Respiratory Assessment

Each respiratory appointment is 45 minutes long.

Your Doctor will have given you a prescription for an inhaler & spacer device to use at your appointment, please collect these items and bring them with you.

What is Spirometry Testing?

Spirometry is the most common lung function test; it is done using a machine called a spirometer which measures how well your lungs work.
Spirometry is a breathing test that can help to diagnose and monitor lung conditions such as asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

The Test

First your height and weight will be recorded if not measured recently.
Your Blood Pressure may be taken.

We will measure how well your lungs are working.

To do this you will be asked to breathe in fully and then, with your lips sealed around the mouthpiece of the spirometer you will be asked to perform a relaxed blow and then a forced blow.

For the relaxed blow breathe in fully and then breathe out slowly for as long as you can. You may be asked to use a nose clip for this test to make sure no air escapes from your nose.

For the forced blow breathe in fully, and then blow out as fast and hard as you can until your lungs are completely empty.
Each test will be performed at least three times and you will be given a rest between each one.

Some people can feel a little dizzy when asked to blow very hard.

If at any time you feel that you are cannot carry on please tell the Nurse.

Reversibility testing

For this test you will be asked to do Spirometry Test described above, you will then be given medicine using the inhaler that you were prescribed and have brought with you, which may ‘open up’ the airways. The spirometry test is then repeated after 15-20 minutes. This is done to see if your airways open wider with medication or not.

When coming in for your Spirometry Test please avoid the following:

  • Smoking for 24 hours before your appointment
  • Vigorous exercise – 30 minutes before your appointment
  • Do not wear any tight clothing that may restrict your breathing
  • Eating a large meal – 2 hours before your appointment
  • Drinking alcohol or caffeine – 4 hours before your appointment
  • For your comfort please empty your bladder before the test

The Spirometry Test should not be carried out if you have had any of the following:

  • Current chest infection or within 6 weeks of recovering from a chest infection
  • Recent eye surgery – within 3 months
  • Recent abdominal surgery – within 3 months
  • Aneurism
  • Stroke – within 3 months
  • Heart attack – within 3 months
  • Unstable angina
  • Recent pneumothorax
  • If you are coughing up blood (with unknown cause)

If you use inhalers or nebulisers for your breathing, please try not to take the following:

36 hours before the test

  • Spiriva or Eklira

24 hours before the test

  • Serevent
  • Oxis/foradil
  • Symbicort
  • Seretide
  • Fostair

6 hours before the test

  • Atrovent

4 hours before the test

  • Ventolin
  • Bricanyl

Your Doctor or nurse will advise you about any other inhalers you might be taking.

If you feel you are too breathless without any of these inhalers, then you must take them.

Please carry on taking all other prescribed medication as normal.

If you are unwell on the day of the test, please cancel & re-book the appointment when you have been well for 4 weeks. Call the cancellation line on 01373 310310.