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Spirometry (a simple breathing test)

What is spirometry?

Spirometry (spy-ROM-uh-tree) is a quick test used to assess how well your lungs work. The test is generally performed before and after a respiratory medication called a 'bronchodilator' to measure if we can improve your lung function. A spirometry helps diagnose breathing problems such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Repeat testing may be needed to keep track of your progress.

How is the test performed?

During your appointment of about 30-45 minutes, a health care provider measures how much air you breath in and out, and how well you are able to do so. You will be asked to breathe into a tube that is connected to a machine called a spirometer. To obtain the best results, the respiratory therapist provides coaching for each type of breathing required. As an example, he or she may ask you to take deep breaths, breathe out in one forced breath, keep blowing, etc. Results and specialist interpretation will then be shared with your family physician or primary health care provider.

How do I access this service?

If you are concerned about your breathing, please talk with your family physician or primary health care provider. You may then be referred to us for a spirometry or other tests.

How do I prepare for a spirometry test?

Individual should wear comfortable, non-restrictive clothes.

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