The importance of routine function pulmonary testing is crucial for people who smoke and for those who are around smokers and live in areas where the are affected by toxins and smoke environmentally. Clusters of buildings, stores, people and cars usually result in overcrowded situations and the exposure to toxins resulting from smoke can impact breathing and cause respiratory illness. Many times when a physician performs a physical he or she may send a patient to have a chest x-ray in order to obtain information about the lungs. Patients who smoke or have a history of smoking have damaged their lungs and other parts of their body. A chest x-ray at the time may show that the lungs are normal. Of course that is good news and you can breathe easier upon hearing it. But the fact remains that your lung function may have deteriorated with or without a clean bill of health from that chest x-ray. A person may walk slower and be unable to run. Symptoms? Or, if they do they need to stop because they get out of breath very quickly. So how does a physician's office obtain the functional health of a patient's lungs during their physical exam?
Portable pulmonary function testing. A pulmonologist is a lung specialist and helps patients with or who have respiratory illness. This is the physician you would visit if you have: asthma, bronchitis, COPD, emphysema, pneumonia(that occurs often), tuberculosis, scoliosis or any type of neuromuscular disease that affect or restricts breathing. Pulmonary function testing can even be used for pre-operative evaluation. A person having a physical with his or her physician may have lung disease or their lungs are having an affect on such activities ie. walking and or running. The patient may need to take a pulmonology assessment test so that the physician has some understanding of how a patient's lungs are functioning and if they really need to see a pulmonologist. A device or tube like a disposable incentive spirometer tube is connected to a portable handheld device called spirometer. The handheld device will measure the following: FVC- The forced vital capacity or the largest amount of air that can be exhaled through the lungs after inhaling or breathing. This measurement is crucial because those persons with obstructive lung disease, air in the lungs is prevented from being exhaled quicker. As a result the air volume in the lungs will be expelled slower and in small amounts. FEV1- Forced expiratory volume in one second- this measures the amount of air you can exhale from your lungs in one second. Normal levels are between 75%-80%. Normal results of the FVC and FEV1 would indicate that even if a person is a smoker they have normal lung capacity. A low FVC and or FEV1 indicates that there may be a presence of pulmonary disease. To take the test with portable pulmonary function testing the patient would have a clip attached to their nose, and they would breathe in and out of the tube for several seconds. After obtaining measurements the tube and nose clip are removed from the patient and the handheld spirometer provides the FVC and FEV1 measurement results accordingly. The great thing about portable handheld pulmonary function testing is that the device can be used from exam room to exam room and can be stored away without requiring a lot of space. Also there are those patients who are claustrophobic and refuse or cannot sit in a booth style setting to perform any type of pulmonary test. Even if a physician wants a patient to have such tests performed they may not go to a pulmonologist for fear of closed testing apparatus. Portable pulmonology testing will conduct the basic important measurements of lung evaluation, within a short amount of time and can be used in conjunction with chest x-rays for patient physicals or pre-operative exams.
Why wait when you can exhale now!