Spirometry Testing (Lung Function Testing)
Spirometry Tests Your Lung Function
Pulmonary function testing measures how well you are breathing. There are different types of
pulmonary function tests that can be done. Spirometry is one type of pulmonary function test.
Spirometry is a simple test to measure how much (volume) and how fast (flow) you can move air
into and out of your lungs
Why test my lung function?
Through routine spirometry, lung diseases can often be diagnosed in the early stages when
treatment is most effective. Once a lung disease is diagnosed and treated, routine spirometry tests
can monitor changes in lung functions with specific treatment. This will help your doctor find the
treatment plan for you.
What happens during the spirometry test?
You will be instructed how to perform spirometry. Basically, you will take in a deep breath and blow
into a mouthpiece attached to the spirometer. You will blow out as hard and as fast as you can until
your lungs feel absolutely empty. You will be asked to repeat the test several more times until there
are two to three good efforts. You will be coached and encouraged to do your best during the test.
A good effort during the test is important to get good results.
A computerized sensor (which is part of the spirometer) calculates and graphs the results. The
results demonstrate an person's air flow rates or the volume forced out within the first second. This
is the Forced Expiratory Volume in the first second (FEV1). This indicates whether or not there is
airway obstruction. Spirometry also records the total volume of air forced out of the lungs. This is
the Forced Vital Capacity (FVC). We also check the smaller airways reflected by the FEF 25-75