Spirometry is one of the most common lung tests. It is non invasive, easy to perform and can provide valuable insights on a patient’s respiratory health and lung status. With the use of a specifically designed device calledspirometer, a spirometry test can measure the flow of air through a patient’s lungs and provide data about lung capacity, airway narrowing or diseases and changes in lung function.
However, in order for your results to be reliable, it is necessary to learn and follow a few golden practices that will help you get the most out of your spirometry.
Tips to get the most out of your spirometry: do’s and don’ts
First things first: when it comes to medical exams, good results does not necessarily mean healthy results so much as it means accurate results. That is, in fact, the only way to get a more reliable framework of a patient’s actual health status.
Here are 6 tips on what to do and what to avoid in order to get the most out of your spirometry.
Before the test
Avoid taking breathing medication, such as bronchodilators, before the test unless the purpose of your spirometry is to evaluate the effectiveness of treatments. Remember: you need your results to be as reliable as possible.
Refrain from eating large meals for at least two hours before the test. Though it is not a strict recommendation, as it won’t likely compromise the accuracy of results, having eaten heavily can still cause discomfort during the test.
Avoid smoking for at least 1 hour before the test, as well as strenuous physical activity that may cause shortness of breath.
During the test
Dress comfortably: wear loose clothes that don’t squeeze your chest. Loosen your belt or any tight-fitting clothes, as this may compromise the results (e.g., presence of restrictive patterns or lower than actual volumes).
Sit straight but comfortably: keep your feet flat on the floor, do not cross your legs and make sure there is no abdominal tension due to leg position.
Do not hesitate: spirometry is a test of effort, and a delayed start can lead to inaccurate results or the need to repeat the procedure.
A few extra tips to get the most out of your spirometry
In order to get accurate and repeatable testing, there are a few more details to be taken into consideration.
Patient’s history and demographic should be obtained prior to testing. Parameters like age, gender, body weight and height will be used to calculate the reference values for the test results.
Make sure your spirometer is properly calibrated: regular and accurate calibration is the first step to get accurate results.
Do not rely on cheap or counterfeit devices: going for the cheapest solution means putting a price tag on your own health. Instead, companies with proven expertise and a widespread global presence, such as MIR, are a guarantee of safety and quality.