Pulmonary function tests, or PFTs, are used to detect obstructive or restrictive problems that interfere with the normal function of the lungs. These tests are non-invasive, but they are highly effective in measuring lung capacity, air flow, and the exchange of gases. PFT may be used to measure the amount of air you are inhaling, how much remains in your lungs after exhaling, and the rate at which air is inhaled and exhaled from the body.
Pulmonary function testing is a quick and safe outpatient test that can be performed from the comfort of your doctor’s office. Prior to the test, you may be instructed to stop smoking or using certain medications. You may also be told to avoid a large meal or tight-fitting clothing on the day of pulmonary function testing.
During the test, you will sit upright with a small clip over your nose to redirect all breathing through your mouth. You will be instructed to breath into a sterile mouthpiece attached to a spirometer, which connects to a machine that measures the results of your test.
Pulmonary function testing may not be recommended for everyone. Dr. Hammad may suggest PFT as a part of a routine exam, or to explore the cause of respiratory symptoms. Pulmonary function testing can be useful in confirming a diagnosis of:
Dr. Hammad will evaluate the results of your pulmonary function testing to determine what – if any – actions should be taken. Results are compared to the normal results of someone of the same age, sex, height and race. Abnormal pulmonary function test results might indicate the need for additional testing. Likewise, any changes in your PFT results over previous tests might require further investigation.
Keep in mind that some people may not be good candidates for PFT due to safety issues. These include individuals who have recently undergone eye, chest or abdominal surgery, people with confirmed aneurysms, and individuals with heart conditions that are considered unstable.
If you are suffering from respiratory symptoms or are concerned about your respiratory health, contact our office to schedule an appointment and find out it pulmonary function testing is right for you.