A Pulmonary function test consists of a series of tests that measures lung function. The tests provide information about how effectively the lung works and the amount of air a person's lung can hold. It also measures the forcefulness of individual's breathing.
A Pulmonary function test may be done when a person has shortness of breath, difficulty in breathing or cough. The test helps to diagnose respiratory conditions including:
- Abnormal blood flow to the lungs
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema
- Reactive airway disease - asthma
- Other respiratory conditions
- Once a condition is diagnosed pulmonary function test is used to monitor response to the treatment.
We conduct the following pulmonary function test:
- Spirometry identifies patients with obstructive or restrictive lung disease, but also helps the physician in determining the severity of the diseases and provides a baseline for future comparison should the patient show either improvement or worsening.
- Lung Volume determination is used to measure the total lung volume/total lung capacity. Lung capacity is decreased in condition associated with scarring of lung tissue, extrinsic compression of lung tissue by fluid or chest/abdominal wall deformities or diaphragm weakness. A high lung volume indicates "trapping of the air in the lungs" by obstructive lung disease such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema.
- Lung diffusing capacity determines how well the gas is exchanged between the air and the blood flow in the lungs.
- If you smoke please do not smoke for about 12 hours before the test
- Wear loose comfortable clothing
- Do not eat a big meal before the test
- Avoid exercise 2 hours prior to the test
- Do not take inhalers or lung medicines for the following times:
- short-acting inhaler-8hrs
- long-acting inhaler-24hrs
- Please reschedule the test if you are coming down with the flu, cold or other illness
- It takes approximately 90 minutes to perform the complete test
- If it is necessary to reschedult this exam, please give us at least a 24 hour notice
In order to perform this test at our facility a Beaver Family Clinic health care provider must order the test.