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Pulmonary Function Testing

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Most patients of Medicine Specialists at Florida Hospital breathe easier knowing that the skilled internal medicine team provides pulmonary function testing. Pulmonary function testing is also called PFTs, Spirometry, Spirogram and Lung function tests.

Pulmonary function tests are a group of tests that measure how well the lungs take in and release air and how well they move gases such as oxygen from the atmosphere into the body's circulation. This simple, yet sophisticated test is performed with spirometry, using a spirometer. Since there are many things the test can monitor, there are many ways to administer the test—from breathing normally to forced inhalation or exhalation after a deep breath or even rapid breathing. Additionally, patients might be asked to inhale a substance or a medicine to see how it changes your test results.

If you have trouble breathing, experience shortness of breath and suspect that your lungs aren’t working at the volume desired, it could be a wise decision to have a pulmonary function test to do the following:

  • Diagnose certain types of lung disease (such as asthma, bronchitis and emphysema)
  • Find the cause of shortness of breath
  • Measure whether exposure to chemicals at work affects lung function
  • Check lung function before someone has surgery

It also can be done to:

  • Assess the effect of medication
  • Measure progress in disease treatment

Some lung diseases (such as emphysema, asthma, chronic bronchitis and infections) can make the lungs contain too much air and take longer to empty. These lung diseases are called obstructive lung disorders.

Other lung diseases make the lungs scarred and smaller so that they contain too little air and are poor at transferring oxygen into the blood. Examples of these types of illnesses include:

  • Extreme obesity
  • Fibrosis of the lungs
  • Lung cancer
  • Sarcoidosis and scleroderma

If you have experienced shortness of breath and worry that your lungs are functioning as best they can, call Medicine Specialists at Florida Hospital to make an appointment for a pulmonary function test. 407.303.7270.