If you need a spirometry test, your doctor wants to see how much air you have in your lungs and how quickly it flows. These measurements help evaluate lung function, which can identify:
- Blocked or narrow airways
- Lung conditions, like asthma, COPD, or interstitial pulmonary fibrosis
- Disease progression and severity
- Effectivity of treatment
- The need for more diagnostic testing
While spirometry can provide so much information, the test usually takes 15-30 minutes and is completely painless. After having a spirometry test, you can typically resume normal activities immediately.
Our Advanced Allergy & Asthma team performs spirometry tests regularly at each of our locations in Ogden, Utah. They shared these insights into the testing process and the steps you should take to prepare for your evaluation.
What to expect during a spirometry test
Before starting your test, we place soft clips on your nose to close your nostrils. This ensures you only breathe through your mouth once your assessment begins.
To perform your test, we ask you to take a deep breath and blow into a tube as hard and fast as possible. This tube connects to the spirometer, which measures your lung function. We usually repeat this process three times to guarantee consistent and accurate results.
Sometimes, we also have you take medication to open your airways and then take measurements again to evaluate your response to treatment.
After reviewing your test results, your provider discusses what they mean and how you should move forward. For example, they could prescribe inhalers or other medications that improve lung function. They could also suggest additional tests to confirm a diagnosis or screen you for other diseases that can worsen breathing symptoms, like allergies and sinusitis.
How to prepare for your spirometry test
Spirometry tests are safe and risk-free, but they can make you lightheaded, tired, or cough. These reactions usually fade quickly when you finish your test, but you can increase your comfort during your evaluation by taking the proper steps.
If you need a spirometry test, our team recommends:
- Wearing loose-fitting clothing
- Avoiding large meals for at least two hours
- Skipping heavy exercise for at least 30 minutes
- Not smoking for at least six hours
- Avoiding alcohol for at least four hours
In some cases, we also have you stop taking or adjust how you use certain medications like inhalers beforehand, but this varies, depending on your condition and the purpose of your test.
Together, these preparations can help keep you more comfortable during your test and ensure more accurate results.
Do you need a spirometry test or have issues breathing? Contact the Advanced Allergy & Asthma location nearest you to schedule a visit by calling or booking an appointment online today.