Spirometry (spy-ROM-uh-tree) is a common office test used to assess how well your lungs work by measuring how much air you inhale, how much you exhale and how quickly you exhale.
Spirometry is used to diagnose asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other conditions that affect breathing. Spirometry may also be used periodically to monitor your lung condition and check whether a treatment for a chronic lung condition is helping you breathe better
How you prepare
Follow your doctor's instructions about whether you should avoid use of inhaled breathing medications or other medications before the test. Other preparations include the following:
Wear loose clothing that won't interfere with your ability to take a deep breath.
Avoid eating a large meal before your test, so it will be easier to breathe.
What you can expect
A spirometry test requires you to breathe into a tube attached to a machine called a spirometer. Before you do the test, a nurse, a technician or your doctor will give you specific instructions. Listen carefully and ask questions if something is not clear. Doing the test correctly is necessary for accurate and meaningful results.
In general, you can expect the following during a spirometry test:
You'll likely be seated during the test.
A clip will be placed on your nose to keep your nostrils closed.
You will take a deep breath and breathe out as hard as you can for several seconds into the tube. It's important that your lips create a seal around the tube, so that no air leaks out.
You'll need to do the test at least three times to make sure your results are relatively consistent. If there is too much variation among the three outcomes, you may need to repeat the test again. The highest value among three close test results is used as the final ...