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What Is Spirometry: How Does It Work and What Are Its Benefits?

Preventive care is essential in combating any form of diseases. It plays a key role in reducing suffering and helping patients make fewer compromises in their lives and has the potential to alleviate pressure on doctors by enabling patients to take control of their measurement themselves. To date, the lungs disease is the most widely recognized type of malignancy among men internationally. Due to the growth in the number of cases for diseases such as asthma, multiple sclerosis, and chronic illnesses, the demand for spirometers has significantly increased globally, signifying an overall expansion of interest for diagnostics.

What is spirometry?

Spirometry is a type of non-invasive pulmonary function test suited to check one’s lung condition. This test makes use of an apparatus called the spirometer- a device that delivers a spirogram that is a realistic report of the ventilation examples of the lungs. You can undergo the procedure by simply blowing air into the device.

Spirometry can be used for a variety of purposes. It can be used as a diagnostic procedure and detect the presence of or assess the risk for developing several chronic lung conditions, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bronchitis, emphysema, and pulmonary diseases caused by exposure to occupational and industrial hazards. Apart from this, it can also be an appropriate monitoring procedure to assess the effectiveness of the lung medications that you’re taking. Spirometry can also be used to see if your lungs are in proper condition before a major surgery.

There are multiple numerical indices that can objectively indicate your lung function, although the two prominent ones are forced expiratory volume (FEV1) and forced vital capacity (FVC). Simply put, these two are measures of how much air you can force out of your lungs, with FEV1 indicating the volume you can exhale in one second, and FVC showing the amount you can exhale when your lungs are in full capacity (i.e., after breathing in deeply). A high ratio of FEV1/FVC (ideally, 85% or higher for children ages 5 to 18 and 75% or higher for adults) means that your lungs have no obstructions or airway restrictions.

How does it work?

Spirometry can be conducted in the clinic or in the hospital, and it can be performed by nurses, general practitioners, or specialists. It usually lasts for only 15 minutes. It’s advised that you shouldn’t smoke within 24 hours before the test, and that you shouldn’t eat heavy meals beforehand. Wear comfortable and loose clothing, too, so that it’s easier for you to breathe.

During the procedure, you’ll simply be asked to sit down. A soft clip will be placed over your nose to prevent the outflow of air from other pathways apart than your mouth. You will also be asked to take a few practice breaths to get yourself accustomed to the device; afterwards, you’ll be asked to take a deep breath, hold the air for a couple of seconds, and then exhale in maximum capacity. Normally, this will be done three times with a rest interval in between the repetitions in order to ensure that the data obtained are precise and accurate.

If the results yield data that indicate pulmonary abnormalities, you might be asked to undergo more procedures, including invasive lung function tests, chest and sinus x-rays, or blood tests so that the doctors can accurately point out your condition.

What are the benefits of spirometry?

Spirometry is a non-invasive procedure, meaning you don’t have to get pricked with needles or get inserted with tubes. It’s also very quick, simple, and straightforward; you just have to breathe in into the device. The procedure can be performed by a wide range of medical staff, from nurses to specialists. The procedure is also relatively cheap compared to other, more specialized and invasive procedures. Additionally, the test yields accurate and reliable results, and is one of the most common diagnostic pulmonary tests.

Conclusion

Spirometry is a type of procedure that encourages us to address our health problems before they become a burden. It’s highly encouraged to undergo the test at the earliest sign of any lung disorder so that the doctors will be able to point out early off if there’s anything wrong. Always remember that it’s always better to discover an illness when it’s just starting to develop; that way, you can seek early treatment and undergo preventive measures before the symptoms start to become more problematic. Spirometry devices can be purchased from medical suppliers in your local area or from national suppliers.