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Are you having trouble breathing during non-strenuous activities? Do you suspect that you have asthma? If live in Atlanta or surrounding areas and your answer to either of these questions is yes, a spirometry test performed by your Atlanta allergist can confirm whether your suspicions are true or false.
Spirometry is a test to evaluate the capability of your lungs, which allows us to determine whether you have potential signs of asthma or other lung diseases, such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). During the spirometry test, you will be asked to take a deep breath and then expel all the air as quickly as you can into a hand-held mouthpiece. We will assess the health and function of your lungs by measuring the amount of air you are able to inhale and exhale, and the speed of the exhalation.
What Are the Main Uses for Spirometry Testing?
While spirometry testing is used to diagnose asthma, it has many other uses during the testing and treatment process. A spirometry test is often used for the following reasons.
- To diagnose asthma after symptoms have been discussed.
- To monitor lung function after activities like exercise or contact with substances.
- To check for the effectiveness of asthma medication.
- To reliably monitor your lung function over an extended period.
How Long Does Spirometry Testing Take?
A spirometry test is a quick test performed in your doctor’s office, and most tests take around 15 minutes. If further testing is required you may need additional time, and more complex testing may require around an hour. In some cases, you may need to take a medication called a bronchodilator to provide additional testing results. Your doctor will advise you when further testing is needed.
Is Spirometry Testing Accurate?
Studies have shown that spirometry testing is an accurate diagnostic tool for asthma. Patients suspected of dealing with asthma can rely on the results delivered by this testing process. Doctors may use additional testing processes to rule out asthma, including an exhaled nitric oxide test.
Spirometry is more than the test itself, as studies indicate the importance of testing personnel to verify results. Proper testing requires a medical professional who can verify the accuracy of the spirometer, and also interpret the results using appropriate patient demographics. At the Chacko Allergy, Asthma and Sinus Center, we accurately perform and analyze spirometry tests to ensure precise results for each patient.
Please see your Atlanta allergist for a spirometry test if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Tightness in the chest
- Wheezing, i.e., emitting an abnormal sound when exhaling
- Chronic coughing, especially at night or accompanying laughter
If you have been previously diagnosed with asthma, we strongly recommend scheduling a spirometry test at least twice a year. To prepare for spirometry, eat a light meal and wear loose clothing to encourage easier breathing. In addition, avoid smoking for one hour and avoid exercise for 30 minutes prior to the test.
For more information on spirometry and/or to determine whether you require this test, please do not hesitate to contact us at Chacko Allergy, Asthma and Sinus Center today. We look forward to addressing your concerns and providing the appropriate treatment should the test discover any issues with your lungs.