What to Expect at a Pulmonary Function Test

doctor with a patient Pulmonary function tests help doctors diagnose certain diseases and conditions. They also give doctors detailed information on how your lungs function. If you have signs of lung disease or other respiratory problems, your doctor might recommend having a pulmonary test done.

Why Are They Done?

These tests measure your lung capacity, lung volume, gas exchange, and airflow rate. This information can help your doctor diagnose a lung condition or check on the progression of a condition you already have. These tests can also be used to see how well a certain treatment is working if you have a lung condition. In some cases, doctors have a pulmonary function test done to check lung function before a patient goes through a surgical procedure.

When Do You Need One?

If you have been diagnosed with a lung condition, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), you might need to have a pulmonary function test done to see how advanced it is or whether or not it’s getting worse. You might also need one done to check how effective your treatment is.

If you have not been diagnosed with a lung condition and are experiencing certain signs and symptoms, your doctor might want you to have one of these tests done for diagnostic purposes. For example, if you have a cough that won’t go away or if you have symptoms of asthma, you might need a pulmonary function test. Your doctor might also recommend one if you have trouble breathing, shortness of breath or showing other signs of lung disease.

What Happens During a Pulmonary Function Test?

When you have one of these tests done, you can expect it to take about 30 minutes or less. While the test is done, you’ll be breathing into a device that is hooked up to a spirometer. The spirometer takes measurements of your lung function while you breathe into the handheld device. In general, these measurements show the amount of air you’re able to breathe in and out and how fast you’re able to do so. These measurements can help show whether or not you need additional testing or treatment for a lung condition.

What Happens After This Test?

After having a pulmonary function test done, your doctor will discuss the results with you. If your results indicate that you might have a certain lung condition, you might need other tests done for an accurate diagnosis. Your doctor will then discuss treatment options with you.

If your results show changes to an existing lung condition, your doctor can go over your treatment plan and talk about any changes that need to be made to it.

If your results indicate that a certain treatment isn’t effective, your doctor can discuss other treatment options with you.

What Benefits Does This Test Offer?

Pulmonary function tests offer certain benefits. This is a noninvasive test that doesn’t involve any needles or other procedures that might make you uncomfortable. These tests can also be done right in the doctor’s office, and you can expect to receive results from it in a short amount of time rather than having to wait long. Pulmonary function tests are a valuable part of diagnosing lung conditions, managing existing lung conditions and checking on the effectiveness of certain treatments.

If you think you might need a pulmonary function test, please contact MXBowen, Physician for an appointment. Dr. Bowen can evaluate you and determine if you need this type of test.

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