Spirometry Test: Preparation, Procedure, Risks, and Test Results


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Bajaj Finserv Health

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4 min read

Key Takeaways

  • Spirometry tests diagnose conditions like asthma
  • Spirometry test costs Rs. 200 to Rs. 1,800 in India
  • A spirometry procedure takes 15 mins to complete

A spirometry test is a part of pulmonary function tests to determine how well your lungs are functioning. It measures how much air you inhale, exhale, and how fast you can exhale the air from your lungs. The test is done to diagnose:

  • Asthma

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

  • Pulmonary fibrosis

  • Chronic bronchitis

  • Emphysema

A spirometry test allows doctors to monitor the condition of your lungs and check how a treatment is working. Typically, a spirometry test costs Rs. 200 to Rs. 1,800 in India. Read on to know more about the spirometry procedure, risks, and what the results mean.

Additional Read: Important Things to Know About Your Lungs This World Lung Cancer Day

Spirometry Test Preparation

You do not need any special preparations for the spirometry test. However, do check with your doctor if you need to avoid the use of inhalers or other medications before the test. Make yourself comfortable by wearing loose clothes. Avoid smoking and drinking before the test. It is better to avoid eating or drinking for at least 2 hours before the test. Also, do not exercise for at least 30 minutes prior to the test. The spirometry procedure takes around 15 minutes to complete. Afterwards, you can continue with your day normally.

Spirometry Procedure

Before the test begins, listen to the instructions given by the nurse, doctor, or technician. Get any doubts clarified as doing the test correctly is necessary to get accurate results. A spirometry test requires you to breathe into a tube attached to a spirometer. Your doctor will ask you to be seated and place a clip on your nose to close the nostrils.

You will have to take deep breaths and breathe out as hard as you can. You have to do it for a few seconds into the tube. For the results to be consistent, you will have to take the test at least three times. If the results differ, the highest value is taken for diagnosis. The entire spirometry procedure will take around 15 minutes to complete.

Spirometry test

Spirometry Risks

A spirometry test is generally safe and painless. However, deep breathing may make you feel tired, dizzy, or short of breath just after the test. In rare cases, the test may trigger severe breathing problems. In this case, you need to stop immediately and inform your doctor if you face complications. The test may increase pressure in your head, chest, stomach, and eyes as you breathe out. Inform your doctor if you have heart disease or had recent surgery. The test is not safe if you had a heart attack or other heart problems, hypertension, or surgery to your chest, head, or eyes.

Spirometry Test Results

Your doctor will tell you the normal spirometry value based on factors like your age, gender, race, and height. This is because normal spirometry results vary from person to person. After the test, your actual result is compared to the predicted score. Your result is normal if your actual score is at least 80% or more of the predicted value. Your doctor will refer to two key measurements:

Forced Vital Capacity (FVC)

It measures the highest amount of air you can inhale and exhale. Your breathing is restricted if the FVC reading is lower than normal.

Forced Expiratory Volume (FEV1)

It measures the amount of air you can exhale in one second. It helps determine the severity of your breathing problems. A FEV1 reading that is lower than normal indicates significant obstruction.

In your report, you will get a combined number called the FEV1/FVC ratio. If your airways are blocked, your doctor may prescribe bronchodilator medications to open them up. The test is again done to check for any differences after the medication. A low FEV1 score depicts you may have a disease such as COPD [1]. If your lungs can’t fill enough air, you may have restrictive lung disease such as pulmonary fibrosis [2].

Additional Read: What Is Lung Cancer? All You Need To Know About Its Symptoms and Treatment

If you experience any lung disease symptoms, speak to a doctor about getting this lungs test done. Consider doing lungs exercise to improve their function and stay healthy. In case you have serious breathing problems, consult a doctor right away. Book an appointment with top specialists on Bajaj Finserv Health in just a few clicks. Simply search, 'spirometry test near me', and pick doctors or labs closest to you. Get care in-clinic or book virtual consults to keep any type of lung, chest, or heart disease at bay.

Published on 19 Nov 2021Last updated on 18 Nov 2022
  1. https://www.lung.org/getmedia/bb548a15-7cf4-46c1-a125-cd96d843c4e0/spirometry-implementation-and.pdf.pdf
  2. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/10959-pulmonary-fibrosis#:~:text=Pulmonary%20fibrosis%20is%20a%20serious,and%20help%20preserve%20lung%20function

Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.


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