What is the purpose of Pulmonary Function Testing?

Pulmonary function tests are a broad range of tests that measure how well the lungs take in and exhale air, and how efficiently they transfer oxygen into the blood. These tests are performed to diagnose certain types of lung disease (especially asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema), to determine the cause of shortness of breath, or to measure whether occupational exposure to contaminants affects lung function. It can also be used after the administration of medications to assess their effect, and to measure progress in disease treatment.

How is the test performed?

  • Patient breathes into a mouthpiece that’s connected to an instrument called a spirometer
  • The spirometer records the amount and the rate of air that’s breathed in and out over a specific amount of time.

How do you prepare for the test?

  • Do not eat a heavy meal prior to the test
  • No smoking 4 to 6 hours prior to the test
  • Your physician will provide more detailed information prior to testing

How will the test feel?

  • There is a tight fitting mouth piece to breathe through, and nose clips are applied.
  • The patient will have some forced breathing and rapid breathing—this may cause some temporary shortness of breath or lightheadedness

For more information on Pulmonary Function Testing at Doctors Hospital, call (706) 651-4343.