally very accurate and give your doctor important information. 

What Are Normal Levels for a Spirometry Test?

Normal levels from a spirometry test depend on multiple factors, such as your age, height, gender, and race. Before the test is conducted, we will calculate a predicted normal value for you. After the test, we will compare the value from your test to the predicted value. The result is considered normal if it is 80% or more of the predicted value.

If you’re having symptoms of a respiratory-related illness, or if you have a history of respiratory-related illness, it’s a good idea to get a spirometry test performed. If you’re interested in scheduling one, or if you have more questions, please give us a call at (469)-656-7999. Bluestar Diagnostics technicians are certified to perform Pulmonary Function Tests, including spirometry tests, and we take proper COVID-19 safety precautions.