Spirometry (spy-ROM-uh-tree) is a common office test used to assess how well your lungs work by measuring how much air you inhale, how much you exhale and how quickly you exhale.
Spirometry is used to diagnose asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other conditions that affect breathing. Spirometry may also be used periodically to monitor your lung condition and check whether a treatment for a chronic lung condition is helping you breathe better.
Why it's done
Your doctor may suggest a spirometry test if he or she suspects your signs or symptoms may be caused by a chronic lung condition such as:
- Chronic bronchitis
- Pulmonary fibrosis
If you've already been diagnosed with a chronic lung disorder, spirometry may be used periodically to check how well your medications are working and whether your breathing problems are under control. Spirometry may be ordered before a planned surgery to check if your lung function is adequate for the rigors of an operation. Additionally, spirometry may be used to screen for occupational-related lung disorders.