Here's What You Should Know If Your Doctor Is Recommending A Pulmonary Function Test For You

Posted on: 21 April 2020

Has your doctor recommended that you have a pulmonary function test done? Here are a few things you should know about the procedure before scheduling a test:

The Reasons For Testing

There are a variety of reasons your doctor may want to conduct a pulmonary function test on you, so don't worry too much until you get the results back from your tests. While testing is done on those suspected of having lung cancer and other serious illnesses, they may also be done for the following reasons:

  • Allergies

  • Infections

  • Asthma

  • Inflammation and Scarring

A host of lung diseases, such as sarcoidosis, can also be identified through pulmonary function testing. If you are concerned about the reasoning for a test recommendation from your doctor, ask them for a list of certain ailments they think you may be dealing with so you can do a little research and learn more about the ailments before taking your test and getting your results.

The Testing Process

Pulmonary function testing is not invasive and typically only takes a few minutes. Your doctor may advise you to stop taking certain medications and vitamins for a couple of days before you show up to have your testing done. They will probably also ask you to avoid wearing jewelry and tight clothing on the day of your test too.

The test itself involves sitting in a chair with your nose lightly clipped closed to ensure that you focus your breathing through your mouth. You will then place a mouthpiece in your mouth that's hooked up to a special machine designed to monitor things such as your heart rate, lung capacity, residual air volume, and forced expiratory capacity. Unless you are admitted to the hospital for a different reason, you will be able to go home right after the test is complete.

The Aftermath

After your pulmonary function testing is complete, you will be given a few minutes to rest your lungs and relax your mind. Once you let your doctor know that you feel rested, they will sit down and go over the result of your test with you. They will explain the line on your chart and thoroughly walk you through any illnesses or ailments you've been found to have. They will also work with you to create a treatment plan before you head home.

Don't be shy when talking with your doctor and take the time to ask all of your questions and voice your concerns, no matter how insignificant they may seem to you. The more information you are armed with when you leave your testing appointment, the more peace of mind you will have once you get back home.

For more information, contact a professional who provides pulmonary function testing