Spirometry is the measurement of lung volume and airway resistance during forced breathing. It is a first-line examination of lung function, mostly used for diagnosing asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and monitoring their treatment.
During examination, you will be asked to inhale and exhale as deep and hard as possible. Breathing in this way can be uncomfortable.
Before undergoing spirometry you should not
- use short-acting bronchodilators for six hours prior to the examination
- use long-acting bronchodilators for 12 hours prior to the examination
How is this examination performed?
- The nose is clipped shut and a tube is inserted into the mouth for breathing.
- First you will be asked to freely breathe through your mouth and the tube, and then inhale slowly as deeply as possible.
- Once your lungs are filled to capacity, you will be asked to exhale hard, as fast and as deep as you can, for at least six seconds. It is especially important to start exhaling suddenly.
- For the bronchodilation test, you will be administered a bronchodilator and another examination will be performed once it takes effect, or in 15 minutes.
The examination includes a COVID-19 antigen test, which will be performed at the clinic before the examination.