Pulmonary Function Tests (PFT) are non-invasive breathing tests done to measure how well the lungs perform. More specifically, these tests are used to:
- Compare your lung function with standards that show how well your lungs should be working.
- Measure your lung volume, the strength of your diaphragm and the airflow to & from your lungs.
- Detect narrowing in the airways.
- Diagnose certain types of lung disease (such as asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema)
- Find the cause of shortness of breath
- Measure the effect of chronic diseases like asthma, chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD), or cystic fibrosis on lung function.
- Identify early changes in lung function that might show a need for a change in treatment.
- Measure whether exposure to chemicals at work or home affects lung function
- Check lung function before someone has surgery
- Assess the effect of medication
- Measure progress in disease treatment
These non-invasive breathing tests are done during one appointment, and most often can be done on the same day as your medical consultation. You will be asked to breath into a tube that is connected to a machine. Our PFT technician will give you specific instructions on how to do these tests. It may take an effort to do these tests, and you may become tired or light-headed. To get the most accurate results from your breathing tests:
- Do not smoke for at least 1 hour before the test.
- Do not drink alcohol for at least 4 hours before the test.
- Do not exercise heavily for at least 30 minutes before the test.
- Do not wear tight clothing that makes it difficult for you to take a deep breath.
- Do not eat a large meal within 2 hours before the test.
Some medications should not be taken before the test. Please check with us prior to your appointment.