Spirometry

Spirometry Defined

Spirometry is a common medical exam given to patients to assess lung function. Factors like how much air you inhale and exhale and how quickly you exhale are used to determine the health of lung function. Spirometry is used in the diagnosis of asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and other health conditions that affect breathing. Physicians may also use spirometry to determine the effects of prescribed medications for treatment of chronic lung conditions.

Primary Principles of Spirometry

Spirometry is the primary and most common pulmonary function exam. It measures both lung function and speed (flow) of air inhaled and exhaled. Spirometry is used to generate pneumotachographs which help physicians assess conditions like asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis, and COPD. A spirometer is used to conduct the exam, which comes in several different varieties. Generally a patient is asked to take in the deepest breath they are able, and exhale into the sensor as hard as possible for as long as possible. Six seconds or more is preferred.

Why Spirometry?

If you are experiencing symptoms of a chronic lung condition your doctor may suggest a spirometry exam. Those who have already been diagnosed with a chronic lung disorder may have spirometry exams conducted to check the performance of medications and if the condition is improving. Surgeons may also require a spirometry exam during pre-operative risk assessment to determine if it is safe to administer anesthesia.

A spirometry exam may be suggested if you suffer from:

  • Asthma – chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways causing recurring periods
  • of wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing.
  • COPD – progressive disease that makes it difficult to breath
  • Chronic bronchitis – patients experience coughing and difficulty getting air in and of the lungs
  • Emphysema – gradual damaging of the air sacs in the lungs causing shortness of breath
  • Pulmonary fibrosis – scarring of the lungs that makes it difficult to breath

Spirometry at Dayton Dandes Medical Center

We administer spirometry exams at our modern medical facility. Patients are seated comfortably as they are asked to inhale and exhale into the spirometer. The test is very safe, and takes just a few minutes. Patients can experience dizziness or shortness of breath immediately after the test for a few moments as they recover from deep breathing. Learn more about lung health. Contact us at Dayton Dandes Medical Center to schedule your spirometer exam today.