Spirometry is a test that can help diagnose various lung conditions, most commonly chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).Spirometry is also used to monitor the severity of some interstitial Lung disease and Asthma, and their response to treatment. It helps predict the decline in lung functions and helps act in time. Spirometry shows how well you breathe in and out and spirometer is the device that is used to make the measurements.
You should get instructions from the doctor, nurse, or hospital department that does this test. Always follow these carefully.The instructions may include such things as not to use a bronchodilator inhaler for a set time before the test (several hours or more, depending on the inhaler). Also, not to have alcohol, a heavy meal, or do vigorous exercise for a few hours before the test. Ideally, you should not smoke for 24 hours before the test.
If it has not already been done, you will have your weight and height measured. For the spirometry itself, you need to breathe into the spirometer machine.First you breathe in fully and then seal your lips around the mouthpiece of the spirometer. You then blow out as fast and as far as you can until your lungs are completely empty. This can take several seconds. You may also be asked to breathe in fully and then breathe out slowly as far as you can. A clip may be put on to your nose to make sure that no air escapes from your nose. The measurements may be repeated two or three times to check that the readings are much the same each time you blow into the machine.