ZocdocAnswersWhat do pulmonary functioning tests measure?

Question

What do pulmonary functioning tests measure?

I'm 25 and experiencing shortness of breath. I am to have a test soon. What will the pulmonary test measure? Is it painful or what does it take?

Answer

Pulmonary function testing is a tool used by doctors that is designed to look at the functionality of your lungs. The test consists of you blowing air into a tube several times. The test measures your lung volume (amount of air you can hold) and your speed of getting air in and getting air out. In addition, you may be asked to breath in a small amount of a special gas which will measure your lung volume and your lung's ability to get oxygen into your body and carbon dioxide out of your body. You may also be asked to inhale a medication (such as albuterol) which can help you breath easier and may help in figuring out what is wrong with your lungs. The test is not painful and can even be a little fun. Depending on what is being tested, it often takes about a half hour. The type of doctor who administers and reads a pulmonary function test is a pulmonologist. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your pulmonologist. He or she should be able to explain the purpose of your pulmonary function test in the context of your symptoms and your suspected condition. I hope that answer helped. Good luck.

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