Spirometry Test

A simple test of lung capacity and function

Spirometry is a common diagnostic test used to assess how quickly you can move air into and out of your lungs

What is spirometry?

Spirometry assesses whether your airways are obstructed or if the movement of your lungs is restricted. It may be recommended if you're experiencing breathlessness or a persistent cough, or if you may have asthma. Spirometry is also used to monitor treatment for an existing condition.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    The test involves taking a very deep breath and then exhaling into the mouthpiece of a specialised instrument called a spirometer. The spirometer measures how much air you can push out of your lungs in one breath. You'll sit comfortably during the test and do a few practice breaths so you understand what's involved. Your consultant might place a soft clip on your nose to make sure you exhale fully through your mouth. You may need to repeat the test a couple of times to ensure an accurate reading.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Your consultant will explain the test to you and answer any questions you may have. They'll let you know if there is anything specific you need to do to prepare. This may include avoiding certain medications, caffeine, smoking, large meals or vigorous exercise before your test.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    Your consultant will review the results of the test with you and let you know if any other assessments are needed. If you're undergoing treatment for an existing lung condition, you may need to return for another spirometry in the future to see if your condition has improved.

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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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