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Anyone living with breathing troubles is likely well aware of spirometry testing. For those who aren’t, a spirometry test measures the amount of air your lungs can hold and how high your breathing strength is. This is an important test for anyone with asthma or other breathing disorders to measure their lung function.

At Main Street Medical Clinic, we work hard to offer a comfortable spirometry testing experience and provide our patients with the best information possible about their lung health. Let’s take a closer look at what a spirometry test is and what you can expect from your appointment.

Have you ever needed a spirometry test to measure your breathing strength? Here’s what the tests do and why you may need one. #MainStreetClinics #MainStreetMedical Click To Tweet

Do You Need a Spirometry Test?

Spirometry testing is recommended for anyone diagnosed with or at risk for any type of breathing disorder or impaired lung function. These problems could include:

  • Asthma
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Emphysema
  • Chronic breathing struggles

What Happens During a Spirometry Test

During a test, your doctor will use a special clamp to close your nose so you can only breathe through your mouth. You will be instructed to inhale deeply, then exhale as hard as you can into a breathing mask or tube. You’ll likely have to do this several times for consistent results. If you suffer from a breathing disorder, you may also have to repeat this test after taking appropriate medication.

Pro Tip: Breathing tests may make you a little light-headed, but you shouldn’t see any severe side effects. Tell your doctor immediately if you need a break.

Understanding Your Spirometry Test Results

This test measures two primary variables: your forced vital capacity (FVC), the amount of air expelled from your lungs, and your forced expiratory volume (FEV1), the amount of air you exhale in one second. Your doctor will estimate healthy levels of both of these values prior to the test based on your height, weight, race, and gender. Your test results will then be compared to the estimate. If your FVC and FEV1 reach at least 80% of the estimate, your breathing is considered largely normal and healthy. Lower test results indicate a problem and potential disease or disorder.

Monitoring Your Lung Health & Function

If you struggle with breathing issues or lung disease, periodic spirometry testing will be an essential part of your healthcare regimen. Talk to your doctor about the exact timing and how to act on your test results.

Join the conversation to learn more about our medical tests.