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Spirometry Specialist

Respiratory, Critical Care, and Sleep Specialists

Pulmonology & Critical Care located in Des Plaines, IL & Portage Park, Chicago, IL

Spirometry is a common test that measures how well your lungs are working. The pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine professionals at Respiratory, Critical Care, and Sleep Specialists offer in-office spirometry testing at three clinics in Chicago, Des Plaines, and Oak Park, Illinois. To schedule your spirometry test, call or book an appointment online today.

Spirometry Q & A

What is spirometry?

Spirometry is a pulmonary function test that measures your lung functioning, including how much air you breathe in and out and how quickly you can blow air out of your lungs. This simple test helps your provider at Respiratory Critical Care and Sleep Specialists diagnose a range of breathing problems, including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Why would I need a spirometry test?

The team at Respiratory Critical Care and Sleep Specialists may order a spirometry test to find the underlying cause of symptoms like wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. They also use spirometry to diagnose several chronic lung conditions, including:

  • COPD
  • Asthma
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Emphysema
  • Pulmonary fibrosis

If you’ve already been diagnosed with one of these conditions, you may need periodic spirometry testing to evaluate how well your treatment is working. Other reasons you may need a spirometry test include screening for occupational-related lung disorders and checking your lung function before a planned surgery.

How should I prepare for a spirometry test?

Before your test, your provider at Respiratory Critical Care and Sleep Specialists may ask you to avoid certain medications, such as an inhaler. Other ways to prepare for spirometry include:

  • Wearing comfortable, loose-fitting clothing
  • Avoiding alcohol the day of the test
  • Avoiding smoking cigarettes for at least six hours before the test

You should also avoid eating a large meal before the spirometry test, as this can make it difficult to breathe.  

What should I expect from a spirometry test?

A spirometry test is safe, painless, and usually takes about 15-30 minutes. Typically, you sit upright throughout the test.

Your Respiratory Critical Care and Sleep Specialists provider places a clip on your nose to keep your nostrils closed, and you breathe into a plastic mouthpiece. The mouthpiece connects to the spirometry machine, which measures your lung functioning as you breathe in and then exhale as hard and fast as you can.

After the first round of tests, your provider may give you an inhaled medication called a bronchodilator. This opens your lungs. Then, you may need to wait about 15 minutes before another round of spirometry testing.

To learn more about spirometry testing, call Respiratory Critical Care and Sleep Specialists or book an appointment online today.