Let's Get to Know the Spirometry Test Closer
A basic physical examination is often not enough to determine the diagnosis of the disease. Investigations such as spirometry are needed, especially to detect lung disease. This examination is useful for measuring lung capacity and function as well as diagnosing certain lung diseases.
The doctor will use an instrument called a spirometer to perform tests to evaluate the function and diagnose the condition of your lungs. A spirometry test is usually done in a hospital or doctor's office and takes about fifteen minutes to show the condition of the lungs, including the amount of air that can be inhaled and exhaled. In addition, spirometry can also be used for the diagnosis of various diseases of the respiratory system, including asthma, chronic bronchitis, pulmonary fibrosis, emphysema, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Steps to Perform a Spirometry Test
You are advised to avoid smoking and alcoholic beverages for about 24 hours before the spirometry examination. You are also advised to avoid strenuous exercise or eating large portions of food a few hours before the examination.
Avoid wearing tight clothing when you are about to do a spirometry test. The doctor may also ask you to stop taking certain drugs for a while.
The spirometry test is performed in the following order:
You will be asked to sit in a location determined by the doctor. The doctor will then place a clip in your nose to cover both of your noses. Then, he will give you a pipe-like device and ask you to take a deep breath, hold your breath for a few seconds, and then exhale as hard as you can into the pipe. The doctor will usually ask you to repeat this technique three times to confirm the results. The doctor will assess your lung function after the examination and its results.
The doctor may give inhaled bronchodilators to widen the airway after the spirometry test is complete. About fifteen minutes later, the doctor will ask you to do another spirometry test.
Your doctor will check the results of both tests to see how effectively the bronchodilator is improving your airway. This procedure can also cause side effects such as dizziness and sometimes shortness of breath. You don't need to worry because the doctor will continue to monitor your condition during and after the procedure.
Conditions Requiring a Spirometry Test :
1. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
COPD is one of several health conditions that must be checked with a spirometry test. COPD is a lung disease caused by long-term inflammation that blocks airflow in the lungs, leading to coughing, shortness of breath, and wheezing. To assess the respiratory function of patients with COPD, spirometry is usually used every one to two years.
Asthma is a type of chronic disease that causes inflammation and narrowing of the airways, causing shortness of breath and coughing. Respiratory or lung infections, allergies, exposure to pollution, and excessive anxiety can also cause asthma symptoms.
3. cystic fibrosis
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic condition in which the lungs and digestive system become clogged with thick, sticky mucus. Symptoms of cystic fibrosis affecting the respiratory tract can include nasal congestion, wheezing, shortness of breath, and a prolonged cough with phlegm.
4. Lung fibrosis
Pulmonary fibrosis disease occurs when lung tissue is damaged and scar tissue forms on it. This scar tissue makes the lungs stiffer, which impairs breathing.
Spirometry tests can also be used by doctors to find out how severe your lung disease is or to assess how well your treatment method is responding.
Immediately consult a doctor if you have breathing or lung problems. The doctor will carry out several tests, such as spirometry, physical examination of the lungs, X-rays, or CT scans of the lungs, to find out what disorder you are experiencing and the right type of medical therapy.