How To Take A Spirometer Test In 10 Easy Steps

How To Take A Spirometer Test In 10 Easy Steps

A spirometry test can help you, from the initial diagnosis of a lung condition to measuring the effectiveness of relevant drugs and medication. Know more about our how-to take the Clinic Spirometer test.

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There are plenty of reasons as to why you might need to take a Spirometry test. From the diagnosis of asthma and COPD to the ongoing monitoring of a lung condition. Read on to find out 10 steps for easy spirometry testing.

There are several reasons a Clinic Spirometry test might be on your agenda, from the initial diagnosis of a lung condition, to measuring the effectiveness of relevant drugs and medication.

The test itself is straightforward, fairly speedy and most importantly, painless. It usually lasts between 30-40 minutes.

You may also be surprised to learn that there are a range of spirometers used for testing. 

From portable, desktop devices to larger, less portable versions. 

If you need to take a Spirometry test to help diagnosis a lung condition or manage an existing one, read this helpful step by step guide to show you just how easy it is to achieve.

To make it even easier, these steps have been split into 4 easy to digest sections:

⇚ Preparing For The Test ⇛

1. Do not undertake any activities which could impact your normal lung function

Before you even get to the doctor’s office to undertake the test, there are certain things you should avoid doing just hours before…

★ This is to ensure that you get the most accurate results ★

  • Speak with your doctor beforehand to work out which medications to avoid prior to the test.
  • Don’t smoke or drink alcohol within 24 hours.
  • Make sure not to overexert yourself just before the test takes place. In this case, you should avoid strenuous exercise or activity 30 minutes before.
  • Make sure to wear loose fitting clothing, so that your breathing isn’t restricted.

2. Make the doctor aware of your habits and medical history

If you smoke, tell your doctor.

They will also ask for your medical history. It’s important to make your healthcare professional aware of this, as a history of wheezing, chronic coughing, chest tightness and shortness of breath are key symptoms for consideration once your results are ready for analysis.

3. Pay close attention to the spirometry demonstration

Before the Spirometry test is performed, the spirometry equipment will be calibrated. Once this is done, you will be shown how to blow into the spirometer. 

As you watch the demonstration conducted by the doctor or asthma nurse, ensure to look closely at the way they breathe in and out as you will be required to repeat this in your test.

They may also highlight a couple of breathing techniques for you to use.

⇚ Give It A Go Yourself ⇛

4. Sit comfortably and relax

When you are ready to be tested, take a seat in the most comfortable way for you. You will usually be fitted with a clip on your nose to aid effective breathing.

Continue breathing normally through your mouth and close your lips tightly around the mouthpiece.

5. Breathe in and out

  • Take a deep full breath in, so that your lungs are completely filled with air.
  • Exhale as quickly and forcefully as you can, making sure to empty your lungs fully. Picture yourself trying to get as much air out of your lungs as quickly as you possibly can.

This is important so that you gain an accurate measurement of the volume expelled within the first vital second. This is also known as the forced expiratory volume, or FEV1.

6. Continue to breathe out

You’ll need to make sure to carry on exhaling until you feel that no more air can physically come out.

Once you have finished the exhale, it should feel as though your lungs and throat are near enough empty. It is crucial to force all of the air out to gain another accurate measurement. 

This time it will be for how much air exhaled in one whole breath, known as forced vital capacity, or FVC.

7. Breathe in the usual way, in between attempts

Due to the forced breaths and need to fully inhale and exhale, the Spirometry test can make you feel lightheaded.

In this case, it’s important to take your time and breathe in  a normal way when you can as a way to avoid being too dizzy. Ask for water if you need to.

⇚ Taking The Test Itself ⇛

8. Take what you learned from the practice round

Make sure to breathe in the exact same way you did during your practice attempts. 

It may feel a little strange as it’s a different way of breathing, but it will ensure that the spirometer can ★ accurately measure airflow and capacity correctly ★  

9. Pay attention to the doctor or nurse…

…And make sure to change your breathing pattern accordingly. You may need to speed up or slow down your breathing, or even change the duration of each breath for next time.

10. Repeat again

The spirometry test will usually need to be repeated at least 3 times, in order to make sure a ★  reliable result is achieved ★ 

The nurse or other health care professional may then ask you to use your inhaler (salbutamol), wait for a little while, and then repeat the test. 

For some other medication, such as ipratropium bromide, the wait may be as long as 30-45 minutes between tests. This is called a reversibility test and is used to see if the medication makes an improvement to your breathing.

 Results Day

Once the Spirometry test has been successfully conducted, you may need to wait a few days to hear from your healthcare professional. Depending on who is administering the test, you may need to be a little patient with the wait, as sometimes these will be reviewed by a specialist doctor.

Once you have the results, you’ll be called in to go through the outcome in more detail.

 The following variables are taken into consideration when comparing your results against standard measurements:

  • Height
  • Weight
  • Age
  • Gender

You’ll then have the opportunity to ask any questions you feel you need to, and your doctor should be able to inform you how these factors are included within their overall diagnosis.

Create a treatment plan once you’ve been diagnosed with a specific condition. 

These can include any one of the following:

Download your own treatment plan here and work out the best way to manage your condition.

Overall, Clinic Spirometer Test is an easy test to perform once you’ve got the hand of the process. It’s incredibly effective when being used for early condition detection, changes and progression status..

The test can also be performed in a variety of environments, 

making it an easy method to undertake.