Pulmonary is anything that refers to, affects, or occurs in the lungs. The Pulmonary Function Test is used to assess any amount of diseases by measuring what air can be retained in the lungs and how easily air can be transferred into the lungs. If you have signs of lung problems, the doctor can prescribe these tests as part of a routine evaluation to assess the efficacy of continuous therapy and see whether the lungs work effectively before surgery.
Read on to learn more about what to expect if you're considering a PFT.
Understanding the Test
The PFT is a relatively gentle procedure. The patient will breathe into a spirometer while sitting or standing. A spirometer calculates how much air is taken in over a set amount of minutes. Patients will usually have a small clip over the nose to guarantee that the reading is exact. In the beginning, there will be normal breathing, then the physician will direct the patient to hold and empty all air. Sometimes the doctor will give the patient medication to compare the impact of lung function. Some feel faint during the test because of the intense breathing. Fortunately, this effect lessens after the test.
To prepare for the PFT patients should eat lighter meals. Heavier meals will slow down the metabolism and the rest of the body. Smokers should refrain from smoking at least four hours before the test time. For patients using inhalers and the like, the doctor will have to evaluate if they should cease using them prior to testing. If you experience influenza, any bacterial infections, colds, strep throat or surgery during the three weeks before your appointment, consult your doctor on whether the PFT must also be postponed or your health could influence the actual result.
The test result depends on the demographics of the patient and past medical history. The test will reveal whether the patient has an obstructive lung disorder or uncover any difficulties transmitting oxygen to the blood. The doctor might provide the patient with a diagnosis of asthma, emphysema, fibrosis, lung cancer, or a similar disorder.
Specialists conduct the PFT test to measure a certain amount of lung disease. The non-intrusive process assesses how quickly air can be transported to the lungs and what amount can be held. The doctor may offer a patient medication to see the impact on the lungs. It can cause some lightheadedness because of excessive breathing. The estimated findings allow doctors to test the extent of pulmonary disorders the patient experiences and figure the best treatment route. Make an appointment with pulmonary function testing services or a doctor for further information on the PFT.