Reversibility assessment

A reversibility assessment is a test to see if your breathing problems improve with the help of an inhaler


A reversibility assessment is a test to see if your breathing improves with the help of an inhaler or medication. It's often a part of a spirometry, which is a test to see how well your lungs are working. Both tests can help you to find out if you have asthma or another breathing problem.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    We'll start by asking you to carry out a baseline spirometry. This involves breathing in and out of a spirometer, a special instrument that measures how much air you can push out your lungs in one breath. We'll then ask you to breathe in increasing doses of a dry powder. After each dose, we'll ask you to repeat the spirometry so we can assess any changes. If your airway is normal, then it won't react to the powder. If you have hyper-sensitive airways (such as in asthma), then the powder will affect the airways and we'll see a change in your sipometry results during the test. A reversibility assessment lasts about 30 minutes.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    A spirometry and reversibility assessment doesn't require any special preparation beforehand. Your GP or consultant respiratory therapist will explain what's involved and answer any questions you might have.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    A reversibility assessment takes about 30 minutes. Your GP or respiratory therapist will explain the results of the test immediately after it. You'll also be able to go home straight after.

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