Lung Function Test

A Lung Function Test is a series of breathing tests where you will be required to breathe in different patterns through a mouthpiece

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Test Description

What is it?

A Lung Function Test is a non-invasive test which involves breathing into a mouthpiece, which is connected to a machine via some tubing. The tests assist in the diagnosis and management of respiratory conditions. They measure how well and how much air you breathe in and out of your lungs.


Why do I need this test?

There are many different reasons your doctor may send you to get a lung function test.  Some of the common reasons include:

  • To diagnose the cause of a cough or shortness of breath
  • To evaluate and monitor lung conditions like asthma and Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  • As a general check-up for lung health especially if you have had exposure to cigarette smoke or other hazardous chemicals
  • Perioperative testing – to assess your breathing before a major operation

What to expect

You will be required to breathe into a mouthpiece, which is connected to a machine via some tubing. The technician will direct you to breathe in and out as deeply as possible, and then as fast and as forcefully as possible.

The test may make you feel temporarily short of breath. To measure diffusion capacity (Gas Transfer), you are required to breathe in a harmless gas for a very short time. The concentration of the gas in the air breathed out is measured.

The difference in the amount of gas inhaled and exhaled measures how effectively the gas transfers from the lungs into the blood.


What are the risks?

The Lung function test is a non-invasive procedure.  To achieve accurate results, the test requires a maximum effort from you to breathe in and out, which means you may feel tired after testing.


 

Preparation Details

(Approximately 30 minutes duration)

Please avoid the following;

  • Avoid drinking beverages containing caffeine 3 hours before your test (including Tea/Coffee/Cola/Energy drinks)
  • Avoid a heavy meal for at least 3 hours before your test.
  • Avoid smoking 3 hours prior to the test.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise 3 hours prior to test
  • Avoid taking the following medication;
    • Ventolin, Asmol, Bricanyl, Bretaris, Brezhaer for 4 hours prior to test
    • Spiriva, Atrovent, Onbrez for 6 hours
    • Pulmicort, Serevent, Symbicort, Seretide, Flixotide, Oxis, Alvesco, Salmeterol, Beclomethasone, Flutiform, Breo – Ellipta for 12 hours before the test.

We suggest wearing loose clothing as tight clothing may restrict your breathing

Please remember to keep your dentures in, wearing them to the test will make sure your mouth can fit tightly around the mouthpiece.

Please bring any medications especially any respiratory inhalers (puffers) with you to your appointment. This may be required for testing the effectiveness of your current medication


 

What Happens After The Test?

The results of the Lung Function Test will be made available to your referring Medical Practitioner. Urgent results will be communicated directly by telephone.


 

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