How A Spirometer Assists With Asthma Diagnosis

Lung function tests are used to assess respiratory function. They are usually performed by a respiratory therapist or doctor and are helpful when diagnosing lung-related conditions such as asthma. Lung function tests can also be useful when motoring asthma, as assessing the condition by symptoms alone will not produce accurate and measurable data.


Common Asthma Symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing or whistling when exhaling
  • Coughing or wheezing that worsens with a cold or the flu

A spirometer is an important tool used to assess lung function. The spirometry test can provide the following information for those with asthma:

  • If the breathing condition is restrictive
  • If the breathing condition is obstructive
  • The extent of the blockage in the airways
  • If medications are able to open the airways
  • The level of sensitivity in the airways
  • If medication is working
  • Changes in lung function over time


Where is Spirometry Done?

A spirometer test is done in a doctors office through the use of available tools. It can also be done in a hospital by a doctor or respiratory therapist. Some pharmacies may offer spirometry as well and involve the use of spirometry guidelines. The test is suitable for adults, and children over five years of age.


What Does the Test Entail?

The test involves breathing into a device called a spirometer. You will be asked to take a deep breath in, and then breathe out forcefully and fast into the spirometer. The test will be repeated approximately three times, possibly more until the examiner has sufficient data to make a diagnosis.


How Often Should the Test be Performed?

Spirometry can be used to assess changes in lung function over time. It is also used to determine the effectiveness of medication and whether symptoms have stabilized. The results of these tests help in deciding whether the medication needs to be altered or changed. A decrease in lung function can indicate a higher risk of an asthma attack. The test should be repeated if and when symptoms worsen, or should be performed annually.


Spirometry Results

Spirometry measures FVC (forced vital capacity) and FEV1 (forced expiratory volume in one second). Doctors also look for the ratio between the two figures, the FEV1/FVC ratio.

Results are based on height, age, race, and gender. Before the test, doctors work out the predicted normal results values and compare the results to these. Normal results usually show a value that is at least 80 percent of the predicted value. Those with asthma will fall outside of this percentage range.

Depisteo is the manufacturers of cutting-edge technology medical screening devices. We have designed the Spirolyser Q13, a computerized spirometry device that can measure, record, analyze, and diagnose respiratory conditions. Contact us to find out more about our comprehensive range of diagnostic tools, and to find out how our screening products could provide benefit to your business.

Vision Screener