Pulmonary function testing uses a group of tests to measure how well your lungs are working. If you have symptoms of a lung condition, are taking medications for a lung disease (like asthma) or are about to have surgery, our Internist may order one or more PFTs. Since most lung problems can be successfully treated if detected early, these tests can be life saving. Pulmonary function testing is not painful but you may feel tired or experience light-headedness, as most tests require you to perform multiple breathing maneuvers through a mouthpiece and tube. If you do feel dizzy or faint, you should tell your doctor or attending staff member. Tests can usually be paused long enough to allow you to catch your breath.
If you have symptoms, such as shortness of breath, or are being treated for a lung condition, your primary care provider may order pulmonary function testing to see how you are progressing or to help diagnose:
- Chronic Bronchitis
- Lung Fibrosis
- Lung Cancer
- Pulmonary Tumor
- Respiratory Infections
- Restricted Airways
On the day of your tests, do not eat a large meal as a full stomach can restrict your lungs from inhaling fully. In addition, food and drinks that contain caffeine can cause air passageways to dilate. The Internist may ask you to stop taking certain medications (over the counter and prescription) used for pain management, asthma or bronchial infections on the day of pulmonary function testing. Patients should also refrain from smoking and strenuous exercise as well as wear loose clothing that won’t interfere with your breathing.
Early detection of breathing problems and lung disease allow for optimal treatment options and can dramatically reduce the severity of disease progression. If you are experiencing respiratory symptoms or belong to a high-risk group, contact Delta IMC to schedule an appointment for pulmonary function testing.