Spirometry is a non-invasive test that shows how well the lungs are working. Spirometry measures how much and how quickly you can move air out of your lungs while breathing into a mouthpiece attached to a machine, recording your results.
Spirometry can measure many different things about the way you breathe. These include how much air you can exhale, how much air you can breathe in and out in 1 minute, and the amount of air left in your lungs after a normal exhale.
There are many different reasons why spirometry may be done. Spirometry is used to diagnose:
- Respiratory infections
- Trouble breathing caused by injury to the chest or a recent surgery
- Chronic lung conditions, such as asthma, bronchiectasis, emphysema, or chronic bronchitis
- Asbestosis, a lung disease caused by inhaling asbestos fibers
- Restrictive airway problems from scoliosis, tumors, or inflammation or scarring of the chest wall
- Sarcoidosis, a disease that causes lumps of inflammatory cells around organs such as the liver, lungs, and spleen
- Scleroderma, a disease that causes thickening and hardening of connective tissue
Spirometry can also be used periodically to monitor your lung condition and assess your treatment.