Lung Function Testing
What is a Lung Function Test?
Lung Function Tests are a group of tests that:
Test how well your lungs work
Test how much air you can breathe in and out of each lung
Test how quickly and effective your lungs deliver oxygen to the rest of your body
Test how well you lungs take up oxygen
Test the strength of your breathing muscles
Lung Function Tests available
Gas Transfer Test
Lung Volume Tests
Bronchial Provocation Lung Test
6 Minute Walk Test
Maximal Respiratory Pressure (MIPS/MEPS/SNIP) tests
All lung and respiratory tests are conducted by a trained Respiratory Scientist, under the supervision of a Certified Respiratory Function Scientist.
A Lung Function Test is an effective and accurate way to:
Help the diagnosis of lung and pulmonary diseases
Assist your doctor in being able to offer specific treatment and management of your lung condition
Monitor the lung function of certain conditions
Assess pre-operative risk
Assess health status prior to employment
What do you need to know prior to your lung test?
Part of the testing measures the effect of bronchodilator medication, so it is important that you obtain your doctor’s permission to withhold the following medication prior to any lung or respiratory testing.
4 hours prior- No Airomir, Asmol, Atrovent, Bricanyl, Ventolin
12 hours prior- No Alvesco, Anoro, Breo, Bretaris, Brimica, Flixotide, Flutiform, Incruse, Onbrez, Oxis, Seebri, Seretide, Serevent, Spiolto, Spiriva, Symbicort, Ultibro
It is also important to advise the Respiratory Scientist if you have had any of the following:
Abdominal surgery in the past six weeks
Thoracic (chest/heart) surgery in the past six weeks
Neurosurgery (brain/spinal cord) in the past six weeks
Ocular (eye) surgery in the past six weeks
Pneumothorax (punctured lung) in the past six weeks
Angiogram in the previous 24 hours
Transbronchial biopsy in the previous 24 hours
Recent Myocardial Infarction (heart attack)
Recent Pulmonary Embolus
Open Pulmonary Tuberculosis
Other Important Information
Please do not smoke on the day of the test
If you own your own spacer, please bring it with you to the appointment
It is recommended that you arrive at your appointment a few minutes early and use the toilet prior to testing
How to test lung function at home?
A Peak Flow Meter is a common lung function test that allows you to test your lung capacity in the comfort of your own home. It is a handheld device that tests and measures the strength of your breath.
How long do lung tests take?
Depending on how many lung tests your doctor orders, they can take up to 90 minutes to be completed.
How long does a Spirometry Lung Test take?
During this lung test, the patient is seated and usually takes approximately 15-20 minutes to complete.
What happens after lung tests?
It is common to feel tired after you complete a series of lung tests, especially if you have underlying lung or breathing difficulties.
For more information about lung function testing please download the Fact Sheets from the links below:
Other useful websites
Lung Foundation Australia, www.lungfoundation.com.au
National Asthma Council Australia, www.nationalasthma.org.au