Spirometry is a word you may or may not be familiar with, but this practice is one of the most effective ways to diagnose a wide variety issues you may be having with your lungs. Spirometry is the practice and the tool is called a spirometer. It a very common lung function test which determines how well you breathe.
It is also a good way to monitor the treatment of lung problems as well. This short guide will explain how a spirometer can help diagnose a patient so you can be sure the lungs can get the treatment they need.
How is the Test Performed?
First, your weight and height are recorded. After this, all you have to do is breathe into the spirometer. All you do is breathe in completely, forming a seal around the mouthpiece of the instrument with your lips. Then, you exhale as quickly and far as you can until you have totally emptied your lungs. This may take up to ten or more seconds.
You may be also asked to inhale fully and exhale as slowly as you can for a second test. It depends on the machine and if the doctor is looking for something in particular.
Sometimes the nurse or doctor may place a clip on your nose to make sure no air escapes from your airway. Finally, the tests may be repeated a few times to make sure that the readings are consistent and accurate across each of the recordings. It’s a very non-invasive and at most only takes fifteen minutes.
What Does the Measurement Mean?
The are some technical terms you may or may not want to familiarize yourself with. Basically, the test measures your forced expiratory volume (FEV) divided by a few other factors. It is not always essential that you understand these terms.
It is important to know that the test is designed to look for four different patterns: normal, obstructive, restrictive, or combined obstructive/restrictive. Depending on where you lie on this scale, the doctor will be able to determine your respiratory health.
Why It’s So Effective
A spirometer is such an effective tool because it can be used to not only diagnose conditions but can also detect COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) before symptoms start to manifest. It can be also used to determine if asthma or circulatory system problems are the cause of health issues.
Since it is able to detect diseases at an earlier time, treatment can be started often forestalling or completely preventing onset. It can also help determine the appropriate medicine and other recommendations to help you get the most tailored treatment that fits your individual needs.
A Very Effective Test
A spirometer is one of the most effective tools that your doctor has to diagnose the health of your respiratory and circulatory systems. For this reason, you should consider periodic tests so you can make sure your lungs are in good shape while also being able to prevent conditions from developing in the future.