Spirometry Patient Instruction Information

Spirometry is a breathing test used to find out how well the lungs are working and to check for Asthma and COPD.  The test will be done by a Registered Respiratory Therapist. You will be given an inhaled medication during the spirometry test.  Spirometry requires a great deal of hard blowing. The test shows if there is any tightness in the lungs before and after the inhaler, how much air is in the lungs and how fast you can blow that air out.

During your visit we will check your oxygen levels, listen to your chest and ask you questions about your breathing. Some patients find it helpful to bring a family member to the test to help answer these questions. Your Doctor, Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant will be notified of the results within 24 hours of the test and they should be contacted for any follow up questions.  You may also be given additional instructions by your Respiratory Therapist or doctor prior to or after your test.   Please note that the Respiratory Therapist cannot provide the results of the test at the time of your visit.

Preparation for the test:

  • Bring your inhalers, or “puffers”, with you.
  • Take all of your medications, except inhalers and medications listed below, as usual and you may eat a light meal prior to the test.
  • No heavy exercise within 30 minutes of taking the test.
  • No alcohol consumption within 4 hours of taking the test.
  • No smoking or caffeine consumption within 1 hour of taking the test.
  • Do not take the following medications: Ventolin (Salbutamol, Apo-Salvent), Bricanyl, Atrovent, Combivent, or Airomir, within 6 hours of the test unless you are having trouble breathing. If you have trouble breathing before the test, take your reliever inhaler.  If you take your inhalers, or feel unwell, please call to reschedule your appointment or notify your provider when you arrive for your appointment.
  • Do not take any other inhalers the day of the test.
  • Pills for breathing such as Theophylline, Singulair, Montelukast and Accolate should be held for 24 hours before the test.