How to Explain Spirometry Results to Patients

Spirometry is one of the essential tests doctors use to assess the health of their patient’s lungs. The test can be used to diagnose a variety of conditions from COPD to asthma to pulmonary fibrosis and so much more, making it a the cornerstone for respiratory health care. The beauty of the test is that it is quite easy for patients. All they do is breathe into the spirometer, and from there the machine will calculate the results based on a few different calculations. For physicians, the best thing they can do is explain to their patients their spirometry results so they can get a fuller understanding of what they may be suffering from.

FVC Measurement

One of the initial spirometry results is the FVC (Forced Vital Capacity) measurement or the amount of forced air that a patient can exhale and inhale into the machine. The patient inhales as deeply as possible and then forces out as much air as they can as quickly as they can. The process measures against a median based on the results of the person’s age, gender, and a few other considerations.

If the person’s spirometry results scores within the median, then they are generally considered healthy. Outside of the average is a sign of possibly having one of the above-mentioned respiratory conditions.

Additional Important Numbers for Your Patients to Understand

There are other essential spirometry results that your patient will need to understand. This is the calculation based on the FEV1 (Forced Expiratory Volume in One Second) in a ratio to the total FVC. For healthy people, about ¾ of the FVC exhales in that first second, so the rate needs to be near 0.75. Deviations from this are also a sign of what might be causing the patient problems.

Spirometry results

Other Factors to Consider When Examining Results

FVC and the ratio between FVC and FEV1 are essential for patients who want to understand the health of their lungs. It’s also important to take into account other factors which may be affecting tests results such as conditions like pneumonia or heartburn or hay fever. When talking with your patient, be sure they have given you a thorough history of any conditions that may likely affect their spirometry results.

Spirometry: The Perfect Assessment Tool for Lung Health

This is why spirometry is such a high baseline test to rule out some of the most severe conditions and to specifically address the source of the problem. Patients need answers to questions like “What is a spirometer?” and “What does a lung function test tell you?” so they can understand their lung health and why medication or changes in diet may be vital in getting back on the road to health. Check out how our spirometer devices can help you make a more accurate of diagnosis for your patients so they can get the treatment they need for a wide array of lung diseases and other conditions quickly and easily.