What Is the Breathing Test for COPD?

Q: What is the breathing test for COPD? How can it help me?

A: Spirometry is the best test to assess lung function. It is often used to evaluate a person who has a chronic and sputum production and a history of risk factors for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It is also used to find out whether a specific therapy has improved lung function or whether your lung disease is getting worse.

Q: Where can I take spirometry? What should I do in the test?

A: It may be done in your doctor’s office or in a hospital. During the test, you should place your mouth on the tube which is connected to the spirometer and take the deepest breath. Then, you blow out as hard and as fast as possible. This should be repeated several times during the visit to ensure accurate results.

Q: What does the test result tell me?

A: Spirometry measures the flow and amount of air when you breathe in and out as deeply and forcefully as you can. For people with COPD, the test is divided into: forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), the amount of air breathed out as forcefully as possible in 1 second. The FEC1 value can help your doctor estimate the severity of COPD. FVC, forced vital capacity measure the amount of air that can be forcibly breathed out after taking a deep breath.

The normal values for each measurement depend on your age, height, gender and race. The value is just predicted value. The results show that people with COPD typically have a reduction in FEV1 and may also have a reduction in FVC. Specifically, a reduction in the ratio of FEV1 to the FVC represents airway obstruction, including COPD and asthma. The measurements of spirometry can help your doctor diagnose COPD and find out the severity of the disease.

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.