Difficulty breathing, chest tightness, shortness of breath – these are all signs that something may be awry with your lung (pulmonary) function. If you tell your doctor that you are experiencing these symptoms, the physician will likely recommend some tests.
To check how well your lungs are working, your doctor may recommend that you undergo a pulmonary function test (PFT). This test most often involves the use of a spirometer, which measures lung capacity, volume, gas exchange, and rates of airflow.
Let’s talk about what happens during a pulmonary function test and who you can talk to if you are having breathing problems.
Pulmonary Function Testing Procedure
In a pulmonary function test, the spirometer device will measure how much air you exhale and inhale, it can detect obstructive issues, and it can determine where the chest is restricted from expanding.
- For the test, you will be advised to wear loose clothing.
- You will be asked to remove any jewelry that may interfere with the test.
- The technician will ask you to be sure that your bladder is empty before starting.
- Next, the technician will ask you to sit on a chair and place a clip over your nose.
- The tech will provide a mouthpiece, which is attached to the spirometer, to gauge your breathing through your mouth.
- You will then place the mouthpiece in your mouth and keep your lips firmly around it for accurate results.
- The technician will ask you to inhale and exhale in certain ways while recording the results.
What a Pulmonary Function Test Can Reveal
This test can reveal allergies, respiratory issues, chronic lung conditions, and lung disease. It is also used to check the progress of treatment and to check for lung issues before major surgery.
A pulmonary function test can provide information on the following:
- Amount of air exhaled while at rest
- Amount of air exhaled with activity
- Maximum volume of air that you can exhale
- Amount of air left in the lungs after exhaling
- Total volume of air the lungs can hold
The pulmonary function test results are then compared to the average patient of your height, age, and sex. If your results are abnormal, further testing may be required; if they are normal, your doctor may prescribe medication.
Lung Testing in Midlands, SC
Here at SC Internal Medicine Associates & Rehabilitation, we offer pulmonary testing as part of our onsite diagnostic services. In addition to primary healthcare for the whole family, we offer testing services including ultrasound, bone scans, stress tests, colonoscopy, sleep studies, and allergy testing.
An accurate diagnosis is the first step toward healing. We will make sure that you have the best possible experience in our facility, where compassion is a guiding principle.
If you would like to know what it’s like to receive care from a team of physicians and staff who truly care, contact us today to schedule an appointment by calling (803) 749-1111. If you prefer, you can fill out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to being your healthcare partner for a lifetime!