Pulmonary Function Testing (Lung Testing)

Measuring lung capacity and function

There are a variety of ways that your doctor may screen for diseases affecting the lungs and airways, including COPD and asthma. If you are experiencing long-term breathing difficulties, your physician may order a pulmonary function test during your visit. The most commonly used test in your doctor’s office is called spirometry, which measures how forcefully you can empty your lungs as well as the overall air capacity of your lungs.

How can I prepare for a pulmonary function test?

  • You should take your daily medications prior to testing unless told otherwise.
  • Refrain from smoking for at least six hours prior to testing.
  • If you use a short-acting inhaler as needed, do not use it for at least six hours before testing, if possible.
  • Your doctor may give you other instructions regarding medications before lung testing.

What to expect during lung testing

Pulmonary function tests/spirometry tests are performed in Complete Health practices by a certified health care professional. These lung capacity tests aren’t painful. To perform the test, you will be asked to inhale as hard as you possibly can, then exhale as hard as you possibly can. You may be asked to repeat this process several times to confirm that the results are accurate. Your doctor will interpret the results from the test, discuss their findings with you, and review a course of treatment if one is deemed necessary to improve your lung function.