Breathing muscle strength test


HCA UK uses MIP (maximal inspiratory pressure) and MEP (maximal expiratory pressure) to test respiratory muscle strength

Enquiries & Appointments

London Bridge Hospital _Sept 23_185.jpg

What is a breathing muscle strength test?

If you have trouble breathing, HCA UK has the facilities to offer a variety of tests to assess the strength of your respiratory muscles.

  • MIP (maximal inspiratory pressure) to assess the strength of your muscles as you breath in.
  • MEP (maximal expiratory pressure) to assess the strength of your muscles as you breath out.
  • A spirometer a simple test instrument used to help diagnose and monitor certain lung conditions by measuring how much air you can breathe out in one forced breath.
  • A monitor to help assess the pressure of air coming in and out of your nose as you breathe.

Need to know

Your respiratory specialist will tell you how to breathe when testing. To measure the strength of the muscles that help you breathe in, you will be asked to breathe out as long as you can and then suck hard on a mouthpiece for at least one second.

This will tell us your maximum inspiratory pressure. To check how strong the muscles are that help you breathe out, you’ll be asked to breathe in deeply first and then blow out as hard as you can into a mouthpiece. This is to tell us your maximum expiratory pressure. To assess your nose pressure, a small probe will be placed to block one of your nostrils. It measures the pressure while you sniff as hard as you can.

Your consultant will tell you how you should prepare for your breathing tests. As a guide, on the day of your test, you should:

  • continue with any prescribed inhalers or nebulisers, unless instructed not to do so by your doctor
  • avoid smoking, alcohol and vigorous exercise
  • not wear tight-fitting clothing which restricts your ability to breathe freely
  • not eat a big meal
  • bring any inhalers or medication with you
You will usually have to repeat each test a few times to make sure the results are as good as you can get. Some people may feel dizzy, faint, shaky, sick or tired for a short period afterwards. Measurements will show whether any problem with your lungs is obstructive, restrictive or a combination of the two. Your consultant will be able to share the results of your test with you once they have been analysed.

Our Breathing muscle strength test locations

The Harley Street Clinic

The Harley Street Clinic

35 Weymouth Street W1G 8BJ London
The Shard Outpatients

The Shard Outpatients

The Shard, 32 St Thomas Street SE1 9BS London
London Bridge Hospital

London Bridge Hospital

27 Tooley Street SE1 2PR London
The Wellington Hospital

The Wellington Hospital

8A Wellington Place NW8 9LE London

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.