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What Is an Exhaled Nitric Oxide Test?

If you have swelling or inflammation in your airways your nitric oxide gas production levels may increase. This test is called a FeNO measurement. This test is a means of figuring out the effectiveness of inhaled steroid treatment as well as the degree of lung inflammation.

How Does It Work?

Fractional concentration of exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) is measured during an exhaled nitric oxide test. It’s measured as parts per billion or PPB. Your allergist will test with a specialized portable device that can read your exhaled air. You will stand and use a mouthpiece with a tube that connects to a handheld measuring device. Your nurse will coach you to help you give a long steady breath. You should not breathe too quickly or too hard either, as it could lead to incorrect readings.

What Can I Expect Before and After an Exhaled Nitric Oxide Test?

Have an early breakfast or late lunch, because you shouldn’t eat or drink for 60 minutes ahead of the FeNO testing. You need to notify the allergist if you have smoked or consumed alcohol earlier in the day. Respiratory infections can also influence FeNO levels so discuss with your allergist if you are not feeling well. This is a quick test which is completed in our office during the time of your visit. Afterwards, you can continue your day uninterrupted.

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