What is spirometry?
Spirometry is a test that examines how well you can breathe. The test is painless and usually takes less than 10 minutes to perform. During spirometry you blow into a device, the spirometer, which measures how much air you can inhale and exhale, and how quickly you can breath.
When should I undergo a spirometry?
The doctor will suggest you to undergo spirometry if:
- You smoke or you have been a smoker in the past
- You have a persistent cough
- You get breathless when walking fast
- You are over 40 years old
- You are about to undergo surgery
- You have episodes of wheezing
- You receive treatment for respiratory problems (COPD,Asthma, etc), so you must periodically keep track of your disease and record whether it responds to the medication you receive.
- You are worried about the health of your respiratory system
What happens during the test?
The doctor will show you how to blow into the spirometer before starting the test. You will be asked to blow three or more times into the spirometer.
When you hold the spirometer, you should:
- Inhale as deeply as you can after you place your lips tightly around the mouthpiece.
- Blow hard and as quickly as possible.
- Continue to blow for at least 6 seconds until your doctor tells you to stop.
How to evaluate the results of spirometry?
Initially, it is the volume of air you blow in the first second (FEV1) and the total volume of air exhaled (FVC) that are measured. The doctor may ask you to repeat spirometry after 15 minutes of inhaling a special medication (bronchodilator) to evaluate your airways’ reversibility (indirect sign of asthma).