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Pulmonary Function Testing

Family Medical Doctors -  - Internal Medicine

Family Medical Doctors

Internal Medicine & Primary Care Practice located in New Port Richey, FL

Pulmonary function testing is the first diagnostic test you receive when your symptoms suggest you have asthma, COPD, or another respiratory disease. The experienced team at Family Medical Doctors in Trinity, Florida, offers diagnostic lung testing in the office so you don’t need to go to another facility or wait for results. You can get a prompt diagnosis and start treatment to restore normal breathing in one visit. Call the practice or schedule an appointment online at the first sign of symptoms like shortness of breath or coughing.

Pulmonary Function Testing Q & A

What is pulmonary function testing?

Pulmonary function testing refers to a group of tests that measure how well your lungs work. Of all the different types of pulmonary function testing, spirometry is the first one that’s done to diagnose lung problems.

When might I need pulmonary function testing?

Your provider uses pulmonary function testing to diagnose and monitor respiratory conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and pulmonary fibrosis.

You may need a lung function test if you experience symptoms that suggest a breathing problem, including:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness
  • An ongoing cough

Asthma and pulmonary fibrosis cause a dry cough. By comparison, people with COPD have a productive cough that brings up phlegm.

What happens during spirometry?

Spirometry shows if your breathing is restricted, and if it is, it measures the severity of the obstruction. During your spirometry test, your provider at Family Medical Doctors first places a clip on your nose.

Using a mouthpiece that’s attached to a tube, you inhale a deep breath and then you breathe out into the tube, exhaling as hard and long as possible.

The tube is connected to a spirometer, a device that measures the amount of air you breathe in and out, as well as the time it takes you to exhale. You repeat the same procedure several times to get the best results.

Your provider may ask you to do a second spirometry test after giving you medication to open the airways in your lungs. Comparing the results of the two tests shows if the medication improves your airflow.

What other types of pulmonary function tests might I need?

Depending on the results of your spirometry, you may need advanced pulmonary function tests to further define the type and severity of your lung disease. 

A few examples of additional pulmonary function tests include:

  • Diffusion studies to determine how well oxygen gets into your blood
  • Lung volume tests to measure the amount of air your lungs can hold
  • Arterial blood gas testing to precisely measure oxygen and carbon dioxide in your blood
  • Fractional exhaled nitric oxide test to see the amount of nitric oxide you exhale

If you have shortness of breath, don’t wait to have your lungs evaluated. Call Family Medical Doctors or book an appointment online.

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