Spirometry test

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Hi  -  I have yet to have a spirometry but I was under the impression that it was just as simple as 'blowing in a tube'.

Now told it will take an hour since the exhaling part first, then an inhalant is given (never, ever had an inhalant before) and wait 20 minutes until another reading is taken. for comparison.

Could anyone tell me the purpose of being given an inhalent is please?

I have googled all this, but am finding it all very confusing.

thanks, hope this makes sense

j x

 

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  • Posted

    It is as simple as blowing in a tube, but you have to do it twice to see if the reading changes after the inhaler and a break which is supposed to open up the airways.
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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply.

      I didn't know that was the process.

      Are there any side effects from the inhaler (if one has never had it before)?

       

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  • Posted

    I had the full spirometry test done a few months back & it took about 30 minutes. It involved lots of breathing in a tube, exhaling, breath holding etc. it was done in a chamber like device with lots of equipment. Then they had me inhale a bronchodilator from an inhaler & the tests were repeated to see if the inhaler improved my lung function. They get a set of numbers from the first set of tests and compare them to the numbers from the 2nd set of breathing tests to see if the inhaler helped. I was quite short of breath after going through all of the inhaling/exhaling and breath holding tests. Make sure they explain all of your "numbers" after the test and follow up with a lung Doctor. Best of luck to you!

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    • Posted

      Thank you, now I understand exactly what to expect and why it all takes the time it does.

      I shall make sure they explain all my numbers after the test too - probably take notes !   Thank you so much.

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  • Posted

    Here is patient UK page on it http://patient.info/health/spirometry-leaflet

    In my experience in UK, if you are just having spirometry test through your respiratory clinic at the GP surgery, there are two different breathing methods, one deep in breath with fast exhale and continue exhaling until you can't any more.  The other is deep breathe in with a slow steady exhale until you can't breathe any more.  Both with peg over nose.  the respiratory nurse will explain on the day.  Peak flow also.

    You can ask for a copy of the results which are good to have and compare against the next test for your own personal understanding and also you can do your own calculation to determine the FEV1% predicted using patient uk spirometry calculator.  http://patient.info/doctor/spirometry-calculator

    The other tests if you are having them done at the hospital clinic, is usually the full lung function test. where additional tests are carried out with exhaling and the peak flow, its been a while since I had a full lung function test so I can't remember all the detail of that.

    The spirometry test I have done annually now, my condition is stable.

    People whose condition is not stable, ie prone to ongoing lung infections may be monitoried more often.

    With the lung function test done at the hospital, its usually when you have been referred to a respiratory consultant and the results of this test will first be analised by the consultant and results sent to your GP with a covering letter usually,  you can ask your GP for copies of the results and covering letter from the consultant.

    Personally I have never had a before and after medication monitoring, I guess that's because I of extensive testing before actual diagnosis, and that my CT results clearly indicated my lung damage (its explained more in the leaflet link above under the heading 'reversability testing'

    You may have been informed already, in case not, do read the leaflet link above and check out the heading;  'What preparation is needed before having spirometry? '

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    • Posted

      John The discussion is concerning Spirometry tests not CT scans which are entirely different tests.

      I am no doctor for actual diagnosis of your own lung condition you need to get copies of the reports, the CT scan results and any covering letter which came from the hospital specialist.  Your GP should have copies of these and if your lungs are bad and GP cannot satisfy your concerns ask for a referral back to your respiratory consultant and discuss the results with him or her.  CT scan shows clearly actual lung damage and usually that is followed up by a respiratory consultant appointment to inform you of your diagnosis or changes.

       

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    • Posted

      Thank you Vee2 for all that thorough information.  I have now read the link you posted  (useful as didn't realise I should avoid alcohol beforehand !).

      I shall have my spirometry test at GP's surgery and now have a good idea what to expect thanks to all the answers I've had.

       

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    • Posted

      Yes i have a Spirometry test this tuesday but only because i got in touch with the doctor having found out that i had emphysematous changes from the specialist at the hospital and he never said see anyone just said i take it your a smoker and carried on talking about other stuff.

      But when i called the hospital to ask the staff who do all the work for these 6 specialists they just said if it was anything to worry about he would of got me to see a chest specialist so nothing to worry about.

      Sorry for posting on this thread when it's not mine.

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    • Posted

      Hi Jessie,

      I will let you know i am having them done tomorrow and got to see the doctor the next day for results sad in one way i want to know but in another i don't want to know lol.

      Can i ask why the doctor said you have to have one done ?

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    • Posted

      I am having a spirometry as part of an invetigation into my low level oxygen sats.  

       Maybe you could start a new thread about your results?    Good luck.

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    • Posted

      Yes will start new thread hopefully later today. going at 11.50 for test was told it takes 40 minutes. Just hope the nurse is not to bossy because i am on edge now and hate going to doctors hospitals and dentists so wont take much for me to kick off and just leave it. I know that sounds pathetic but been like this all my life even in school.
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  • Posted

    Hello Jessie2150.  Please don't panic.  This is all normal...and it will not hurt.  The reason for giving the inhalant (which is a steroid you breath in) is simply to open up the lungs and bronchial tubes larger to see if they get a bigger number on your FEV's than without the inhaler.  It's great that you have never had a inhalant before however for some of us it is a daily dose of let's get those lungs working.  Some of us even have to use nebulizers ever 3 to 4 hours for wheezing so right now just be calm and yes it takes over an hour most times.  So just be patient, it doesn't hurt at all.  So you will be in good hands, and the breathing treatment doesn't hurt anyone in fact it might help most people who live in cities and industrial areas..  Take care...God bless ,  Breathless....

     

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    • Posted

      Thank you breathless for answering.  I don't panic, and I don't expect it to hurt but wondered if the inhalant might make me giddy !!  Such helpful answers from all here.

      I hope you are taking care of yourself.

      j x

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