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

Spirometry Tests

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

  • VRE, VISE

  • Whooping Cough

  • 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

FAQs

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