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What Is Spirometry?

Spirometry is a breathing test which may be ordered by your allergist.  It is a diagnostic tool or one that is used to assess your lung function once asthma is diagnosed. In addition to asthma, breathing tests are sometimes used to diagnose conditions like pulmonary fibrosis, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

How Does It Work?

Your allergy nurse will hold a spirometer, a device that connects to a tube. Then you will be asked to breathe in as deep as possible. When the nurse says so, release that breath, doing so with as much lung power as you can muster. At the end of your breath you will inhale quickly. You will need to keep your lips sealed on the tube to keep all air inside.

You may have to do the test three times to track consistency from one inhale/exhale to another. Your nurse will coach you so you can give it your best effort.

When Do I Need a Breathing Test?

Here are the conditions in which a breathing test is recommended:

  • Your allergist wants to determine your baseline lung function
  • You’ve started a new treatment or therapy
  • To monitor your current medication effectiveness

Your allergist may call for a breathing test annually regardless of a change in symptoms or treatments.