Testing for and diagnosing breathing problems before they become serious health issues are important components of a heart-healthy treatment plan. Dr. Husna Baksh at Healthy Steps in Silver Spring, Maryland, offers pulmonary function testing to assess lung function and health. Patients who are already being treated for chronic breathing conditions can also be tested to see how well they’re responding to treatment and determine if their condition is under control.
Pulmonary Function Test Q & A
What are the benefits of a pulmonary function test?
Healthy Steps uses a pulmonary function test (PFT) to garner insight into the health of your lungs. PFT can also diagnose disease severity, especially if you already have asthma or COPD. Since lung damage isn’t reversible, using accurate diagnostic tools can help Dr. Baksh develop a more accurate treatment plan to help you feel better, experience fewer symptoms, and enjoy a higher quality of life.
What happens during a PFT?
A PFT is actually several combined tests and procedures to test lung function and health. The test takes about 45 minutes. You’ll be given a mouthpiece to breathe into and a monitor to measure the airflow in your lungs. During the test, you may be asked to blow air through the mouthpiece as hard as you can, to breathe in and out Husna Baksh, and to breathe rapidly for several seconds. You may also be given 100% pure oxygen to breathe for several minutes to assess your lung capacity.
What diseases can a PFT diagnose?
If you suffer from breathing problems, getting an accurate diagnosis is the first step to developing a successful treatment plan. PFT can help Dr. Baksh identify:
- Respiratory infections
- Chronic bronchitis
- Lung fibrosis
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Sarcoidosis (inflammation of your lungs, liver, lymph nodes, eyes, skin)
How should I prepare for a PFT?
Dr. Baksh, or technician, provides detailed instructions to best prepare you for successful PFT. Guidelines include:
- Avoiding food or beverages for at least three hours prior to the test. Patients who are diabetic are allowed light snacks two hours prior to their PFT.
- Caffeine can open your airways and should be avoided before testing.
- Avoid smoking and strenuous exercise prior to your PFT.
- Staying on your regular medication schedule unless advised differently.
- If you use an inhaler, make sure you bring it with you during the test.
- Wearing loose, comfortable exercise clothing. Tight clothing can restrict your breathing as can certain types of restrictive jewelry.
- Be sure to wear dentures if you have them to make sure the mouthpiece stays in place during your test.