4 Reasons To Take A Spirometry Test
Spirometry Testing is a rising and valuable tool for diagnosing various lung conditions, from Asthma and COPD to Emphysema and Cystic Fibrosis. Read 4 Reasons To Take A Spirometry Test.
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As a valuable tool in the diagnosis of various lung conditions, from Asthma and COPD to Emphysema and Cystic Fibrosis, Spirometry Testing is on the rise. What are 4 important reasons for taking this type of test?
Spirometry testing is a valuable tool when it comes to lung condition evaluation.
The NHS define it as:
“A simple test used to help diagnose and monitor certain lung conditions by measuring how much air you can breathe out in one forced breath.”
According to The British Thoracic Society, roughly 70–80% of practices in the UK are utilizing these types of tests, as the increase in asthma and COPD diagnosis’ highlights the need for such important measured testing.
Who should have Spirometry testing?
Spirometry testing, also known as also referred to as “pulmonary function testing” can benefit a number of people, such as:
- People with Asthma
- People with COPD
- Those who are over 40 and smoke or used to smoke
- Anyone exposed to lung-harming substances in the workplace – such as chemical fumes – should consider the use of this type of test as well.
And here are 4 very beneficial reasons to take a Spirometry test…
1. Spirometry is an important database and key tool in diagnosing lung conditions
When a patient receives spirometry results which are seen as ‘normal’, this indicates a high likelihood of long-time survival.
Those with abnormal spirometry results? The opposite is true, producing a less than desirable prognosis.
This is where a simple Connected Spirometer measure provides a crucial database for both the primary care physician and the specialist healthcare professional. By possessing the knowledge of a patient’s previous spirometry values, a baseline has already been established for any future comparison.
It is also a key tool when it comes to the identification of various conditions and diseases. When a doctor is looking to prescribe anti inflammatory medication, such as Inhaled corticosteroids and Oral steroids, this type of test is a helpful aid.
Connected Spirometer can determine asthma from COPD on the analysis of airflow and the use of bronchodilators and corticosteroids.
It is also crucial in the diagnosis of acute and chronic airflow obstruction and in the ongoing monitoring of such debilitating conditions.
As Asthma UK note, “It is a breathing or ‘lung function’ test, measuring how much air you can breathe out in a set time. Spirometry is usually the first test your GP or asthma nurse will do to help them work out how likely or not it is that you have asthma.”
So, it’s pretty high on the testing list for doctors.
2. It can detect abnormalities in lung function even when no signs or symptoms of disease are evident
One of the main benefits of spirometry testing is that it can detect abnormalities in lung function even when no signs or symptoms of disease seem to be showing up.
Take a look at someone who smoke cigarettes daily, but does not present with chest tightness or shortness of breath. This particular patient may well show extremely mild issues with airflow obstruction.
In this case, the spirometry test works like a detective, to help pick up any obstructive disease ahead of the onset of symptoms. This means that any necessary treatment can be introduced at an earlier stage.
However, it is also a valid test in terms of identifying a medical diagnosis when signs or symptoms of disease have made themselves known.
This can be the case with wheezing, chronic coughing and shortness of breath. If decreased airflow is detected in conjunction with any one of these symptoms, this could show the prevalence of asthma. Spirometry is also used as a way to monitor the effectiveness of prescribed medication and restore normal airflow.
3. Spirometry determines lung age
An effective way to look at the effect of smoking on lung function is the concept of lung age, a clever presentation of spirometry results. This is the age of an average healthy person with similar spirometry results, rather than as forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1).
This age is obtained upon matching an individual’s FEV1 value with the age at which that value is considered normal based on predicted values. An example of lung age is explained in this particular study, which leads neatly onto the next reason for taking a spirometry test…
4. Spirometry can be a powerful tool in the fight against stopping smoking
There is a powerful link between spirometric abnormalities and smoking-related diseases.
Whenever spirometric abnormalities are found in a smoker, it makes sense that the overall goal is to find a way to stop smoking, otherwise the condition could get much worse.
There have been various studies showcasing the link between smoking and the onset and worsening of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD.
According to the World Health Organisation – WHO, it is estimated that 80 million people in the world have moderate to severe COPD.
Combined with the statistics estimating that by 2030 it will become the third leading cause of death worldwide, this chronic disease could be lessened with the help of smoking cessation.
ENTER THE SPIROMETER
Some studies have shown that the use of such a test can be a motivational tool when it comes to helping its patients quit smoking, with one finding significantly improved quit rates when patients who smoked were given their office spirometry results in terms of the aforementioned “lung age”.
Reporting spirometry results in terms of lung age may spur patients to put down the cigarettes.
So, spirometry can be used as a handy aid and as a way to diagnose and manage many different types of lung disease. If you have questions relating to your lung health, it’s always a good idea to speak to make an appointment and speak with your doctor about spirometry.
The earlier spirometry is carried out, the earlier any potential conditions or disease can be diagnosed and subsequently treated and managed.
There are copious amounts of treatments available to help Asthma and COPD sufferers manage and reduce their symptoms. Not only does this help to stop your lung disease from worsening but it can also help to avoid scary and potentially life-threatening exacerbations and make your daily life one that is more positive.
So, make sure you offer your lungs some appreciation and go and get yourself tested using spirometry, all in the comfort of your doctor’s office.