There are no major problems linked to these tests.
Reasons for Test
PFTs may be used to help diagnose or check the effect of lung
conditions or diseases, such as:
- Trouble breathing after a chest injury or surgery
- Chronic bronchitis
- Cystic fibrosis
- Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency
- Problems that make it hard to move air in and out of the lungs from scoliosis, tumors,swelling, or scarring of the lungs
- Interstitial lung disease
These tests may also be done to:
- See how well a treatment is working
- Check the effect of symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and
- Check how well your lungs are working before or after a surgery
- Measure a lung problem or muscle weakness
What to Expect
Prior to Test
- Review your medicine with your doctor. You may need to stop taking some before testing.
- Do not eat, smoke, or exercise for 4 to 8 hours before testing.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing.
Description of Test
The exact steps will depend on the reason for the test. In most cases, the procedure will be as follows:
- You will be asked to loosen tight clothing or remove jewelry. You will need to
wear dentures if you have them.
- You will sit in a chair. A soft clip will be put on your nose. All of your breathing will need to pass through your mouth.
- The doctor will ask you to breathe into a mouthpiece. The mouthpiece is attached
to a tool that measures your breath.
- You will be asked to breathe in and out in different ways.
- The team will watch you carefully for dizziness, trouble breathing, or other problems.
You may be given medicine to inhale after certain tests. The tests will then be repeated after the medicine has started to work.
|Peak Flow Meter|
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Other steps that may be needed include:
- A brief period of exercise before the test.
- A small clip will be attached to your finger. It will measure the amount of oxygen in your blood.
- A special chemical given as a mist. If you have asthma the chemical will cause a
spasm in the airway. This is only done under medical care.
- You may be asked to breathe in a small amount of carbon monoxide for 1 minute. It
will be followed to see how much gets into your blood. This will show how well
oxygen is getting into your blood.
Rest until you feel you are able to leave. You may have
wheezing, coughing, and/or problems breathing. Any problems will be treated before
How Long Will It Take?
20 to 45 minutes
Will It Hurt?
The test does not hurt. You may feel some symptoms during or right after testing.
Problems To Look Out For
After the test, call your doctor if you have:
- Headaches, nausea, muscle aches, lightheadedness, or general ill feeling
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Wheezing or coughing that will not go away
- Chest pain
Your doctor will compare the results of your tests with normal values. The results will also be checked with tests you may have already done. Your doctor will discuss the results with you.