Spirometry

What is it?

Spirometry

Spirometry measures your lung capacity as well as the speed with which your lungs are able to move air.

This test is used to determine the cause of shortness of breath, to rule out obstructive lung disease that blocks breathing, or restrictive lung disease that limits the expansion and capacity of the lungs. Spirometry is repeated to monitor lung problems, such as chronic bronchitis, emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or asthma.

Spirometry is also used to monitor how well medications for respiratory problems are working, as well to ensure that medications or other medical conditions are not impacting lung function. It is also used to evaluate lung function prior to surgery to ensure there is adequate lung function to undergo the procedure.

What will happen during the test?

No needles or injections are involved. You blow into a tube hooked up to a computer. You blow as hard and fast as you can at three different times.

A written report will be sent to your physician upon completion of analysis of the test. Your physician will then explain the test results to you.

Answers to common questions

How long will the test last? The test lasts approximately 30 minutes.

Will I experience anything from the test? From having to breathe hard and quickly, you might feel a little dizzy for a few seconds.

Is there a cost to me for the test? No. If you have OHIP coverage, as long as the test is ordered for a medical condition, there is no charge to you for the test. Sometimes the test is ordered for an insurance assessment or ministry of transportation request etc., under such circumstances, there may be a charge to you or your insurance company for the test since it was not ordered for a medical indication by your doctor.

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