Pulmonary Function Testing (Spirometry)

Spirometry is the most common of the lung function tests. These tests look at how well your lungs work. Spirometry shows how you breathe in and out.

Spirometry is the most common of the lung function tests. These tests look at how well your lungs work. Spirometry shows how you breathe in and out. Breathing in and out can be affected by lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, pulmonary fibrosis and cystic fibrosis. In occupational settings, spirometry can be used to establish a baseline before assigning a worker to job tasks that are physically demanding, that require use of a respirator, or that may expose the worker to respiratory hazards. Physicians may also require a PFT as part of the annual respirator certification process.

A spirometry test requires you to breathe into a tube attached to a machine called a spirometer. Before you do the test, a respiratory therapist, a technician or your doctor will give you specific instructions. Listen carefully and ask questions if something is not clear. Doing the test correctly is necessary for accurate and meaningful results.

 In general, you can expect the following during a spirometry test:
  • Individuals are usually seated during the test.
  • A clip may be placed on your nose to keep your nostrils closed.
  • You will take a deep breath and breathe out as hard as you can for several seconds into the tube. It’s important that your lips create a seal around the tube, so that no air leaks out.
  • You’ll need to do the test at least three times to make sure your results are relatively consistent. If there is too much variation among the three outcomes, you may need to repeat the test again. The highest value among three close test results is used as the final result.
  • The entire process usually takes less than 15-20 minutes.

All of our respiratory therapist and/or spirometry technicians have completed NIOSH approved spirometry courses and work under the direct supervision of our Medical Director who has over 30 years experience as a Pulmonolgist. Our licensed clinicians come to your facility to administer the PFT using the latest in digital spirometers, providing fast and accurate pulmonary function tests and comprehensive spirometry test documentation.

Still have questions? Give us a call or send us an email, our experienced and friendly clinicians are here to help.