Spirometry Test

Spirometry test is a common diagnostic tool used to assess lung function. It measures how much air a person can breathe in and out, and how quickly they can do so. Spirometry test is used to diagnose and monitor a variety of lung conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and emphysema. In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about spirometry test, including its purpose, procedure, and normal ranges.

What is Spirometry Test?

Spirometry test is a pulmonary function test that measures the amount of air a person can exhale forcefully and the rate at which the air is exhaled. The test is performed using a spirometer, a machine that measures the volume of air inspired and expired by the lungs. Spirometry test is commonly used to diagnose and monitor lung conditions such as asthma, COPD, and emphysema.

Why is Spirometry Test Performed?

Spirometry test is performed for several reasons, including:

  • To diagnose and monitor lung conditions such as asthma, COPD, and emphysema.
  • To assess lung function before and after surgery.
  • To determine the effectiveness of medications used to treat lung conditions.
  • To evaluate occupational exposure to lung irritants.

How is Spirometry Test Performed?

Spirometry test is a simple and painless test that takes about 15 minutes to complete. Here is how the test is performed:

  • The person is asked to sit up straight and breathe normally.
  • A nose clip is placed on the nose to prevent air from escaping through the nostrils.
  • The person is asked to take a deep breath and then exhale as forcefully and completely as possible into the spirometer.
  • The test is repeated at least three times to ensure accuracy.
  • The spirometer records the volume of air exhaled and the rate at which the air was exhaled.

What are the Normal Ranges for Spirometry Test Results?

Spirometry test results are evaluated based on the person’s age, gender, height, and weight. The normal ranges for spirometry test results are shown in the table below:

Parameter Normal Range
Forced Vital Capacity (FVC) > 80% predicted
Forced Expiratory Volume in 1 second (FEV1) > 80% predicted
FEV1/FVC Ratio > 0.7

(Source: American Thoracic Society. Standardization of spirometry, 1994 update. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 1995; 152:1107-1136.)

Does Spirometry Test Hurt?

No, spirometry test is a simple and painless test that does not cause any discomfort.

Can I Eat or Drink Before Spirometry Test?

It is recommended that you avoid eating heavy meals and drinking caffeine or alcohol at least 4 hours before the test.

How Long Does Spirometry Test Take?

Spirometry test takes about 15 minutes to complete.

Can Spirometry Test Be Done at Home?

No, spirometry test requires specialized equipment and should be performed in a medical facility by a trained healthcare professional.

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