The technician will explain how each test is done and how the PFT devices (eg,
peak flow meter
) work. You might sit in an enclosed booth. You may have to wear a nose clip. In some cases, one or more of these tests will be done during or immediately following exercise (on a treadmill or stationary bike). Tell the technician right away if you have breathing problems, pain, or
A technician will ask you to breathe in and out in different patterns and speeds into the PFT devices. You will rest between tests.
The PFT will measure things like:
How much air you can blow out
How much air your lungs can hold at different times
How hard you are blowing air out
Additional tests that may be used in some situations include:
Oxygen saturation test—A small probe is painlessly strapped or clipped to one of your fingers or toes. It measures the amount of oxygen being carried in the blood.
Challenge tests—You are exposed to a specific chemical during the PFT, and the test measures if your breathing changes due to that chemical. This is only done in limited situations, under close and careful supervision.
Rest until you feel able to leave. You may be given a medicine if testing causes symptoms of a lung condition or disease (eg, wheezing, coughing, difficulty breathing).
How Long Will It Take?
Will It Hurt?
The test does not hurt. You may experience symptoms of your lung condition or disease (eg, wheezing, coughing, difficulty breathing) during or immediately following testing.
Your doctor will compare the results of your tests with charts of normal values based on your age, sex, and height. Your doctor will discuss the results with you and decide if further testing or treatment is needed.
Call Your Doctor
After the test, call your doctor if any of the following occurs:
Headaches, nausea, muscle aches, dizziness, or general ill feeling
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a