Understanding Spirometry Tests and the Conditions That Need It

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Understanding Spirometry Tests and the Conditions That Need It
Understanding Spirometry Tests and the Conditions That Need It

Spirometry is a method of evaluating lung function and diagnosing lung conditions. In this examination, the doctor will ask you to breathe using a device called a spirometer

The spirometry test is generally done in a hospital or doctor's office and only takes about 15 minutes. This test will show the condition of the lungs, including how much air can be inhaled and exhaled and the capacity of the lungs.

Understanding Spirometry Tests and the Conditions That Need It - Alodokter

Not only that, spirometry can also be used to diagnose various diseases of the respiratory system, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary fibrosis, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis.

Steps of Spirometry Procedure

About 24 hours before doing spirometry, you are advised to stop smoking and not consume alcoholic beverages. You are also advised not to do strenuous exercise or eat large meals a few hours before the spirometry test.

When you want to do a spirometry test, you should avoid wearing tight clothes. Your doctor may also ask you to stop taking certain medications beforehand.

The following is the procedure for the spirometry test:

  • You will be asked to sit in the seat provided by the doctor. After that, the doctor will place a kind of clip in your nose that serves to close your nose.
  • The doctor will place a breathing mask over your mouth, then ask you to take a deep breath, hold your breath for a few seconds, then exhale as hard as possible into the breathing mask.
  • The doctor will usually ask you to repeat this 3 times to ensure consistent results. After the examination is complete and the results are obtained, the doctor will assess your lung function.

After the spirometry test is completed, it is possible that the doctor will give you an inhaled bronchodilator to widen the airway. About 15 minutes later, the doctor will ask you to do a spirometry test again.

The doctor will compare the results of the two tests to assess the effectiveness of the bronchodilators in improving your airway. The side effects of spirometry that may occur are feeling a little dizzy and sometimes short of breath after doing the test.

Conditions to Check with Spirometry

There are several he alth conditions that need to be checked by spirometry tests, including:

1. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

COPD is a lung disease caused by chronic inflammation that causes airflow in the lungs to be obstructed. This condition generally causes symptoms in the form of coughing, shortness of breath, and wheezing.

To assess respiratory function in COPD patients, spirometry tests are usually performed every 1-2 years.

2. Asthma

Asthma is a type of chronic disease caused by inflammation and narrowing of the airways that causes shortness of breath and coughing. Asthma symptoms can appear if there is an infection, allergies, exposure to pollution, to excessive anxiety.

3. Cystic Fibrosis

cystic fibrosis is a genetic condition when the lungs and digestive system are blocked by thick, sticky mucus. Cystic fibrosis that attacks the respiratory tract can trigger symptoms of nasal congestion, wheezing, shortness of breath, and a prolonged cough with phlegm.

4. Pulmonary fibrosis

Pulmonary fibrosis occurs when lung tissue is damaged and scar tissue forms in the lung tissue. This scar tissue makes the lungs stiffer, thus interfering with breathing.

The spirometry test can also help your doctor determine the severity of your lung disease or as a method of assessing your response to treatment.

If you have lung or breathing problems, consult a doctor immediately. The doctor will perform a series of tests such as spirometry, physical examination of the lungs, X-rays, or CT scans of the lungs, to find out the disorder you are experiencing and provide appropriate treatment.

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